Sunday, September 7, 2014


I hate cooking. Not only do  I hate it, but I also have no interest in doing it. It's not fun for me and it's definitely not relaxing. It's stressful and time consuming. This is how much I don't like it--I don't even care about home cooked meals. Even if someone else is cooking for me. I'd so much rather go out. I remember when I was first in college and people would say they missed two things:
1. Home cooked meals.
2. Their bed.

Well, I had had my bed since I was 9, so it was pretty small and uncomfortable, and I had so few home cooked meals, all I missed were Eegees. Needless to say, I didn't understand nor did I agree with what the other freshmen were saying.

It wasn't really a big deal, I could play off my hatred/apathy (can those co-exist?) for cooking while I was working for the Department of Residence Life, since i lived in a room that the was the size of a prison cell and there was one tiny kitchen to share with several hundred other people. But once grad school started, I moved into a house, and I was suddenly expected to be the domestic woman who could cook at least a three course meal..society gave me the kindness of not putting the expectation of having a five course meal completed until I was 24..oh wait..

So I've actually started to think about what it is about cooking. Because not only do I just not enjoy it, I have like this...strong refusal to do it. I've come up with a few things, actually. And it's been helpful...because it's not about the event (cooking), it's about the issues..

1. Shame

People's responses have almost always been shameful. Unintended, I'm sure. Out of kindness, most likely. But what they were, were shaming.
When you ask me "jokingly" what I cooked, all I feel is shame, not humor.
When you make snide remarks, all I feel is shame.
When you bring up cooking in every conversation, all I feel is shame.
When you ask, "When will you ever cook for me?", shame.
When you say, "Ashley will cook! Oh wait...", shame.

When it's just once or twice, it's not that big of a deal. But when it's over and over again, it just gets wadded up in a big ball of shame. And that, compiled with the other issues, makes it really hard.

I need to get out of this shame and feel kindness before I am ever willing to cook with or for you.

2. Perfection

I'm a bit of a perfectionist..not like how the average person is a perfectionist, but to that weird extreme that's unnatural and unhealthy. One of my favorite compliments is when people tell me how much I am like Leslie Knope (re: Parks and Rec..if you haven't seen it, nevermind). Part of being able to "perfect being a perfectionist" is by doing things you're good at, and then being really good at them.

And if you actually want to do something, you do it, and do it well. You figure it out. Always. So if I actually really decide I'm in on this whole cooking thing, I gotta go all in and I gotta be willing to commit the time.

3. Not enough

Not enough of enough. I'm not good enough to cook. I don't have enough time to cook. I don't have enough money. I don't have enough understanding of a recipe. I don't have enough of the cooking essential. Etc.

Mainly, the first one (not good enough, see the first 3 points) and the second (not enough time). Seriously--that's not a lie or an exaggeration. Currently, I have a full time job with about a 45 minute commute each way. I also have a part time job on evenings and weekends. I am also taking a class, 3 hours a week, for 14 weeks. Story of my life, really. This is how it has always been for me, go, go, go.

My best friend visited a couple of weeks ago, and we planned to cook. She is one of the few (one of two people, really--the other being my mom) that I would be willing to cook with. On the second to last night, she's like, "Holy cow, I knew you were busy, but I didn't realize actually how busy you were until now. We haven't even had time to talk about cooking, much less plan a meal, go shopping, prep it...we have hardly had time to eat, there's been so much we have been doing!"

Right. I know, that's my point. I used to think not having enough time was an excuse, you make time, you find time. But seriously, I hardly have time to go to the bathroom, much less take the time to prep a meal and eat it. Combine that with I hate it and don't know how to, you can start to get the picture..

4. Independence 

Now, you can totally argue that by cooking more, you are more independent. And I agree with that, for whoever makes that point. But it's not my point, that's not "for me". See, I've grown up with two working parents. Both parents worked full time, my whole life. My parents were super busy. Most of our meals were eating out.

But, when I say eating out, I'm not talking fast food. (Unless we were on the way to soccer practice--ironic, I know). Mom would usually meet us at On the Border, or Appleebees, or Texas Roadhouse, or Olive Garden after work. We ate at restaurants. A lot of restaurants. Yes, usually chain ones. The point was though, my parents made enough money so that we could. So my view is this: I would rather spend an extra hour at work and get paid and then use that money to buy a meal. You like to cook, then cook. I like to work, so I work. I work, I get paid, I can spend the money on delicious food and all I have to do is order. I feel more independent that way, because I equate my independence with working, not with domestication. I don't disagree or think someone is wrong for like domestic things, it's just not me. That's my point. 

No comments:

Post a Comment