Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hubby, Wifey and (Da, Da, Daaaa) the Kitchen

imageWhen we were in a rental house in Racine, I got up early to leave for work one morning. Noticing a sink full of cold dishwater, I thought I’d be helpful and pull the plug before I left. An hour later, I got a call from home. Colleen had strolled into the kitchen to find a drowned mouse in the sink’s basket strainer! Hey, we hubbies try!

Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership

Love: Who Will I Spend My Life With?

Hubby, Wifey and (Da, Da, Daaaa) the Kitchen


By Evan Nehring


It starts with the food.

We’ve invested more into our kitchen on Augusta Avenue, our current residence, than any other kitchen. It’s sounds chauvinistic, but Colleen loves to cook and I love to eat! And the colors of our kitchen reflect the bold Italian portion of my wife’s heritage: deep red walls with olive green and off-white accent. Throw in some black-framed modern cafĂ© paintings, hanging produce baskets and an over-the-stove hanging pot rack…well, we enjoy the kitchen.
 
Hubby, Wifey and (Da, Da, Daaaa) the Kitchen
 
Eating well together is a key part of a marriage. We’ve had good and bad seasons with this, and it affects all areas of our lives. Energy levels rise and fall. Clothing sizes rise and fall. Levels of hopefulness rise and fall.

Our go-to program has been WeightWatchers. The point system is set up to push us toward more produce, less fat and fewer empty calories. Colleen attended some meetings at one point and I’ve always used her as my coach and materials provider. The online tracking options and Smartphone apps are very slick too.

Since Megan and Tim married, they’ve inspired us, too, as they get creative with cooking healthy meals.

Busyness and laziness tend to push us to the fast food drive through window. There’s no way around it: looking after our bodies takes time! So I encourage young people getting ready to leave home to put together a menu box, or download a menu app. The earlier the healthy eating habits start, the better off you’ll be.
 

But it’s more than just food.

Cooking is just one part of the kitchen experience, though. Have you noticed couples in the kitchen? There’s a way, sometimes, that man and wife move together in the kitchen. I’m jealous, honestly. Col and I tend to get in each other’s way or get irritated.

My sister and brother-in-law, Sheri and Brad, have a kitchen way perhaps better than anyone I’ve seen. It helps that Brad has restaurant chef experience, but I don’t think that negates how they work together. Brad checks the internal temperature of the turkey with the meat thermometer while Sheri stirs the flour into the gravy. He cuts up peppers and she kneads dough. And when they move from sink to stove to island to refrigerator, they have a sense for where each other wants to move.

It feels equal. Neither dominating. Neither humiliated. There’s a kindness to it, a courtesy. There are manners and thoughtfulness.

I’ve seen couples try to do the sarcastic humor with each other. That’s a tough one to pull off. It seems about 20% playful and 80% biting. I don’t think we should save manners for guests. Why not treasure each other instead?
 

Roles

The old school says the kitchen is women’s work. Hmmm…I’m okay with that if the household responsibilities have been fairly worked out that way. Fairness is a tricky topic. Pursuit of it tends to lead to misery! On the other hand, good faith effort from both partners to help out is important.

There’s trust involved with this. When wifey kicks up her feet to watch a romantic comedy while hubby sweats under the hood of the SUV, there’s a trust implied that those tables will be turned. Hubby will have his time on the golf course while wifey prepares chili and beef stew, or vice versa.

When we were in a rental house in Racine, I got up early to leave for work one morning. Noticing a sink full of cold dishwater, I thought I’d be helpful and pull the plug before I left. An hour later, I got a call from home. Colleen had strolled into the kitchen to find a drowned mouse in the sink’s basket strainer! Hey, we hubbies try!

I want our relationship to be fair. I want to work hard to help our family and to serve Colleen. We all fall short of our spouse’s expectations and our own. But the effort will always be worth it.


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