I don’t entirely trust people who don’t know how to cook. That may sound judgmental and well, it is. Thing is: I like to cook. In fact, I love it and I have loved it ever since I was 13 and my single mom was working all the time and if I wanted to eat something I either had to microwave another pizza pocket or teach my ass how to make my own food.
I chose to cook. And I’m damn glad I did because learning to cook out of necessity is what led me to understanding just how artful and wonderful cooking can be in a whole slew of other ways. So I really get it when I run into to a fellow adult who can look me straight in the eye and tell me, quite matter-of-factly, “Oh, I don’t cook.”
How can that be? How can someone in this modern day and age navigate life without ever learning one of the most fundamental, useful, and creative skills known to man?
And beyond that, who the hell would ever want to date (or marry) one of these people? (The future husband of my 5-year-old daughter should take note.)
Think about this for a second. If you have reached the age of 25 and you don’t know how to make a pasta dish or cook a steak or steam some veggies for yourself, what do you think that says about you as a person, much less a potential relationship partner? Does it indicate that you’ve just been so busy with your education and your work life that you haven’t had the time to learn to create a basic dish for yourself to eat? I don’t think so. I think that what it clearly says about you is that you:
a) lack a certain type of basic ambition
b) have been coddled and fed and now rely on take-out as your new mommy/daddy figure
c) were never taught to cook and therefore just figured that teaching yourself something so necessary and worthwhile was just not … well … worthwhile.
In a lot of cases, I suspect that it’s a combination of all three that leads to the type of people who actually boast that they simply do not cook. And that is a frightening and sad notion, if you ask me. Not a day goes by when I don’t have time to cook something for my kids or better yet, for myself. I dig preparing my own food and when I can’t do it it pisses me off. Why? Well, for one thing I’ve long known that cooking isn’t just a job you have to do, like mopping the floor or getting the oil changed on the car. Cooking is something entirely different; it’s a whole separate other galaxy away from ‘chores’ and that kind of crap.
When you stand in your own kitchen and cut vegetables and slice garlic and get a pan ready to saute a piece of fish or a pork chop or a fat mushroom, you’re not obligated to dig what you’re doing.
You might hate it. But if you DO hate it, then it’s my opinion that you lack a certain type of romance, plain and simple. Because cooking is very much like romance, like real tried and true romance, not this sh*t you think you might find if you spend another hour or two on Tinder or whatever. Cooking requires heart. It demands that you give a damn about someone else, the person or person(s) you are cooking for, whether they’re your own hungry kids or someone you’ve just met and are trying to impress in the hope that they might want to spend a little more time with you.
So in a lot of ways when you say to someone, even in passing, “Well, I don’t cook,” what you’re really saying to them (and to the world in general) is, “Well, I don’t have much heart or interest in fundamental things that show people I care about them!”
You might as well just tell people, “You know, I really don’t have much time to give a damn about you, but I’d love it if you were attracted to me anyway!”
Okay, perhaps that’s an oversimplification of my point, but still. I imagine that I’m speaking for a whole lot of people when I tell you that people who don’t cook aren’t as attractive or sexy or probably even as much of a catch as people who do. I’ve never been with a woman who didn’t know how to cook and I can honestly say to you that each and every single time any of them made a meal for me, I was intensely turned on in a really primal way. And I feel like they felt the same way about me cooking for them, too. Guys, girls, it doesn’t matter.
When you can cook and you know it, you understand that you are so way ahead of anyone who cannot.
And when you set a dish of food you just made down in front of someone you think is hot or cool or funny or charming or hopefully all of that in equal measure, I can tell you this much for sure. You are putting yourself up on a seriously badass pedestal without even knowing it. Because the human heart knows what it knows and it follows those same leads down unconsciously, year after year, century after century. And home cooked food has always been a shoo-in when it comes to falling in love.
Sure, you might meet someone else who doesn’t cook and the two of you might sail off into the Take-out sunset. But I doubt it.
Look, do us all a favor, will ya? Lean to cook. It’s easy as hell. It will ignite certain passions in you that you didn’t even know where there. And people will like you more; trust me.
No more excuses.
Cook. Make love. Live a little. And stop acting like a little kid.