Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Single Couples

Ever since my folks and my sister left, I've been returning home to a big empty house. One of the things I miss is coming back home to a warm meal, lol. It got me thinking yesterday. There's a common belief that most bachelors 'suffer' because they have to eat out or survive on indomie, dunno where that idea came from. And a common debate/argument still goes on about whether a guy would marry a girl who doesnt know how to cook. Now I personally don't believe cooking skills should be one of the criteria for marriage, but considering the modern generation we are in, my reasons for thinking so have changed.

I'm an excellent cook and I can handle myself as efficiently as any woman in the kitchen, my mum made sure of that. Still I discover that when I get back home after a long day of busting my ass at work, I just want to sit down, relax and eat something good. Now there are 2 options, either I microwave some food I cooked earlier and stored in the freezer, or roll up my sleeves and start cooking dinner. On very very rare occassions, I might be too tired and just order food instead. Now, here's the funny thing, mi casa plays host to a whole crowd of regular 'visitors'. So sometimes when I return from work, tired and hungry, I have to step into the kitchen to cook dinner while a few 'visitors' lounge on my couch gisting, playing games and stylishly waiting for 'dinner' to appear. To be very sincere, it can drive me nuts! Not that I need much help in the kitchen, but the least I expect is a little 'moral support', a lil company while I'm in the kitchen.

Coming back to the debate of whether a woman or a man should cook or not, I do think there are a few extra factors to consider. If both the man and the woman have full time jobs, there has to be alot of patience and understanding. In my opinion, whoever gets home first should get dinner ready. There has been a paradigm shift over the years. Before men worked to take care of their families, while women ran the home and supported their husbands. That was the way we were 'traditionally' raised in Nigeria, women did most of the cooking and ran the home while the men took care of almost all the bills. But things changed gradually, people blame it on the birth of a new generation of 'career women' but I don't think that men were 'career oriented' in the past either. Most men worked for the sole purpose of taking care of their families, careers barely had much to do with it.

What I think happened is that as time passed by, the dependency of women on men waned, women wanted to be more independent (which is a very good thing in my opinion), and that hunger for independence led to more women pursuing careers. Now the men who had initially been in 'control' for so long were facing 'competition' at work, so their emphasis shifted from just providing for their families to preserving their 'alpha dog status'. Men AND women became more career oriented and the family harmony paid a little price for it. The key question is this, is it wrong to pursue your career? I think part of the problem with that question is that it is ALWAYS directed towards women. There seems to be an accepted idea that men ought to pursue their careers while women should sacrifice theirs for the family. It is a pretty complex debate and there are no clear cut answers.

My opinion is pretty straightforward, let's not sacrifice love and family harmony on the altar of our careers and ambitions. Can it be done? Yes, with careful communication, love and understanding. It doesn't matter if your mother always cooked for your father, that was 28 years ago, Barrack Obama wasn't president then. To round up my unprofessional rant, I came up with a few ideas:

For men

1. If you get home before your wife/fiancee/girlfriend, it doesn't hurt to prepare dinner. If you can't cook, you can always order something for you AND her. The common mistake most men make is that when it comes to food, they think only about themselves, but they expect women to remember them in their plans.

2. Be patient and understanding. Remember that she works as hard as you do and will probably get home as tired as you are. So don't grumble over the 'food choices' she offers you. A freshly prepared dinner is a luxury/bonus, not a right. If dinner consists of microwaved leftovers, dig in and relish the taste and do the dishes, it's a simple way of saying a quiet 'thank you'.

For women (I can't really advise women since I'm a guy, but I'll try)

1. If you can't cook, you should learn (lol). It doesn't hurt to be a good cook. Trust me, you can control a man with good food, he'll never come home late. So think of it as a 'bargaining chip', lol.
2. You must plan ahead of time, the kids will arrive someday and you'll be faced with extra responsibility. Get used to the 'habit' of taking care of someone, start practising with your man. Believe me, if you think men are demanding, wait till you have kids!

In general, communication is key. A couple ought to sit down and plan how they'll run the home "TOGETHER". Sacrifices will have to be made by both parties, the sooner you sit down and work out a plan, the better for everyone.

I'll go ahead and whip up dinner tonight, as for my 'visitors', the closest they'll get to tasting any of this would be in their dreams, lol. Go get hitched or be happy single.

Let me know your thoughts, opinions and ideas and feel free to share. I bet I said something out of line somewhere, so correct me if you have a different opinion.

28 comments:

  1. So true, Your wife will be one lucky lass, still remember how you cook for paco fans...good job.

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    1. I'll be the lucky one to have her... :) Reference to Pacoliso, interesting, any clues to ur identity? :)

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    1. Drizzy, instead of you to offer your views, you are querying the identity of the visitors, lol.

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    2. lmao ...mehn, i'm still on line 2

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  3. Nice One. It obvious that the family structure has been dented, at least from my perspective. Usually, the man goes a fishing/farming, gathering food stocks for the family while his wife caters for the home, puts everything in place, educates the kids etc. With this structure the wife was usually submissive to her husband, who loved her in turn. Also, there was one HEAD of the family, who couldn't effectively function without his wife, who cleaned up after him.

    Things have changed a lot these days like you said. Ladies pursue careers, and full time positions like men do. So you encounter scenarios where both husband and wife are surgeons or lawyers and at the same time, have 3 kids. This implies that kids will be less behaved and cultured as they have little or no bonding times with their parents, who hardly even get to see each other. The pursuit of a career is always at the expense of something. That's why you see some families with both parents very involved secularly, in a mess. You can't eat your cake and have it. But Like you mentioned above, both parties should treat this matter with love and understanding. The man should know when to provide/cook/bath/serve his wife, because she too is as busy , if not busier than he is. Also, African boys in general should mortify the thought of "I'm the Man!!". The couple are a force to ensure the successful running of their home, by themselves without external inputs.

    As for cooking. I can't cook very well except boiling rice and boiling yam. However, I will stay with my wife in the kitchen, gisting with her and cracking jokes while she does that. I sometimes do other house chores while she cooks, like pressing her clothes for work. Ladies should learn how to cook. I cannot live on coffee, tea, and sandwich all my life. The way to a man's heart is via his stomach.....

    Tochi - Newark, NJ

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    1. Mourinho, confirmed talk! In a few months time, you'll be boiling plenty rice for madam o. :)

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    2. I agree with Tochi. Support however you can and both man/woman should strive to feed each other.

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    3. G.Sachs! I see u bro, word!

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    4. "This implies that kids will be less behaved and cultured as they have little or no bonding times with their parents, who hardly even get to see each other."


      Is Tochi saying that couples who are full time professionals should not have any kids?

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  4. Well said... :)...han ;)

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  5. yo.... don't make me call u....but u are right sha...i wish most men think like u

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    1. No vex abeg :) I just remembered, I go send am sharply. Awwww, u paid me a compliment, I think u like me, my birthday is coming o, don't dull this year! Surprise yourself and do it big! 7series!

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    2. i think i like u too....but wetin concern me concern ur birthday?? i look like ur babe??? well i believe in tit for tat...scratch my back and i scratch urs... show me urs and i show u mine....i will surprise myself and buy my self a car....:) send it pronto...

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  6. Great write up Emeka! Glad you raised the point about men cooking or ordering food. I get the feeling some men think they'll be less macho if they cook and this couldn't be further from the truth. If anything, it endears the men more to the women in their lives.

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    1. Thanks! You raised an excellent point! I don't know if it is a case of feeling less macho, u just might be right. Thanks for the tip on cooking :)

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  7. As much as you claim to be an excellent cook, that is questionable since I've forgotten the last time I ate you food :)

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    1. Lol, that is a typical 'visitor' move right there :) Thou shall not tempt me to prove my culinary skills.

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  8. All you visitors know yourselves. Anyways kola what's for dinner?

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    1. Femo my guy! U feel me abi? U know how it was in the summer days, lol.

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    2. #teamvisitor :D

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    3. Lol,special shout out to all the 'visitors'. Life would be boring without y'all. I got mad luv for y'all. :)

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  9. Lol! Love this write up sweetie! The comments are also cracking me up!

    But I noticed one alarming thing!

    Everyone (Eldee, Boy O, Wiggy, Ragfella) don wack your food except me!
    How come I am always missing out eh?
    The other time, Eldee and Boy O said u prepared plantain porridge for them.
    We have to remedy that o!
    Lolz

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    1. Raekhi! We'll definitely fix that very soon :)

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  10. Ahhh are you single?? *cough*

    This is what i've been saying to the men-folk I know and they act like i'm crazy. I'm emailing this blog post to ALL of them!!!

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