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You know that old saying “too many dudes spoil the broth”?
No? That’s not it, you say? Well, tell that to all the pesky men folk that keep “muscling their way” into kitchens everywhere. You know how they do. They’re always sneaking in ingredients and Instagraming pictures of your perfectly organized prep bowls. They should just stick to what they’re good at! Wearing slippers and reading the paper.
At least that’s what I got from reading this DailyMail survey.
According to a poll by Wren Kitchens & Bedrooms (British Bed, Bath & Beyond), one in six dudes are guilty of annoying the bejesus out of their partners by “sneakily adding ingredients and stirring the pan when they're not looking,” which is obviously the ultimate in betrayal.
To be fair, I would be super annoyed if Sean was trailing behind me, adding white pepper to my souffles (white would be more annoying than black or rainbow, because you can’t see it), but this has never happened (because I've never made a souffle).
Sean and I actually end up doing the same amount of cooking; the difference is what we cook. He has his standard dishes that he has perfected (chili, spaghetti, burgers, and eggs) and I do all the baking and anything new or untested. We don’t usually cook together, unless I ask him to help with prep work or I make a side in the kitchen while he’s grilling outside.
It never occurred to me that it wouldn't be harmonious.
Apparently men aren't just being sneaky little ingredient adders; there is a whole list of crimes! Let’s go through them one by one, and see if Sean is guilty of any of them. You can play along at home too! Just leave the name of a kitchen saboteur you know and their list of offences in the comments, and then we can all figure out appropriate sentencing.
Top Ten Irritating Male Kitchen Habits and the Percentage of Women Who Find Them Annoying:
1. The mess they make when cooking -- 39%
I’m a little confused here. Am I supposed to understand that only 39% of men make a mess while cooking or that 39% of women are annoyed by the messes men make by cooking?
Either way this seems silly.
Of course one is going to make a mess while cooking. I make a mess when I make a cup of coffee. I got Nutella whipped cream IN MY HAIR when I made those faux-cronuts.
So, I guess Sean is both guilty and not guilty at the same time. He does make a mess but I’m not bothered since I am always making much bigger messes.
2. Leaving you to wash up when you've done the cooking -- 27%
The phrase “leaving you” is humorous to me here. Do they grab a pre-packed suitcase, say something about how “You've known this was coming all along” and go stay at a Motel 6 while you do the dishes?
Because that would be annoying.
It would be irritating if one's husband retreated to his office to play Diablo III instead of helping with the dishes, but it seems like this could be avoided with a simple conversation.
3. Offering advice when it's not needed -- 22%
My sister (who did a stint in culinary school and is a better cook than I am) is way guiltier of this than any man I've ever met.
Sorry my carrot coins aren't all the same size, Meredith! Yeah, some of them are going to be a little more “done” than the others, but I’m going to mush them all together and suffocate them with cheese, so it doesn't really matter!
What I’m saying is, I don’t like it when she tells me what to do.
4. Being watched over the shoulder while they are cooking -- 21%
This would be obnoxious, because it eliminates any opportunity I might have to slowly poison him. Luckily Sean doesn't do this, and luckily for him I’m not engaged in any slow poisoning.
5. Adding ingredients and interfering behind their back -- 16%
I've decided that I wish my husband did this. It would be a fun game. He could add some basil and I could playfully hit him with a wooden spoon. “Oh you,” I would intone, “You really know how to bring subtle magic to pasta sauce (or Thai noodles)!”
The only exception to the fun of this game would be baking. Baking depends on pretty exact ratios and whatnot, so secretly adding more baking powder or egg whites or sugar would invoke the wrath of a thousand honey badgers. (I know honey badgers are so five minutes ago but those fuckers are still mean.)
But really, do people actually do this?
6. Their partner being a better cook -- 9%
To the nine percent that find having a good cook for a partner irritating: The other 91% of us will take him (or her) off your hands.
7. Cooking that tastes awful -- 8%
Oh, now you’re just being hurtful.
8. Cooking too slowly -- 8%
Hurry it up Dudes! Turn that burner up to 11 and finish my dinner! I don’t care that it’s risotto night!
9. Posting pictures of meals on Facebook -- 4%
Sean isn't great with social media, so this doesn't really happen to me. If anything, it’s the opposite. Once, when were at Disneyworld, he asked me if I was going to “ever get tired of taking pictures of myself with food and alcohol.”
He received the blankest of blank stares.
But unless your partner is taking pictures of your homecooked meal and posting them with the caption, “Bitch plates like she works at Sbarro,” or something, I don’t really see why this would be annoying. Isn't posting pictures of your food always kind of braggy? Take it as a sign of gratitude and move on.
10. Their partner doesn't let them cook -- 3%
This would be annoying for me, as I need to cook for posts such as these. But other than that, I wouldn't hate being barred from the kitchen sometimes. Cooking can be a form of stress relief for me, but I've also cried about fucking up a brownie recipe that I tried to “wing.”
This doesn't seem to be that big of a problem though, since only three percent of women are complaining.
So, Sean isn't really guilty of any of this.
But here’s a list of things he is guilty of, kitchen-wise:
- Asking me to make him a whole blueberry pie all to himself, eating one piece and leaving the rest to just sit there, forcing me to eat seven pieces of blueberry pie before they go bad.
- Being super cautious while cooking. This is different than slow. He’s just really concerned about messing things up. Substitutions really freak him out, and his cooking times are really exact. I’m probably a bitch for being annoyed by this, because it’s actually endearing (at first).
- Not knowing some pretty basic things.
Last holiday season, we bought our first Christmas tree (his first tree ever). I was upstairs, when I heard him call my name. “Claire,” he said, “I have two questions: How do I bake a potato and do Christmas trees usually come with this many spiders?”
I was equally perplexed by both questions.
I mean, how does someone make it to their late 20s and not know how to bake a potato?
But I was probably just irritable because there were thousands of baby spiders in our Christmas tree.
Obviously, none of these things are that big a deal, and I probably shouldn't even be annoyed by them. He probably doesn't know how to bake a potato because I’m one of those awful people who never allows anyone in the kitchen and is always looking over everyone else's shoulder, offering unsolicited advice.
Those people are the worst.
Do you guys have any kitchen annoyances you would like to vent about? Who does most of the cooking in your houses?