Okay, we’ll take a pause from the praise-and-bash of local restaurants to talk about life as the significant other of a chef.
And before I proceed, I apologize for the use of the term “significant other” because I really hate it, but at my age (over 30 thank you) I feel stupid saying “boyfriend,” my friend Brandy has co-opted “Manfriend,” and I don’t wanna say “fiancee” and put a hoodoo on things. Okay on to the post.
Men who can and will feed you are inherently sexy. Especially with those long fingers most chefs have, those INCREDIBLY sensitive hands…anyway…. so of course, you would need some level of self-confidence to live with such a man for any length of time. Because let’s face it, ladies, the sexier we find our man, the sexier we’re going to think OTHER women (or men as the case may be) will find them.
So. You’ve got this hot guy. That can cook. In the sexy chef’s whites. Looking all Gordon Ramsay with himself. Now. Factor in the hours. He’s NEVER home. Pretty much EVER. And when he is? Your ass is the last thing he really cares about. He TRIES to be as attentive as possible but has the unfortunate habit of falling asleep while you’re talking about your day. Even if you’re talking naked.
Yeah, he brings stuff home to feed you. Yeah, you lucked out and he’s in your bed. Unfortunately, by the time HE gets out of the shower and comes to that bed, YOU have fallen dead asleep because YOUR day starts at 6 am. And if he DOES get a day off? It’s either not a day that YOU are off (weekend? forget it sister) or, if you manage it, you run around doing crap you didn’t get to do since the last time he was off. Like laundry. And banking. And oh yeah, paying the electric bill before they shut you down.
It’s fortunate for me that the man I love and spend my life with is seriously attentive to me. And that goes a long way. Even after the amount of time we’ve been together, he’s still willing to put extra effort into “our time.” Sadly, though, sometimes, I find myself feeling a little….well…. inadequate. I look at the 18 year old waitresses and cashiers, the women fawning over his food (because I make it a point to go there once a week and spy for my own low self-esteem), and I feel like crap.
So. What to do? First of all – I tell myself that despite the length of time we’ve been together, he makes a point of sitting up and staring if I happen to walk by in a towel or undies. That may be self-promotion on his part but really? I don’t care. Also. He’s tired. Chefs are TIRED, TIRED people. So he doesn’t have TIME to be frolicking. Like just now. I called to relay a message from his mom. He did answer his cell, listened to me for 90 seconds, then said, “Okay, I am up to my ass in sausage and mushrooms so unless you’re gonna eat my way out I’ll call you later.” Which is funny. But which is also fairly conclusive evidence that he’s not out with some dimwitted 18-year-old cheerleader cast-off cashier.
I’m sure there are male chefs out there who DO screw about and make pigs of themselves on a regular. And I’m sure there are just as many WOMEN chefs who do the same. But what I have found is that understanding the demands of the job goes a long, long way in maintaining our relationship. He understands that I have to wear the 3 inch pumps; I understand that he had to be out til whenever he gets home. Someone comes in looking for a specific item 10 minutes before closing? Yeah okay, the customer is an asshole, but my boyfriend will not send them away. He will call them asshole under his breath but still cook them the definitive whatever they ordered.
He probably won’t even call them asshole under his breath.