Food Network and Wives

One reason I love to cook is that I pretend I’m one of the stars on the food network.  Tonight I was making lasagna (a new, lower-fat, higher-veggies recipe) and the whole process turned a little disastrous.  By the end there were bowls, knives, cutting boards, and bits of foods on every surface of my kitchen (including the stools, and even the floor, what was I thinking?!).  I kept thinking how I would justify this to my viewers and created this whole idea of a show.  Perhaps that makes me a desperate wife, living out a fantasy world whilst real life passes me by.  You know what?  Every few weeks I really enjoy that. 

Being a wife is so under-considered.  When talking with other wifely women, we do talk about whether our cooking is up to our husbands’ expectation, ways we can get them to clean up, and even ways to manage conflict and come out “on top”.  How typical!  Yet somehow I still get caught up in these conversations, playing a role even when it doesn’t quite (or at all) fit with my actual life. 

So is playing a food network star any worse than playing the role of nagging wife?  Both are actually just play, so why is it that I feel a need to do that?  The urge for stardom is one thing, the urge to follow a pre-determined script of what a wife is and what she does, that’s another.   Our vows say nothing about being naggy, they don’t mention the need for me to have awesome recipes, nor did we include a promise for me to always fix his clothes.  So there must be societal factors that make it so compelling to play these roles.

Recently I’ve been thinking that it’s a way of relating to other people.  When we play our roles well, it becomes really easy for people to interact.  Following the social scripts enables people to get along more easily.  Sadly, it also causes us to evade true depth; it allows us to evade being known deeply and personally and individually.  Another reason I want to break the mold and speak about being a wife.  Even when I’m a wife who pretends to be a food network star while having multiple lasagna disasters.   


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