Monday, 17 November 2008 by Dr Maytel
Sometimes when I mentioned to people that I'm married to the chef, I often go through a similar discussion. People tell me how lucky I am and then I tell them yes, but I am but also a tad overweight. They chuckle and often say something to smooth over the awkwardness of having to agree with me by reiterating how lucky I am.
But I do believe they are right. A few extra kilos above my ideal (ok ten more but still within the healthy BMI range, thank god) is really a scant trade off for all the benefits.
Pros of being married to a chef
- access to great produce at wholesale prices
- being courted with delicious meals
- instant acceptance of your beloved by family and friends and increased social invitations
- knowing you'll never go hungry (even as a poor student in Auckland, Melbourne and whilst doing my PhD research in Cambodia, I've always had the privilege of five star dining, Hock would bring home wonderful cheese, great wines etc. In addition, suppliers, who were often friends would give us a lot of great food for free)
- Being with a like-minded and food adventurous person (a big pro for me, I don't care much for fussy eaters)
The other advantage of being married to a chef in my view is getting to live with a person who possesses, as many chef's do, those uniquely appreciable personality traits that chefing so often breeds: masculine stoicism mixed with artistic gentility and a deep appreciation of hygiene. This may sound like a tissue paper promotion but really the same qualities that you are looking for in a box of kleenex are, when you think about it what most people are looking for in their partner, strong yet gentle and very clean. This holds generally true so long as you haven't managed to acquire a love affair with a menial kitchen grunt, or outrageous egotist who yells all the time. There are however some other potential cons.
- Pudginess (you get fat together, weight loss efforts prove useless)
- Most holidays will revolve around food (again a possible pro, but sometimes annoying to always have to cross town to eat lunch)
- Unsociable working hours (your chef, should you chose to marry one will be working most evenings, weekends, public holidays and special days such as Xmas)
- Maybe better at articulating feelings through food and not words (offers of chocolate cake should be regarded as expressions of love, not further effort to make you fat, I have learned. Say thank you, understand what it means but don't eat it)
- May take particular delight in crass kitchen humour and body art (chefs seem to like hurting themselves, what's a tatoo when you have spent the last ten years burning your arms, have no feeling left in the finger you've repeatedly chopped the top off and have actually come to slightly enjoy the cool burning whip of a cold tea towel across your thigh, ass or other fleshy bodily part)
Those are the main pros and cons as I see them. And for me the pros far outweigh the cons, literally and figuratively. It may have been a different story if he had insisted on making me a wedding dress of cream puffs.