A few days ago I was cooking in my kitchen, enjoying every minute of it, when a very old conversation came rushing back to me.
I was a newly married woman, full of hopes and dreams of what my married life will be like. I pictured a 50/50 partnership that was full of love and respect. I felt that I was a modern-day woman, free to make my own decisions, without the constraints of having to clear every decision with my husband. I was progressive, I was powerful, and I was smart and beautiful too!
I was visiting one day at my mother in law’s house. There were some very interesting and progressive thinking women there. Gathered at the table were a doctor, some mothers, a woman home from developing humanitarian programs to help women in Bangladesh, some University students, some farmers. Among the laughing and the stories, the conversation turned to a mutual dislike of cooking. We all agreed that we hated cooking. It takes up too much of our precious time. Why do these tedious chores fall to women? It was agreed that cooking was in fact the devil. When I spoke up in agreement, of course I hate cooking too, my mother in law leaned over and said softly “I don’t think you do”.
WHAT?!? How dare she oppose my opinion of what I like and what I don’t like. I had watched enough Oprah by this point to know that I get to decide how I feel and that no one should try to tell me how I feel about anything. I was disappointed that now I would look like a loser in front of the cool girls. Thanks a lot. I skulked home and probably made filet mignon or something to comfort myself.
It didn’t take long for me to realise how right my mother in law was. I love cooking. And to top it off, she was right to have pointed it out! It made me different. It showed the cool ladies a bit of who I truly am. Now that I know them better, I know that they respect the fact that I enjoy cooking. I also realise that because they are truly progressive thinking women they don’t judge the likes and dislikes of other people. I remember one of them coming over to my house saying that she wanted to ‘taste my wares’. I didn’t even know what she meant. I think it’s a line from a nursery rhyme she had read.
I am very happy that I was “outed” all those years ago. Not only was I revealed to all those cool ladies, but I was also revealed to myself. My lesson that day was to be your true self, who ever that is. People will know you for who you truly are, and you will attract people who will appreciate the real you. As one of my favorite sayings goes, “I would rather be hated for who I am than to be loved for who I’m not.” Don’t know whose quote that is, but I love it.
In the end I have it all. I have the marriage of my dreams. It’s a 50/50 partnership full of love and respect (most of the time), I am a modern-day woman free to make my own decisions without the restraints of having to clear those decisions with my husband, (although I am indecisive so I often want him to help me). I am progressive, I am powerful and I am smart and beautiful too! And did I mention that I like to cook?