Honey, I know that right now you’re angry and you allegedly have every right to be. Lord knows being married to me has had its ups and times of attrition. But I don’t want to start another fight, because they always end with one of us sleeping on the couch. I don’t need to remind you how much that futon messed up your back the last time you slept on it. So I beseech you, please, for the good of us all: Make Dinner, Not War.

Now I’m not saying that you should be making dinner because you’re a woman, let’s make that clear. I’m saying it because it’s almost 7pm, and because I’m really hungry. Like most arguments in this household, this has nothing to do with gender politics and everything to do with my rumbling belly.

I don’t want this to devolve into another childish squabble. That’s why I have these swabs of cotton that I’m ready to shove into my ears at a moment’s notice and go, “LA-LA-LA-LA-LA!” real loud. That should keep this conversation on track.

You say you’re getting sick of takeout whenever it’s my turn to cook, but both you and I know that there is no substitute for a chef-prepared meal at a restaurant where you get a plastic tray as a plate.

We’ve both changed a lot over the years, but we made certain promises to each other. Am I mistaken in remembering that on our first date you told me you “like to cook”? I can’t help but wonder what other vows you’ve broken over the years.

I know that for a good while now you’ve been making my lunches and dinners (sorry, but I don’t classify pouring cereal into a bowl and grinding and brewing coffee as “making” anything), but if you’ll recall I am always grateful for it even when you mess up and give me the wrong sandwich. The kids have the crusts on, silly; I DON’T!

You know I’m not usually one to point fingers (while sober), but this is all your fault. With every meal,  snack or treat “just because,” you’ve been enabling my behavior. Now you’re expecting me to be able to fend for myself/you?! Well, all I can say is: I’m glad I’m not addicted to doing heroin, because you’d probably worsen my habit through your irresponsibly facilitating nature.

I know that marriage is a partnership and sometimes you have to suck it up and do things that you don’t like, so why can’t you just make dinner even though you really don’t want to? I don’t want to cook dinner either, so I can see where you’re coming from on this, but you have to at least try to understand my position too. I think that is only fair.

Besides, you’re so good at it! Why wouldn’t you want to do perform a task you’re proficient if not downright virtuosic in? It’s like a piano player not doing his finger exercises. You’ll get rusty!

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Do you really want me getting in your kitchen, banging pots and pans around loudly while I’m waiting for the food to cook, then putting all the dishes back where they don’t belong on purpose? Jeez, it’s almost like you’re setting me up for future fights these days.

I’ve hated cooking for as long as I can remember. Cooking was the name of a childhood bully of mine. Actually, his surname was Cook, but before he used to beat me up he’d pound his fist into his palm and say, “You’re in for a Cooking.” Needless to say, I really hate Cooking!

It feels like it was only yesterday when you walked down the aisle. Doesn’t it feel like yesterday to you? If so, the years’ worth of meals you’ve prepared for me can’t possibly seem too great, now can they?

You say you’re getting sick of takeout whenever it’s my turn to cook, but both you and I know that there is no substitute for a chef-prepared meal at a restaurant where you get a plastic tray as a plate. Those teenagers behind the grill are trained and inducted professionals who ply their craft several four-hour shifts a week, which makes them really good at it. Even if I was actually making my own meals and midnight schnitzels every day for 10 years, I wouldn’t have anywhere near the wealth of experience those minimum-wage-earning children have. I simply can’t compete so I don’t try. You do try Honey, you try so damn hard in spite of it all, and that’s why I love you and specifically the meals that you make for me.

I see cooking as an art form, and if the crude drawings I’ve done in the bathroom stalls of many dive bars around town are anything to go by, I really have no creative talent. I mean, you’ve seen the dicks and balls I draw everywhere, on every available surface. They’re atrocious! How could you possibly think these hands could ever create anything even remotely palatable?

You say you want more variety with food, but I took you to that all-you-can-eat buffet just last month and you said you hated it several hours before the diarrhea had even had a chance to fully kick in.

Can’t you just make something really easy, like packet-soup? What, are you above drinking your dinner now?

I just don’t like being in the kitchen. I had a bad experience in a kitchen once. I was having sex with a girl on the kitchen counter when my mom walked in with a guy she called her “Night Friend,” who coincidentally she was just about to have sex with. It was pretty awkward for all of us, and not just because everyone was wearing bathrobes. It’s a good thing those robes have pockets, otherwise we’d have had nowhere to put our hands in a nonchalant casual way, and then we really would have all been embarrassed.

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I wouldn’t know the first thing about mashed potatoes. Do they even have potato in them? They sound suspect to me. Like the time I tried mock-turtle. I thought I was supposed to be eating a really derisive amniote. That poor turt’ was probably innocent of any wrong-doing!

You remember the night I nearly set the kitchen on fire when I went to bed with all those Tostitos in the oven? It was the time your mother came to stay. She brings it up every family gathering, but what she always neglects to mention is that I told her to come and wake me up when the Tostitos were ready. That woman put all of our lives in danger that night, particularly the lives of her own grandchildren. Think on that for a moment before you invite her to stay again.

What’s with an egg-flip anyway? You use that thing for other stuff, right? It should just be called a food-flip, or grub-flip. Dunno, “egg-flip” just seems really fucking stupid to me, is all.

Can’t you just make something really easy, like packet-soup? What, are you above drinking your dinner now? In fact, I’m not even hungry anymore. Just thirsty.

Well, if you’re so intent on making me the bad guy, fine! I’m the man who hasn’t ever cooked a single meal for his wife, nor even reheated one. Christ, why am I on trial here?!

Baby, I don’t want to lose you. You’re my everything. I couldn’t imagine a world in which I didn’t wake up to see your smiling face slightly out of focus and obscured by a steaming plate with a grilled cheese sandwich atop it that you’re holding out towards me. You’re the most beautiful woman in the world who has ever made me osso buco. Ever.

I’ve taken you for granted all of these years, I see that now. I’ve never fully appreciated all of the things you do for me. But can’t you just keep doing all those things please? I promise I’ll appreciate them more.

Okay, look, you want me to make dinner? Fine! I’ll make dinner. Jesus. Don’t blame me if it tastes like garbage. It’ll be all your fault for making me do it. And you’re doing the washing up. I’m not suffering two defeats in one evening.

Honey, where’re you going?

*SLAM*

Huh, she must be going to get takepit. I knew she’d cave. I hope that deep down she knows that I love her and to get my burger without onions.

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