Seeing as I'm only mortal, it's natural to assume that I need to eat. Whether I've shared it online or not, I can assure you, I've been doing it all my life! I am possibly one of the fortunate few who come from a household where gender roles are considered a hindrance to the daily running of a household. Cooking was never my mother's role, and hauling in the weekly groceries was never my father's. There are still days where my mum is at a conference and my dad is home early, making dinner (although there was this one time where he made lamb curry with brussel sprouts...) You can imagine how a 23 year old woman would be perplexed when people assume I cook for a spouse, for my family or some other duty-bound ritual. Can't I just cook because I think it's important to be connected to the thing that is meant to nourish you? As much as I believe in the uniting power of sharing a meal, there has never been a time where I have felt the desire to dish a plate because I thought it would make me look good. I mean, when did sustenance become more than just the sheer carnal instinct for survival? I'm merely living life trying to strike the balance between becoming a rotting carcus or a walking clogged artery!
Flip the coin and it's a whole other saga. Okay, so this one may be more of an internal conflict rather than something that was mentioned in conversation. As someone who loved academia so much I put myself in the seventh circle of Hell three times over, I'd like to think that I'm pretty well caught up on things. I was told by somebody's-neighbour's-aunty not to pursue a Masters' at one point because I would out-qualify my future husband. After I proceeded to wipe the floor with that statement, I couldn't help but wonder- is being an all-encompassing woman counter intuitive? Am I defeating the purpose of being educated and opinionated by allowing others to think that I yearn to play this role of an 'angel in the house'? Can I not be both strong-minded and soft-hearted? Does it make me weak to love seeing the excitement and hubbub around a dinner table? Like I said, perhaps I'm making something out of nothing and it's all in my head but it has got me questioning the progress that we've made as a society.
Ever since I began Golden Tiffin, I have received an overwhelmingly positive response and a lot of the time, it's from people I have never met. However, there are the occasional times where a shadow falls across my path with veiled compliments like: "I never knew you could cook!" or "Your husband/boyfriend/partner is going to be one lucky guy!" I have started to begin my day with a morning prayer that God, if you believe me to be righteous, please don't throw a "You'd make the perfect daughter in law!" comment my way today. I wasn't aware that loving the warmth of a busy kitchen meant I was signing up to a life of servitude.
If there's anything you take away, let it be this: I don't cook for anyone else but me. And neither should you.