Women Belong in the Kitchen?

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“Back in the day” I never thought I’d say this, but I can’t wait to get into the kitchen. I love being in my kitchen. Even when it’s a huge disastrous mess, I still cannot wait to get into my kitchen. I can CREATE there.

So my (delicious) partner asks me: Why didn’t you think you’d ever say you couldn’t wait to get into the kitchen?

Is this not obvious? Maybe it’s not, so here goes: I never thought I’d say that because for so much of my life I was anti-anything that might make me feminine. Have you been through this? I still encounter women who say things like: all my friends are men, or I’m more like a man; I don’t like feelings, or nothing really bothers me, I don’t know why women get so emotional.

Two things about this: if you really do NOT deal in feelings and you really are NOT emotional, then it’s awesome that you’re in alignment and living your life in integrity.

For the rest of us: cut the shit. We can be powerful and strong and still have emotions. We can be career women and still wear aprons. We can love sleeping under the stars and still own hot pink stilettos. We can be artists and still decorate cookies with our kids.

Many of you already understand all of this. For me, it took years. I grew up hearing things like: “You are too sensitive,” or “Toughen up, Crispo.” I lived in a house where a show of emotions wasn’t encouraged (in order to please, I held them in).

I was livid, deep down inside, about what I saw as a double standard between men and women. I was assertive and strong and (dare I admit, controlling), but I also had all of this feminine softness wanting to express. I could look at the mountains and literally cry because the Love I could see radiating from them was too much for my heart to take.

That, of course, is a super long answer to my boyfriend’s question. But the fact is, I fought the damn (and very old) saying that “women belong in the kitchen.” And the truth of the matter is, being in there and getting my hands in the fresh produce and creating new combinations. . . it’s healing me. It’s done so much to teach me that I AM a woman, and I can be in that and love that and quit trying to be something other than what I AM.

So when I realize (as I just did) that I don’t have to work tonight, my first thought is to get into the kitchen. Fall is upon us, and up here in the St. Lawrence Valley winter comes quick. But summer produce is not quite gone. And I have bowls of hot peppers: Hungarian wax peppers, jalapenos, Serrano peppers. I’ve got garden herbs to tie and hang. The lavender I hung this week has already changed the scent in my whole humble house.

Another day, another moment of gratitude. It’s a choice. I am choosing to see miracles.

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