Wifey-In-Training: If I’m Not Born With The Desire To Be Betty Crocker, Am I Doomed For Love?

August 1, 2013  |  

Source: Shutterstock.com


There’s only one time in my life that I actually wanted to stay in a kitchen, hunched over a cutting board and stirring over a low flame. It was during junior year, the prime of my undergraduate struggle. My bro-friend invited me to come and chill with him in a mutual friend’s room, this friend being one who I had a minor “thing” for at the time. Let’s call him Chef. We all chitchatted idly for a few hours until my bro-friend left for whatever reason, leaving me and Chef in the suite. This is all rated G, I swear. He’d mentioned that he was going to a party later that evening, and I’m not sure how my lack of culinary skills came up, but he began a tutorial on how to prepare curry chicken, the dish he planned to contribute to the affair. We seasoned, stewed, talked and taste-tested in the kitchenette, laughing about everything and nothing in between steps. It was innocent and adorable, and I’m a sucker for cute, non-sexual stuff like that. My afternoon felt perfect…that is until I received the most deflating compliment I’ve ever received from a guy. “Man, Stacy,” he said with a sweet smile and honest eyes, “You’d be the perfect wifey type if you could cook.” Imagine the high- pitched whooshing noise a balloon makes as it slowly deflates. That, my friends, was the sound of my ego withering away. I smiled back an awkward thank you, finished preparing the meal with him, and walked back to my suite two floors down. Since then, the butterflies in my stomach for him have long flown away, but the question is still etched on the inside of my mind like a fresh tattoo: What exactly is this “wifey type” and if I don’t necessarily fit that mold, am I doomed to single life and friend status?

Of course, the short answer to that is, “No. You’ll find someone eventually.” I know that much. But who wants to depend on the premise of “eventually”? That doesn’t sound very promising. The adverb is defined as such: in the end, especially after a long delay, dispute or series of problems. Series of problems? Is that what I am? Look, I’m only non-domestic because I’m missing the gene that makes me naturally want to be. I didn’t really see myself as lacking until it was brought to my attention. I’ve graduated from junior high, high school and college with honors, I’m focused when it comes to my career, I love the Lord, I don’t do drugs, I have no criminal record, I’m not a h*e, and I have a great relationship with my family. Up until recent years, I have been pretty content with myself. Plus, I’ve been told before (by an annoyingly excessive amount of people) that I have a natural motherly way about me. However, according to Google, my inability to throw down in the kitchen, disdain for washing dishes, and internal rejection of a “Cater 2 U” lifestyle is problematic. So while I may end up a good mother, my wifey material standing is still on the rocks. Wonderful.

Chef is not the only person that pointed out my shortcomings in the marriage-material department. My dad even playfully sneaks hints at me from time to time. One day when I was thinking out loud about how amazing the feeling of washing my hair is (because it truly is), he inquired smugly, “What about cooking in the kitchen?” Thanks, Dad. Not helping at all. This is the age where all such questions and discussions are valid and all those games of house and tea party hostess come into play. You can’t really blame me for fretting. Aside from birthday reminders and Farmville requests, every Facebook login comes with sonogram scans, engagement announcements, wedding albums and other pesky reminders that I’m absolutely NOWHERE near being some man’s wife. Heck, I don’t even remember how to be a girlfriend anymore, since my last relationship was six years ago (eons, basically). Instagram feeds me posts of fiancées whipping up wicked meals for their soon-to-be-hubbies, and I’m like damn. Right now, all I can offer you is breakfast (my scrambled eggs, omelettes and tea with milk are bangin,’ though). I’m not saying I have no desire to learn how to cook. I’d be lying if I said that. Before a “he” even steps into the picture, a girl’s gotta eat! I can take care of myself with no problem if I’m living on my own. I keep my personal areas tidy, my clothes clean, and if mom wasn’t still cooking for the household, I’d do more web searches for beginners’ recipes. But how patient will a man be with me if I don’t already come with this seemingly mythical total package — good looks, great sex, better food? How willing is he to teach me some of these things or better yet, for us to learn together?

I’m all for the bosso, I-can-do-bad-all-by-myself modern-day Superwoman. Gon’ head girl, more power to you! But for me, a relationship is only as good as how much the couple can grow and improve together. I’m not expecting a Lance Gross lookalike to ride over on Pegasus, take a knee, and put a damn near supernova on my hand, promising that I’ll never have to lift a finger again (and I pray he’s not expecting some sort of Beyonce/Superhead/Betty Crocker hybrid from me either). I pray that when it’s that time, a guy won’t scan me for “wifey,” but will see an irreplaceable lover, cheerleader and best friend, the only one he could ever see as his wife.


Stacy-Ann Ellis is a New York-based writer and photographer whose work has been featured in VIBE Magazine, VIBE Vixen, Hearts Converse, The Root and The Washington Post. Follow her on Twitter at @stassi_x.

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  • Ifuaskme2

    I skipped right to the end. Yes, you’re doomed; now learn. SMH. Take a class or something. Its important for men like a man with a decent job is important for women. Get over it

  • Kylie

    Wow, I just made curry chicken yesterday. I’m sirprised so many people don’t cook. I absolutely love it.

  • NatashaDecemberBabyThomas

    Before I met my husband I didn’t know how to cook foods like whole turkey for Thanksgiving, fried chicken, meat loaf, pot roast or pork chop. My mom-in-law and my future husband taught me how to cook and seasoned the meat good. Growing up my mom worked 3 jobs a week because my father died when I was 15 and she didn’t have time to cook us, she left me money for food when I got hungry and I would spend it on fast food. I’m glad I’m cooking a meal every night because for one, we have a daughter and two, it’s cheaper than going to fast food restaurants.

  • Proto10

    I love to eat far more than I like to cook. I’ve been fortunate to date men who cook really well and those that didn’t…well, they could definitely take me to great restaurants or order a mean take-out. However, every time I make a dish for family, I get compliments, I just don’t like to do it…all the chopping and slaving over a stove… 30-minute meals over here! I watch a lot of cooking shows for inspiration though. At home I can throw down, but if I’m at a guy’s home and I have to cook, I get performance anxiety…like, what if he doesn’t like my cooking, am I making this salmon right??? I always say I’m going to spend more time trying new dishes, but I never do.

    At the end of the day, it’s not rocket science. Just get a recipe and follow the directions. Always use more meat or cheese than recipe calls for, and you’ll be fine!

  • Danielle

    I feel the same same way! I am not really a good cook, I don’t enjoy it, and I rarely do it. However, I have also been in a successful, loving relationship for 7 months and my man understands and respects the fact that cooking just isn’t my thing. He’s not with me because of my ability or inability to cook. He’s with me because of the bond that we share and the indescribable love that we feel for each other. There is proof that you will find someone even though you can’t or don’t enjoy cooking. All the guys who said that cooking determines your “wifey” status are shallow and superficial…and who really wants to be bothered with that type of guy anyways??

  • T

    Well a person does not necessarily have to know how to cook to land a husband. I didn’t know how to cook when I first got married but I learned and I cook every other day now. It is cheaper and healthier than eating out. We only eat out if I do not feel like cooking. And you do not have to cook everyday either I cook every other day then the next day leftovers. And on Sundays is his day to either cook or we eat out in which we negotiated because I need a rest because we both work. Its all about what works for your relationship. BUT if I was rich and could afford it I would hire someone and eat out everyday in my fantasy world.

  • pickneychile

    I can cook and when I lived with my parents they made each of us cook once a week. I just don’t usually have the desire to. My husband knew this about me before we got married and he still wanted to marry me! Lol, plus he likes cooking so we get to alternate. The comment that guy made rubbed me the wrong way too, but wifey and wife aren’t the same thing in my book. He should have kept that stupidity to himself.

  • AncientSpiritNewDay

    I hate cooking. The only time I cook is when I am in a “cooking mood.”

  • kierah

    My first serious boyfriend told me that if I didn’t know how to cook, I was “useless, as a wife.” Too bad for him (or maybe because of him), I’m a great cook today! He was also a serious jerk…

  • Ms. Kameria

    I can cook…..I like to cook every once in a while, but I still don’t plan on being anybody’s wife.

  • Pivyque

    I can’t lie. I love to cook. I remember being in the kitchen with my grandma throwin down! Oddly enough, my grandma hated to cook. My mom didn’t like to cook either, so I am the odd ball! I think it’s because it brings back the memories of my grandma…and probably because i’m cheap…. 🙂

  • staypositive

    Every man wants something different. Some men especially southern men love for the wives to be “great or good” cooks. The brag about it to their “home boys” that their lady can cook. I would say that if you are planning on getting married one day and starting a family. It is best to start learning how to cook now than later. Eatting out may be good every now and again but really, everyone wants a good home cooked meal. Besides you know its safe BECAUSE YOU COOKED it. I didn’t start out as a great cook. I had to experience trial and error first to perfect my cooking skills. Good luck ladies!

    • guest

      I agree with you. It is much cheaper to cook your own meals. To me, it’s not about being “marriage material”, it is about saving money and knowing what is in your food because you cooked it lol It doesn’t always have to be the wife. There is an increasing number of men that prefer to do the cooking. My brother and his wife switch it up. She cooks most the time because she stays at home, but on his off days, he will make sure that he cooks.

    • Lihau

      “I would say that if you are planning on getting married one day and starting a family. It is best to start learning how to cook now than later.”

      No one ever says anything like this to men.

  • bluekissess

    This has been the first article that I can relate to. I can cook but I don’t enjoy it. I don’t remember it making my toes curl or me jumping for joy. All I can remember growing up is my mom telling me to have a good career. The focus was never about cooking a meal. I do remember this guy telling me if I can’t cook then he’s not taking me out lol. I realized that he was cheap and he didn’t want to spend any money. The men who want us to cook are the same ones who can’t change a tire, know different parts of a car or make a bird house.

    • MissK

      Lol “a bird house…”

      • bluekissess

        Hey for some odd reason men think cooking is easy. If cooking is easy than try to make a bird house