When Mondays Rule
Why it’s not always a bummer to be married to the chef.
April 14, 2016 ● 2 min read
You’re out on a hot date, watching my husband’s every move.
It’s Saturday night, and he’s cooking dinner for you. He’s attentive to your needs, and does everything in his power to give you a perfect night. He’ll be with you every weekend, every Valentine’s Day, every New Year’s Eve. He’ll never miss your birthday.
Me? Mondays are what I live for. I’m married to a Michelin-starred chef, and contrary to what most people think, he spends a lot more time cooking for you than he does for me.
Being married to a chef means being ok with long workdays. It means understanding that sometimes we don’t actually see each other for days at a time, beyond a quick kiss goodnight and a kiss goodbye the next morning. Holidays, birthdays and anniversaries will rarely be celebrated on their designated days. It means actively choosing to be happy, instead of resenting the schedule that frames our lives. Maybe we would bicker more if we spent more time together, maybe our honeymoon phase is lasting a little longer than most. Whatever it may be, it works for us. We choose it.
It means his work family becomes my de facto family, which means I share my partner with a goofy, lovable sous chef from Alaska that will tell you he loves you more than your own mother does. He encourages everyone to be their best, belts out pop punk tunes while you’re walking down a crowded sidewalk, and is always the too-loud guy at the bar. He spends more time with my husband in a week than I do in a month; spending the days chatting, laughing and accomplishing something great together.
Sure, I occasionally wonder if he knows more about my husband than I do, but I also understand the dynamic of the kitchen, because I’ve been there; I went through culinary school, worked in the pastry department of a Michelin-starred restaurant, dipped my toe into the catering pool, and helped open a handful of spots. I’ve worked the long hours, and I don’t regret them — I made some amazing friends, and I met my husband. I can’t work in the kitchen anymore, but I still understand what it’s like, what it takes, and why he does it. I’d like to imagine our relationship would work even if I didn’t, but it’s that background allows me to recognize that the teamwork and sense of family built in his kitchen will naturally carry over into our life outside of it.
No matter what you do for a career, a successful relationship will always take work, compromise, sacrifice; a relationship entrenched in a kitchen leans more heavily on compassion. At the end of the day, we make each other better when I buy in to the insanity that's part of helming a Michelin-starred ship, and he supports me in whatever I set my mind to outside of that world.
So sometimes he has to get creative to get out those last few reservations on a Sunday night so we can linger over take-out, a bottle of wine, and a bonfire in our backyard. And on Mondays, the restaurant gets put on the back burner and my husband is just my husband. Mondays make it all worth it.