I met my girlfriend for cocktails one afternoon for a well needed therapy session. As we sat chatting with our martinis and appetizers, I noticed that we were the only women in the entire place. I said to her, “Look around, we’re the only women in the restaurant. Where the hell is everybody!?” She responded, “Well, they’re probably home getting dinner ready or running the kids around somewhere. Don’t you remember it wasn’t too long ago we were doing the same thing.” Just as she said that the man’s happy hour began. Three guys walked in, sat at the bar, ordered their beers, and started bitching and moaning about their day. The both of us rolled our eyes by the way that the guys were talking which set the tone for a change in my perception during this happy hour.
As my girlfriend and I blocked out the white noise from the men and began our girl talk, she interrupted my bitch session and said, “Remind me to order pizza
before we leave. Oh, and I gotta pick up milk too.” I looked at her and said, “Are you fucking kidding me? Here we are at happy hour and you are slipping back to Betty Crocker mode and worrying about dinner.” As I took a sip of my drink, I ordered another cosmo for myself and a dirty martini for her. I looked at her and said, “You’re not ordering a damn pizza or picking up milk. It’s Friday and they can fend for themselves.” As I was drowning Betty Crocker with the vodka, the Gloria Steinem in me was emerging and I said, “Tonight we are starting a revolution. If anyone asks the forbidden question of what’s for dinner, we will look at them and say, ‘Make your own damn dinner!’” Just then, my cell phone rang, I looked to see who was calling and, of course, it was my son. I said to my girlfriend, “Let the games begin.”
I picked up the phone and said, “Yup.” And he said, “Where are you, are you cooking tonight?” My response: “I’m out, I’m not cooking. So make your own damn dinner!” and I hung up the phone. My girlfriend started laughing her ass off and I said, “If he calls back I’ll do what he does to me, I won’t answer the phone. Asking a mother if she is cooking is grounds for an old fashion beating if I say so myself! Even if you’re starving you never ask your mother if she is cooking. Yup- tonight’s dinner is one of my all time favorites, ‘make your own damn dinner’ and if no one likes it, it’s too damn bad!”
Yes, the Betty Crocker days are long behind us, but it seems like it’s something we always have to deal with. “Make your own damn dinner” wouldn’t ever have to be said if the cries from Betty Crocker weren’t real. We all feel Betty’s pain, but we don’t have to suffer in silence anymore. If we want to cook we cook. If we don’t… well, then we won’t! Let’s face it, all that cooking back in the day left us feeling so unappreciated at times because no one gave a damn about how much time and effort we put into it. Same thing with cleaning; we bust our asses cleaning the floor like Cinderella and our husbands walk in with dirty work boots with no regard that we just cleaned.
Looking back in time, all mother’s suffered the pain from Betty; devoting their lives to cooking and cleaning all because they were in Betty Crocker mode, the silent
killer. Yet if they allowed the Gloria Steinem side of themselves to emerge, they wouldn’t have had to suffer though their life one meal at a time, satisfying the needs of others and not themselves. This way of life made them become what I call a “Bitchy Betty Crocker”… and that’s one bitch I refuse to be.
After that, my girlfriend said, “Well, you sold me on that one! I’m not bringing home a pizza or stopping for milk anymore, they can make their own damn dinner. Now let’s order some food!”
As the vodka flowed and the conversation with lots of laughs filled the air, I scanned the restaurant and noticed that we weren’t alone anymore. There were now two tables near the bar filled with women and the men were outnumbered. Seems like we all had the same idea for tonight; to put Betty Crocker where she belongs, in B.C.—and tell everyone to, “Make your own damn dinner.”