Going Back to the Basics

August 12, 2012 at 8:33 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I recently spent an evening in the company of two young women in West Seattle. We had a fantastic time. We ate Mexican food for dinner and one of them mentioned that she was glad black beans were served instead of refried beans. I protested, informing them that I loved refried beans, and they responded that they are full of fat. Well this was news to me. I thought the same thing until I looked on the nutrition facts for a can of refried beans at the store – no fat at all. How could this be? Well, as it turns out, the restaurants add lard or some other kind of fat to thin the beans out and make them delicious. This came as both good and bad news. Finally I felt like it wasn’t my fault that the refried beans I made at home could never seem to taste as good as the ones in the restaurant, but it also meant I had to cut back on my extra side of refried beans whenever I went to a Mexican restaurant.

But more to the point, perhaps, was that it got me thinking: when was the last time I met a female who could teach me anything about cooking? With feminism and idiocy in full swing these days, it seems young women would starve if not for restaurants. Of course, there are plenty of men out there the same way – let’s not discriminate here (yes, I know, don’t have a heart attack). I’ve been sort of dating around, sort of seeing a girl here or a girl there. (Actually, most of it is sort of texting a girl here, sort of texting a girl there. I think this is the consensus definition of dating among young women. They are socially crippled by things like Facebook and texting – but that’s another rant.) Nothing ever amounts to more than 0 dates (occasionally I get to one). It’s due in equal parts to my incompetence with women and the incompetence of the women I meet. None of them know how to even meet a guy in person, let alone know how to cook. But enough about that.

I have thought about it a lot since it happened, and I think I’m ready to make a generalized statement to the effect that most young people (i.e., 30 and down) don’t have a damn clue on how to go about the general, daily workings of their lives. It could be that our parents were too good at taking care of us. It could be that college and the military are the two things young people usually do now, and both of them do everything for you except scrubbing you in the tub. It could be that home economics got a bad rap in middle school, so nobody took it (or took it seriously). I don’t really know where or how the knowledge was lost.

But one thing is certainly clear: it needs to be found. Things like cooking, cleaning, laundry, ironing, gardening, etc – they don’t really change drastically over time. The need for them doesn’t ever go away, either.

It seems to me that most young people simply expect to open the fridge and have something sitting there for them to eat. I guess this shouldn’t come as a surprise since young people are awful planners. I actually observed yesterday a young couple standing in front of a restaurant in downtown West Seattle. They were discussing whether they wanted to go into this one or another one. “What do you feel like, honey?” I facepalmed on the spot. It’s a damn convenient thing there were half a dozen different kinds of cuisine within a block radius, otherwise they would have been fucked. PLANNING! Fail! It frustrates me to no end.

I keep going off on side rants here. Anyways, point of the story is that none of that shit just happens. You don’t just go to the grocery store and have divine inspiration tell you what ingredients to buy for some amazing Indian dish tonight. That’s assuming you have the foresight to get to the grocery store in the first place. And going to the grocery store four times per week is a fast way to unnecessarily spend a lot of time and money – and a quick way to burn you out. Enter the art and science of meal planning. It’s a real thing – look it up. And as much as you might like to believe it, nice, pressed clothes and clean suits do not just appear in your closet. You have to do shit to make that happen, too. And this is all a bunch of work that has to happen just so you can do what you mostly do with your life anyway – go to work.

So now that I’ve dampened your already bleak hold on reality, let me say a few positive things. Learning the various components of “home economics” has a lot of benefits. For one thing, your clothes, shoes, appliances, and other personal belongings will last a lot longer and look a lot better. I mean who seriously polishes their shoes anymore? But who shouldn’t? They last so much longer and look so much better. Ironing clothes properly helps them hold their shape and appeal a lot longer, too. Ironing them improperly shortens their useful lives considerably. Planning meals in advance will save you a great deal of time, headache, and money. It sure is cheaper to take a good, satisfying lunch to work than it is to buy something less than healthy for you on the fly. You also won’t be wondering what you are going to do for dinner when you get home exhausted from work every day. And if you planned in advance, you won’t have to go to the grocery store or to Taco Bell. It may be a pain in the ass at first, but it’s sure worth the trouble in the end.

As far as actually educating yourself goes, the internet is as much as you ever need. Sure, you could probably go to great lengths to find a class on some related topic or something. If that’s what you’d rather do then, by all means, go for it. But the internet can teach you to properly iron a shirt. There are recipes and basic cooking guides all over the place. Every time I find a recipe I like, I write it into a cookbook document I created in Word. Every once in a while I print a bunch of pages off and put the into an ongoing binder I keep in the kitchen (it makes a nice display piece, too). The hardest part isn’t even learning – it’s just having the discipline to set aside the time to do it on a regular basis. Find what works for you. Maybe you do everything on a Saturday or Sunday when you would have been scarfing cheetos on the couch anyway. Maybe you hit the store twice per week and plan only half of a week at a time – I find this works best because I eat mostly fresh foods that don’t keep for an entire week. And if you’re worried about cramming this into your schedule, then I suggest you take a good, hard look at said schedule. I bet if you tally it all up, you’re spending more time on this sort of thing now than you would be if you did it the right way. It’s not rocket science at all.

So, there you have it. My relatively short rant on people being incompetent at life. I only used a few “curse” words as well. I think this represents a great accomplishment. Now I’m off to do my laundry.


1 Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. I like this one! And I agree with all of the above, it’s not rocket science šŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: