so the other side of this cooking-based gender interaction also has me a bit distracted. on the one hand, as i tried to say earlier, (or next, if you're reading for the first time in blog order), there seems to be an emotional dimension to a woman cooking for a man that rarely gets properly evaluated, if the implications of wrangham's book and my own present interpersonal self-actualization are to be believed. in the case of my ex, the extent of any potential evaluation was based solely upon the premise of "cooking as a chore", and, let's just say, from firsthand experience, and for both of us, i can tell you that nobody wins at that game. cooking can and will be a chore if you approach it that way, and let me be the first to inform any of those wrestling with this premise as part of a new marital relationship that, yes, there are going to be some gastronomical speed bumps ahead.
the other premise i instinctively (and through experience) reject is "cooking as a quid pro quo for hunting", because, quite literally, this is based upon the "cooking as a chore" premise, (otherwise why would anyone need a pro quo?), and that's always going to end you up in the very same place.
look--if pre-historic men had to hunt or else women wouldn't cook for them, and if pre-historic women had to cook or else men wouldn't hunt for them, then i can't possibly see how we would have survived as a species. (disagree? try telling a child to clean up their room for any reason at all and tell me what you find out). my gut tells me (hehehe--didja get it?) that the reason we all, all us genders, evolved to do what we do, is because somewhere, deep down inside us, there's a genetic and instictive hard-wiring that results in our LIKING to do what we did and do to survive. otherwise, being stubborn and contrary creatures, we wouldn't do it.
yeah, sure, pain reflexes evolved, too, to drive us to seek food in order to resolve hunger and such, (and, oh, don't we love to exploit such things while "teaching" our young), but i have to believe that positive drives and emotions are what really get us going, (teenage sex being case in point numbers one through infinity), and it's not so hard to believe that there's something deep down inside each and every one of us in our various gender specifications that survives to motivate us in very pre-historic (and positive) ways.
(i know you want to disagree, and i want you to, too--please discuss!)
so, to answer my ex and everybody else with their genetic blinders on, there is no answer to "what's in it for she" (that's a play on "me" folks--catch up) that doesn't start with the word NOTHING. i am quite satisfied, both from failed marital experience as well as reading wrangham's book, that there is NOTHING in it for a woman who wants to cook for a man--at least other than what's in it for herself. if you're a woman, and if you don't enjoy cooking for a man, i don't know what to tell you, other than to say that all this hokum here is exactly that, and you should have stopped reading it long ago, not to mention cooking, cuz it's only going to give you indigestion.
what i do mean to say is, if you DO enjoy cooking for a man, i'm suspicious that society's suggestions that you get anything else back for it from him are likely sending you down a blind and dead-end evolutionary alley. (back to the "cooking as a chore" thing). if it's all about his response to you and your cooking, then, set your watch, because eventually you're going to become disappointed and disillusioned with how little he really appreciates it. (think about it--if he is, as i am, selfish enough to be psyched to sit down to a nice home-cooked meal without any pro quos involved, then he is, as i am, selfish enough to eventually forget to give you sufficient positive feedback about it).
so, what's in it for him/me, if not his expressed appreciation for being cooked for? (that's not a preposition with which to end a sentence, by the way, but some sort of mal-formed infinitive). first of all, i know first-hand there's a whole lot of satisfaction to be gained from winning the hunt. heck, i even successfully deluded myself into taking satisfaction from winning the fantasy baseball pool again this year. i like to (and literally cannot help myself from doing it) regard my ex wife and all her "independence" as the illusion she maintains so as to retain her delusions of self-respect in the face of the larger truth that *I* and my alimony are what support her, even now, and her being divorced cannot refute the fact that she is, still, though untouched as she may be in the carnal sense, kept. don't know how much of the joke is on me, that she may be running around in thong underwear and dispensing favors to other guys not doing her "hunting" for her, but it's a pretty good joke nonetheless.
want to know what i think? i really don't think about that (the enjoyment of eating a meal cooked for me) side of things. I just like to win and succeed and know my family is provided for. (there's that infinitive thing again). and i do. and i couldn't be more satisfied. ESPECIALLY after consuming a well-cooked meal.
yes, i'll ask you to keep it on the QT, but i kinda find myself compelled to want to provide for ALL the people i care about in my life. i'm feeling better about myself today because i think, in some small way, and maybe mr. wrangham will or won't agree with me on this one, it's what makes me a man.
what's for dinner?