Pass This Fad Around

Many men are incapable of doing anything by half. Guys don’t say, “Hey, I’m going to take up biking to work for health and economy.” A guy doesn’t take up biking. He becomes a Biker. This means he buys a $3,000 bike, an indecent spandex suit, a high-tech hydration pack with a bracelet that monitors his blood and beeps if he’s getting dehydrated, special shoes that clip to his pedals (never understood the point of those), and a meter for his bike wheel so he knows how many miles he’s pedaled. And don’t forget the pre-vulcanized patch kit, mini-pump, and wrench set that fit into a little soft case under his gel-cushioned seat.

It doesn’t stop there. Anyone can bike to work. But a Biker bikes. Suddenly, he’s up early doing 50 miles before breakfast. He’s entering himself in bicycle centuries around the country. He brags that he once did 50 mph downhill, and that his bike only weighs 6 pounds. He subscribes to Cycling monthly where he learns to coordinate his breathing with his pedaling. And so on. 

So, sometimes it’s probably better if your man sits on the couch playing Call of Duty. It’s cheaper, and at least you get to see him.

But then again, sometimes you benefit if your man goes crazy. Which is why I’m reposting this NYTimes article about men and cooking. Guys, read this: Cooking is cool. I mean, how bad can it be if our men learn to putter around the kitchen?

Well, actually… In No Cheating No Dying, the author has a husband who obsessively works his way through some slab-sized haute cuisine cookbooks. Any day she is likely to catch him dismembering a whole, freshly killed pig on the counter, so as to get truly fresh mashed brains. Slavish devotion to progress through the cookbook subsumed any concern for keeping the wife happy. The author notes that one salad she really liked didn’t reappear for another four years. He’d already done it, so why waste time doing it again?

Still, for all that, I think we net benefit when a guy begins to take the kitchen seriously, so I’m encouraging it. Just, for God’s sake, guys, keep away from the molecular gastronomy.