Posted by: foodtalker | April 20, 2010

the real deal

I’ve just read this headline: “One minute Stacey is washing the arugula for dinner.  The next she’s hearing her husband tell her that their marriage is over.” 

What an astonishing moment.  There’s Stacey washing and spinning the salad and then, out of the blue, twenty years of marriage down the sink with the stalks.  

It must have been the arugula that made him snap. 

Did Stacy not read the book “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche”?  If she had she’d surely have known that if quiche was off the table, arugula was off the wall for a Real Man.  

So I got to wondering, what is a Real Man? 

Apparently in Arkansas the only necessary qualification is a pick-up truck.  

I called around. 

My friend Liz said a Real Man “is one who will buy me white wine and ice cream whenever I want it and think nothing about driving 125 miles to my favourite Japanese restaurant to pick up some sushi.”   But that answer seemed more about Liz than a Real Man.  Anyway, Liz is one of my friends who seemingly hasn’t found one yet.  Many men, real or otherwise, after the long slog to pick up sushi must have realized that two of them loving Liz might not be the most sound basis for a long relationship. 

Amanda’s requirements were a little less egocentric. For her a Real Man must practice at least one kind of expressive art, and she specified that working on cars didn’t count.  So she won’t be moving to Little Rock. 

It seemed only fair to let a male weigh in.  I asked my friend Rob for his opinion.   In a micro-macho-moment he said “a Real Man is strong”.  Enlarged and expanded I took this to mean no crying, no moaning, no complaining, no sick days and no running to the doctor with a sniffle or an ingrown toenail.  He agreed but added that a Real Man is firm.  “You know, if life’s a bitch, a real man will slap it and move on”.  Whoaa.    He tried to tone it down.  “What I mean is if spiders scare you you’ll never be a Real Man.” 

But what do men eat if it’s not quiche and they are steadfast arugula refuseniks?  According to Ben Feirstein, Real Men are meat and potatoes eaters.  Real Men eat beef.  They eat frozen peas.  And watermelon.  Plus French fries and apple pie.  As a general rule, Real Men won’t eat anything that’s poached, sautéed, minced, blended, glazed, curried, flambéed, stir-fried or on a stick with a fancy French name.  Real Men don’t eat brie; they prefer presliced, individually wrapped American singles.  Real Men don’t start the day with eggs Benedict; they eat flapjacks.  Or bacon.  Or – if possible – roofing nails.  Real Men don’t know how to cook; they only know how to thaw.  And – above everything else – all trends aside – Real Men refuse to refer to spaghetti as pasta. 

For me though, it doesn’t matter if a man is real, surreal or virtually real, I’m not interested in a man with power, just power tools so he can fix stuff, starting with the salad spinner.



  1. Answer to the question is easy…A real man simply provides what a woman wants.

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