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Dear Todd Parker (02/15/2017)

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Dear Todd Parker,

I’ve been dating a wonderful man for a little over a year. He’s smart and sexy and lots of fun. He treats me exactly the way that I’ve always wanted to be treated in a relationship. He’s so sensitive to my needs, always there to help me with anything. He’s just wonderful.

There’s just one problem. His cooking.

I know this sounds trivial, but hear me out. Fred (not his real name) first cooked for me on our one-month anniversary. He had often talked about his love of cooking and was very proud of his skills … skills he couldn’t wait to show me. That night, beaming with pride after hours in the kitchen, he set before me a plate filled with unimaginable horror.

Remember that kid in elementary school who would stir everything on his hot lunch tray together and eat it on a dare? That’s what this plate looked like. And it tasted worse.

He cooks dinner for me almost every week and it never gets any better. Even when the food is recognizable, it still tastes terrible. And he’s so proud of himself – he seriously doesn’t know how awful his cooking is. No idea. He eats with relish and beams when he watches me chow down. Meanwhile, I’m just trying not to gag.

What do I do? I don’t want to hurt his feelings – he really is a wonderful guy – but I can’t handle it anymore. It’s gotten so that I dread seeing him, never knowing if I’ll have to choke down another culinary monstrosity. Help!

Disgusted in Bangor

Dear Disgusted,

Gross. If it weren’t for the whole “wonderful” thing, I’d ask if you were dating Guy Fieri.

Seriously, there are few things worse than eating terrible food. Eating should be one of our most pleasurable experiences, so having it corrupted can be disheartening.

Believe it or not, I understand (and mostly condone) what you’ve done here – especially if the guy is as otherwise awesome as you say. Many men are prideful creatures; if they’ve decided that they are good at something, it can be devastating to disabuse them of that notion.

Your guy honestly believes himself to be a good cook, yet he is not. You have spent a year doing your due diligence to ensure that he can maintain that belief. Good on you. While dishonesty is generally a bad path to travel in relationships, this is that rare example of a harmless white lie.

Harmless to everyone but you, that is. It’s going to suck to hear this, but you’re going to have to tell him. You can only bite the bullet for so long; stuff like this can lead to a slowly growing resentment that could easily infect the rest of your relationship.

As to how, well, that’s a tough one. Your best move might just be to try and incorporate yourself into his cooking process. Tell him you want to make dinner together; you can watch and see for yourself just how he’s screwing everything up. Drop gentle hints - I really like this flavor; I prefer my meat cooked this way; I want to try that spice – that might help you steer him toward edibility.

Or just get a dog. Dogs don’t care what they eat if it’s coming from your plate.

(Note: After lengthy inquiry, it has been confirmed that Disgusted is not in fact dating Guy Fieri.)

Last modified on Wednesday, 15 February 2017 13:03


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