Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dear Mama Mary -
I'm finally moving out and my mother is letting me take cookware from my grandmother's old stuff. Mama Mary, what do I need besides pots and pans?
A Newly Emancipated Daughter

Dear Daughter -
Congratulations on both the giant step towards being a responsible adult, but also on your cookware score!
Here's my list of the bare bones of a well-equipped kitchen: a small, medium, and large saucepan, a stockpot or Dutch oven (or both), a small and a really oven-safe large frying pan, a slotted and a regular large spoon, a wooden spoon, spatulas for turning and for scraping, a set of tongs, a paring knife, a carving knife, a bread knife, a vegetable peeler, a vegetable brush, a basting brush, measuring cups and spoons and large Pyrex measuring cup. These tools are all you need to cook. For baking, also include a sifter, cookie sheets, muffin tins, 13x9 and 11x7 pans. It sounds like a lot, but it will all fit into 1 standard utility drawer and 1 cabinet.
Dear Mama Mary -
Why do the guys that break up with me end up with these girls that, well, I'm better looking than them! And they're like a box of rocks, too. Why?
A Still Unattached Daughter

Dear Daughter -
Simple - you're intimidating them!  You're beautiful. And you're smart. Either one of those would intimidate a guy, but together? It takes a really special person to handle both. And knowing, you, Daughter, you're willing to correct ignorance, which deflates a male ego, especially an immature one. And you dress to impress when you go out, which attracts circles of admirers, which a guy views as instant competition.
(The husband said something to me on this subject recently. He says a beautiful woman really does make a man think "I'm not worthy".   [I hear it in Wayne & Garth's voices.] He says it takes a lot of ego to think you could get, let alone keep, a beautiful woman. So that's the guy's side.)
These guys realize that not only are you smarter (and more ambitious, courageous, popular, et c.) then him, you're likely to leave him because your beauty keeps an ever-refreshing pool of new guys around. The guy bails, and settles for a girl or woman that's "below" him, so he can get his ego propped back up. This poor female will probably adore him, but whatever. Not our problem.
Your mission is to find a guy that's your equal, or who accepts that you're smarter and/or more attractive than he is, who accepts your intelligence and treasures your beauty, both inside and out. They are out there, but remember my 90% rule, which means they're outnumbered by assholes. Know this, and have fun looking!