I don’t pronounce myself an expert on dating, but as a married man and father of two, I feel I have some wisdom to share. I also believe anime, with all its quirks and make-believe scenarios, can teach us something about relationships. With this in mind, I’ll be sharing a bit about relationships over the next three Wednesdays, presenting points that may be considered unusual by western standards. But my hope is that you’ll consider these principals as you engage in or seek romantic relationships.
Cooking Is for Ladies
Any of us could probably easily list a dozen or more scenarios, symbols, or other items that pop up time and time again in anime. One trait that’s common is for a show to feature a female character who tries to cook something for a boy, but fails miserably.
She can’t cook, even though she’s a woman. Get it? It’s hilarious. -_-‘
Okay, maybe it’s funnier from an eastern perspective, where the traditional “wife in the kitchen” role is stronger (although I admit I personally find the trope humorous). But I was reminded of the trait when my wife (who luckily doesn’t read my blog!) cooked pho the other day. She’s actually quite a good cook, but an inexperienced one, so it was no surprise when everything in her dish turned out quite tasty, but the overcooked noodles sucked up all the soup and turned the dish into mush.
My wife complained about the quality of the soup. I pointed out that we were all enjoying it: “Pho-get about it!”
But later, as I was cleaning the pot, I did complain about having to clean up the mess. She replied that it was my fault.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because,” she replied, “You said ‘I do.’”
The Server is More Important Than the Chef
Those who know me best know that one of the two quickest ways to my heart is through food. Make me a yummy meal and I’m a happy man. But cooking, obviously, wasn’t a concern for me when deciding whether to ask my wife (then girlfriend) to marry me.
In a marriage, and hopefully in any dating relationship, there’s a sharing of roles. If the wife wants to be in the traditional housewife-type role, then so be it. If the husband wants to reverse that, then that’s great. If it’s somewhere in between, that’s fine, too.
But more than that, I want to emphasize that in whatever the pair does for each other, they should do so with a serving heart.
Serving demonstrates love because it emphasizes sacrifice. Serving isn’t easy – it’s a denial of self and a weighing down of pride. It can be insulting, annoying, or boring. For instance, I do the dishes at home…I hate doing dishes. But it’s one role I take on to serve my wife and my kids.
In my wife’s case, her serving led to frustration, but it also demonstrated a…mushy love. But that love was also a wonderful kind – one that filled the stomach and warmed the heart.