I learned a great lesson on how to keep a marriage happy from the French master chef Jacques Pepin. He was on the radio on Thanksgiving Day (on NPR, of course—you know me!) talking about cooking for the holiday with Lynne Rosetto Kasper of The Splendid Table. She does a turkey day program every year called Turkey Confidential. Listeners can call in and ask all manner of questions regarding the preparation, cooking and serving of virtually anything you can imagine. It’s quite informative, and lots of fun to listen to if you happen to be alone in the kitchen on that day!
|Lynne Rosetto Kasper|
One of her guests was the aforementioned Jacques Pepin. He’s very amusing and entertaining, and being a Frenchman of the old school, I must say that he is also charming. In the midst of all the discussion of how to choose your ingredients, how to clean, slice, and dice them, how to safely cook them and how to beautifully serve them, Monsieur Pepin slipped in the most valuable nugget of info of the decade. I will share it with you. Perhaps many, many marriages and other relationships can be saved.
Jacques Pepin noted almost offhandedly that there was a point on which he and his wife disagreed. They therefore did what she wanted, as their plan is that when they differ, they do what she wants. At the same time, when they agree on things, they do what he wants. This, he avers, is completely fair. I agree. It just ain’t never gonna happen in this marriage. You recall that I am married to the Center of the Universe, so we handle things differently.
In our marriage, CoTU handles all the small decisions, and I handle all the big decisions. We’re just so lucky that in all these years we’ve never had to make a big decision.