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Six Valentines Day Messages of Love

February 14, 2013 in Celebrate!, Everybody Else, Expectations, Life, Relationships, Valentines Day

Spicy Heart Paprika Tortilla Chips

Photo by Snixy Kitchen

I know.

95% of you will NOT be spending this DAY O’ LOVE  with your other half.

He or she will most likely be cooking up a storm for the masses, who are looking to profess their undying love to someone else.

In reality, your restaurant man/woman will spend the evening weeded, as the flurry of Valentines Day diners allow their restaurant to turn one MAYBE two times tonight.

This is a very successful (meaning profitable) day for the industry worldwide.

Hopefully you’ve been with your other half long enough to sort of navigate through the wave of hearing your friends, co-workers and family oooh and aaah about how they’re “getting jiggy with it” this Valentines Day.

Hopefully you have come to understand that it’s not their FAULT, that because it’s the second most popular day to dine in the restaurant world, that he or she will not be making an appearance to hand deliver your VERY deserving flowers or chocolates or … insert your own gift here.

Finally, maybe you’ve even taken it upon yourself NOT to feel sad and blue, not sequestering yourself at home in front of the TV but have made plans to do something proactive with your evening. If you have children, maybe you focus your energies there, making sure they can feel your love on this day.

That said… no matter how you manage, navigate, accept it…let’s face it. It still stinks.  

It will always stink. There will never be a moment when you’re ever like YAY! I LOVE THAT I DON’T GET TO SPEND VALENTINES DAY WITH MY HUSBAND/ WIFE/ BOYFRIEND/ GIRLFRIEND!!!

No matter how much work you do to understand and accept WHY you are not with your beloved, it will never fully remove the twinge of sadness that you wish you could experience the days worth of swooning and swirling of LOVE that the day inevitably brings to so many.

(Insert your name here), It’s OKAY.

I am here to support you on this day by reinforcing six (6) Valentines Day Messages that I know you DESERVE to hear on this lovey dovey day. Consider this a reminder of how VALUED AND NEEDED I KNOW YOU ARE!!!

Pretend you are hearing this from your other half, okay? I am going to write it as if it was coming from your restaurant man or womans mouth. Consider this EVERYTHING YOU’VE EVER WANTED TO HEAR, from your love.

  1. I NEED YOU.  – Whether I am aware of it or not, whether I tell you often enough OR NOT… I need you. I know I could not get through HALF of the things I get through if I didn’t have you in my life. I know, I forget SO many things sometimes, It must seem like I’m totally oblivious to what’s going on around me on a regular basis, that’s why it’s imporant you know, THAT I KNOW, that I NEED YOU.
  2. I’M SORRY. – Babe, I know that there are so many times when I forget to call you to tell you I’m not going to be home when I told you or that I forgot to pick up my stinky shoes from where I last left them. I am sorry that I am not able to be there when our little ones are sick, because I am on the line and how I know planning a vacation seems almost IMPOSSIBLE. I know it might seem like I do not know what I’m doing most of the time (the truth is, most times I don’t), but I’m sorry for the many times that I’ve not considered your feelings when something that changes in my day, affects you too. I’m sorry I don’t stop to tell you how amazing I think you are enough, how I seriously grateful I am that you manage to continue to stick by me.  I can only HOPE that in some small way, I give you a little of what you give me.
  3. YOU ARE AMAZING. – I know it might seem like days, weeks or months of our lives becoming like one GroundHog Day after another, never telling the difference between one week to the next. SO in the routine of my routine, I can EASILY forget to tell you how AMAZING I think you are. I mean, look at’cha, you HOT potato you. It’s important you know that I think, in the good moments and even not not so good ones that I think you are AMAZING and I am so happy you picked me. Only someone AMAZING like you, has the courage and the strength to manage through my wacky career. I know that part of the reason why I feel SO LIBERATED to shoot for my dreams, and make things happen is because I KNOW that I have someone AMAZING in my corner, cheering me on. I only hope that I do for you, even a little, of what you do for me.
  4. WE ARE AMAZING – Like I said above, it’s so easy to forget how awesome we are together, when life seems to go so quickly, day after day. Sometimes I forget how you help me, and how I help you (even when you don’t see it) and how we have created this FLOW that helps us get through our day to day lives. I love who we are as a couple, a family and even more, how many more exciting things we have to look forward to, as we continue on our journey. I am very proud to be a part of your life, as your (husband/ wife/ boyfriend/ girlfriend)
  5. THANK YOU – You ready? Here it goes…. Thank you for putting up with my long hours, for my forgetfulness (whether it’s selected or not), for forgiving me for the thousandth time for not picking up the dog food at the store, for not being there when the kids are sick, for rarely kissing you good night, for not rubbing your feet when you have a bad day, for pushing me to be the best chef I know, for the times when I know I needed to hear your stern words (even if I didn’t want to at the time) for knowing what I need without me having to say it, for UNDERSTANDING that being with me in this career is not always easy, for finding ways to make life so amazing, for giving me the best gift of the most amazing family, for being the most AMAZING mother to our children, for showing me that you are an independent woman and I don’t have to always worry about you. I am SO grateful for you for this and for SO MANY MORE things… I will just settle here to name just a few. THANK YOU MY LOVE.
  6. I LOVE YOU. –  It goes without saying that you have my heart. I know I don’t always SHOW it, but I LOVE YOU and I am so happy I get to be a part of your life. I am honored that you have picked me to be your partner, your friend and your mate in this life. I am honored to know that your heart is with mine, and this overwhelming feeling that I KNOW that I am EXACTLY where I am supposed to be.

Whether your other half is able to communicate this or not, I just know that they would say these things if they knew how. How I wish I had my husbands voice, saying this to me as a recording on my phone when I needed a reminder. (hmm, maybe a good idea everyone!) *And, if they already say these words freely, REMEMBER THEM when you find yourself in the middle of an argument and forget.

Please read and re-read these six messages when you need to fill yourself up. It’s SO FREAKING EASY to feel empty when life moves so fast, especially when our other half is not there. It’s so easy to FORGET that you have such a vital role in your relationship, resigning to feel like the victim because it didn’t work out the way you expected. PLEASE remember, my dear significant other, that YOU are the cornerstone of this relationship. The more you understand and appreciate who YOU are and what YOU bring to the relationship, I ASSURE you you and your restaurant man or woman WILL feel it, in turn, your relationship and your family will get stronger.

Because today, they are probably up and out of the house early (if not already) to prepare for the hundreds of deuces that are on the books tonight. They will be busy, prepping, directing and expediting, and whether they remember it or not (fingers crossed they do) REMEMBER they are able to do what they do, BECAUSE OF YOU.

Today marks the TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY of Married to a Chefs launch. YAY! I picked today to launch this website because I KNOW FIRSTHAND, how it stinks to not have any plans with my love on this day. It has brought me such JOY to find you, to connect with you and to tell you what I KNOW you deserve (and need) to hear (even when you don’t want to), as well as to help you find others in the SAME boat as you. I have barely scratched the surface with where I see us going, excited about some changes and additions to our mission in the very near future ahead, and I just want to say THANK YOU for being a part of our community. WELCOME if you are here for the first time, to find some relief.


much love,

TELL ME: How do YOU know you are loved and valued, not just on this day but everyday?

It’s time. – PART ONE

February 7, 2013 in Coping, Everybody Else, Expectations, Favorites, Fears, Life, Restaurant Industry

before you dive in, read here.

I’ve been trying to avoid this post, but it seems I can no longer ‘look away’. It has become GLARINGLY obvious that something needs to be said and any amount of trying to be positive isn’t going to make it better.

I want relief. I KNOW you want relief, so here we go. I’m going to attempt to make this short and sweet, so you can hopefully feel better, faster.

It’s time. We can not ignore this any longer.


  • You’re NOT crazy for thinking he or she is selfish sometimes.
  • You’re NOT crazy for thinking their priorities are out of whack.
  • You are NOT crazy for the moments you think that the restaurant is more important than you and your family.
  • You are NOT crazy for the moments you think they need to grow up.
  • You are NOT crazy when you feel sad and angry that you’re the only one who seems interested in what comes next in your lives.
  • You are NOT crazy in those moments when you are considering why you got yourself into this type of relationship in the first place.
  • You are NOT crazy when you are pissed off because it seems you are the only one concerned about your children.
  • You are NOT crazy when they leave the house a MESS, like they don’t even see it there, day after day.
  • You are NOT crazy to wonder if they think of anything but themselves.
  • You’re NOT crazy if you think the ONLY reason why they’re still with you is so you can take care of them.
  • You are NOT crazy when you have to remind them OVER AND OVER AGAIN to do one thing.
  • You’re NOT crazy if you think their friends might not be the best influences.
  • You are NOT crazy when you’re infuriated that they, YET AGAIN, didn’t tell you when they were getting off, and you wake up panicking about where they are in the middle of the night.  *and then come to find out that they just “had their phone off”.
  • You are NOT crazy when you feel crazy that you are the only one upset.
  • You are NOT crazy when you are attempting to save money for the future, and they think if they see it there, they can spend it.
  • You are NOT crazy that their family thinks their The Golden Child, which makes you feel even more crazy that you do experience what you do. Talk about second guessing yourself.
  • You are NOT crazy when all you want is a day alone, with your other half.
  • You are NOT crazy when you feel SO SAD that you are alone/ not with your other half on a holiday or your birthday. When you see your friends out celebrating with their love, and you’re not.
  • You are NOT crazy for thinking you are not sure you can deal with this the rest of your life.
  • You are NOT crazy for being uncomfortable with how often they go out for a drink after service.
  • You are NOT crazy when you have your weekly plans set, and because they haven’t told you when they’re working (open/mid/close), and are suddenly available, they want you to drop your plans to spend time with them.
  • You are NOT crazy when you think that their co-worker is strangely “too close for comfort” to your other half.
  • You are NOT crazy for getting frustrated when people tell you “How Cool” it is that you’re married to a chef. You want to yell at them and say “NO! It’s NOT what you think!”
  • You are NOT crazy for never quite knowing when you can plan your vacation but when THEY want to do something, they always make it happen.
  • You are NOT crazy that they do something SO nice one day that it makes you doubt your initial feeling crazy, and then, a few days later, it returns back to their regularly scheduled routine and you then doubt yourself that you doubted yourself initially.
  • You’re NOT crazy when your restaurant man/woman reads this and suggests you stop reading these posts.
  • (This one is for me) You’re NOT crazy that the industry does NOT want anyone on the outside to know just how hard it is to be married into the industry, that sharing that might somehow jeopardize the glamorous image that it’s worked SO hard to keep up. You’re NOT crazy for getting serious resistance from those who work night and day to keep the dream alive.

You hear me… YOU ARE NOT CRAZY.

Go ahead and give yourself PERMISSION to not feel crazy. You’re NOT.

Whenever you need a reminder, come to THIS post.

Really… let hearing that you are NOT crazy SINK into your bones.

Give yourself a BREAK today. Okay?

And when you’re READY, REALLY ready…


TELL US IN THE COMMENTS – What else are you NOT CRAZY for/about?





Bone of Contention

October 4, 2012 in Everybody Else, Life


Source: Megan Bayley via Flickr

Caveat before I begin: While I personally have never had an issue with any specific servers throughout the years… I have always felt that weird uncertainty/uncomfortable feeling when it comes to servers, that I know most of you do. I know it’s a topic that we all consider, that potentially brings a lot of anxiety to many. For that reason, I want to bring it up and into the light. Please note these are my own experiences/thoughts. Feel free to share your own experiences in the comments.

Okay… I can admit it. I can be a jealous person.

No sense in trying to deny it… I have my moments.

From early on… when my then chef boyfriend started working at a fine dining restaurant in DC… I knew I was going to have to work hard to handle my feelings, with all the pretty servers that move stealth fully throughout the dining room. Who kid and play with my then boyfriend… inside jokes and things I was not privy to.

Honestly yes, It bugged me.

While it was not something I was staying awake nights thinking about… whether my boyfriend was getting it ON in the walk in with the newest, prettiest server after dinner service… it did bug me when I found myself amongst it when I went in to visit and eat.

I can’t describe it… a heaviness in the air when I came in. This weird sense that somehow, I was the “other woman” to all these women in the restaurant. All eyes on me. Like when your parents caught you making out with your high school boyfriend. Off guard. And then if I was sitting with my then chef boyfriend at a table, and one of the women servers came over to chat with us… they were almost sickeningly sweet nice to me. I would usually walk away asking him if she’s always THAT nice.

And of course my husband NEVER saw or felt what I was feeling and always denied that there was a camaraderie that I was not a part of.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Uh, yes you do.

Whether he could articulate it or not.. he could feel it. I could FEEL it. I was NOT a part of the group.


I know my husband has ALWAYS been a ladies man and honestly… Its something I love about him. He’s the type of guy that when your around him, you somehow just feel like you’re in good hands. You know you’re going to be taken care of. I mean… it’s one of the main reasons why I fell in love with him. I know he has a way with the ladies, so I KNEW that the women there (and yes, some men too) would be smitten.

Those early years, when I was CLEARLY unsure that I had what it took to be connected, those moments of feeling jealous would inevitably be the cause of an argument. Just attempting to feel grounded in my own feelings for him and our relationship, I commonly used their “too close for comfort” presence as an excuse to why I might not be sure we were right for each other.

It took leaving, being with a 9-5’r for 3 years and then rejoining with greater resolve that I finally became more confident that if he was willing to go through ALL THIS to be with me, that I didn’t have anything to worry about and in the end what he wanted was ME. Doesn’t change the fact that still to this day… I still have my moments. Still find myself asking “Who is she? Is she new?” wanting to know what he knows and then gauging his response, how familiar or stranger-like he was with the description.

These moments don’t’ last long as I remind myself that we’ve been through ALOT to get here, and at this point we’ve come too far to turn back now.


you didn’t come here to hear my own personal story about how I feel. I know you want to talk about the thing that bugs you the MOST.

That YES… there ARE servers that are OUT to be with the chef. In advertising, it’s like the ungettable get.

The scoop.

No matter that these restaurant men and women are in relationships, married or have a family of their own. There are, unfortunately, those that work with him/her that attempt to get a leg up by initiating or collaborating in extra curricular activities in and out of the restaurant.

AND.. whether we like it or not (Answer: NOT) there are chefs out there, restaurant men and women who we are in relationship with, that give in to this temptation.

I am the FIRST to admit that I am not in the industry. That said, I DO understand the camaraderie and resilience that it takes to get through a tough dinner service. I DO understand how having a bunch of people around you, that you TRUST to show your weaker side to (We’ve heard how being ‘weeded’ is an experiment in how much pressure one can handle) can create a bond that is unbreakable. I do know that through the blood, sweat and tears, having someone to “work hard, play hard” with is a vital part of any successful team.

That’s what it is, ya know… a team.

And if you have ever been part of a team (I was on the rowing team in college and proud of it) you might understand that when you’re in close proximity with people, day in and day out… those people on your team can easily be confused for romantic partners. It’s easy to connect with someone who understands exactly what you are going through… who has also experienced what it takes and MISINTERPRET that for romantic connection. (It was always a case of who is dating who on my team)

If you really look at why this happens so often, I think you would see:

  • Someone who sees your restaurant man/woman on a daily basis.
  • While he/she is in the throes of doing their superman/superwoman work.
  • Someone who walks in their very shoes (okay not literally), and who also goes home with the same achy feet that they do.
  • Someone who speaks the same language.
  • Has the same schedule.
  • Who has to expose themselves to the heat and the pressure of getting it done right and quickly.

While I’m NOT condoning this team/at work romantic connections, I have to be honest with myself that I can see how it could happen.

And easily at that.

Because I know that YOU (yes, you) are the CORNERSTONE of your restaurant relationship (Even if you don’t realize it/accept it) I know the power is within YOU to deal and face this if you notice your other half getting a BIT too cosy with their fellow co-workers. I want this post to be about what YOU can do. NOT what they can do. (or aren’t doing).

I know that you are already doing all that you think you can to manage being the HUB at home and with the family. *It’s why I know you are STRONG and why it’s YOU who are more powerful than you know yourself to be.* The following three suggestions are just things to consider. At the end of the day… we are only in control of our OWN thoughts and actions, what we do or do not do is totally in our control.

1. Be interested… but not TOO interested.

I know.. you’re already interested. I know that because I know you’re their number one fan. I know you want them to come home and sit on the couch and for them to tell you ALL about their day. I know you’d sit there and be really interested. Excited to hear the stories of what happened to them since you saw them last, down to the very last detail.

I know this because I am you. It’s what I do.

What I find is that when I’m TOO interested…it almost pushes him away. It shuts him up. I know that what he does is more exciting than what I do for my 9-5 (for now), so it makes sense I want all the juicy details. I ask basic, simple questions, without too much probing, that’s when I get MORE from him. The more I don’t pressure him to share with me all the details.. the more he’s interested in why I’m not pressuring him and in turn… that makes him more interested in what I’M up to. That then leads to him sharing more about what’s going on with him. BAM. Is this a cinch to do? No. But like learning how to dance the tango.. it takes a bit of practice.

2. Show yourself.

I’m not saying stop in every day or every week for that matter, but how are these men and women who work with your other half, who are probably very nice people if you got to know them, going to know who their chef is in relationship with, if you don’t show them. I know.. HOW we go about doing this can be sketchy if it comes across as overpowering or giving anyone the evil eye, but my recommendation is to stop in from time to time. When YOU have a free moment, bring a girlfriend or a family member,  So the focus is OFF of checking out his or her co-workers and more about enjoying the company you have with you. Let them get to know you in a casual, noninvasive way. Done a few times, without being too pushy or in their face and you might actually create some wonderful alliances with the ones your beloved works with, day in and day out.  (I know I have – Hi Tonya and Joel! xo!)

3. Stop and listen.

You might be the kind of person who is always curious, bordering on suspicious about those who work closely with your other half, maybe you have had enough experience (either with yourself or those around you) to know when something is looking a bit fishy. Your defenses might be on high alert, creating instant knee jerk reactions and you find yourself kicking yourself for jumping too quickly. Maybe you do have enough past experience to know when something isn’t right, no matter. Try taking a moment to STOP, give yourself the time for our body to catch up with your mind. It might be interesting what your mind is REALLY trying to say. Maybe your anxiety is from something that happened in the past, NOT what is happening in this present moment.

4.  Honor your GUT.

First and foremost, you know when your invisible antennae goes off and something doesn’t feel right to you? Trust that feeling. If something feels off… then its usually a sign that you have some action to take. (and not necessarily involving making a public scene) It might not AT ALL be what you think it is (maybe it does), but maybe it’s a sign to take a closer look at something within yourself or in your relationship.  Whatever it is… trust those natural instincts of yours. They’re there for a reason.

5. Be OKAY that you’re on the outside

Again, whether we like it or not, we’re never fully going to be a part of the inner circle at the restaurant. Instead of resisting and pushing against that… FIND A WAY to be OK with it. The reason why so many of us are not okay NOT being on the inside is out of sheer jealousy. Jealousy that these servers, bartenders, prep cooks, what have you, get to spend more time with your man or woman than you do. It’s okay to feel that way… doesn’t mean something is wrong with you or your relationship. We may not be on the inside but we can always peer in from where we are. In the end, we get a front row seat in the reserved section when it comes to what matters most.

What are YOUR feelings on this? What has your experience been? When were you right on in trusting your gut and when could you have stopped before you took action? Share your experiences below in the comments.


NO, you’re NOT crazy and there is NOTHING wrong with you.

August 21, 2012 in Coping, Everybody Else, Expectations, Fears, Life

Do me a favor – Before you continue reading – Read the title of this post again. OUT LOUD. *Come on… DO IT! I dare you.

I’m NOT crazy and there is nothing wrong with me.

Why? Because I know you are thinking this. Whether it’s every once in a while or even every day.

I know you are.

Why are you thinking you’re crazy? Let me see if this captures it…

  • Because you feel like a broken record, asking your restaurant man/woman OVER AND OVER AGAIN to help you get something fixed/cleaned/accomplished,etc… Shit, BE AROUND.
  • Because the statement, “you knew what you got yourself into” replays in your mind,  causing you to constantly doubt yourself.
  • Because your never feeling rested, because there’s always something ELSE to do.
  • Because you are angry with yourself that you are angry with your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend because you KNOW they’re not going to change.
  • Because you feel like, even AFTER being connected to him/her for YEARS – your family and close friends STILL do not understand why you “put up” with this.
  • Because you come home, after a day of work and see that the house is a mess because your Tasmanian devil of a restaurant man/woman did NOTHING to clean up after him/herself.
  • Because you are SO DAMN LONELY on a Friday or Saturday nite when he/she is working and EVEN THOUGH, YES…you have girlfriends you could call/things you could do… you’re still not doing what you want to do and that makes you SO SAD.
  • You know that the ONLY way that the groceries are showing up in the house.. is if YOU get them there. *Yes, I know there are a few exceptions out there on this.
  • Because you feel like you’re the ONLY one in the relationship who wants to find a way to regularly have sex. They’re working all these different hours, and you never can ‘connect‘ and he/she NEVER seem like it’s a priority to them. (uh, HELLO!)
  • Because your children don’t have the experiences that your friends husbands (9-5’rs) do.. weekend dates at the neighborhood pool, Chucky Cheese, playing ‘Tea Party with Daddy” and you feel this sense of RAGE that they’re not going to know what that’s like.
  • If you’re new to dating someone in the industry, you feel a strange sense of guilt that you’re hanging with your single friends when you’re restaurant man/woman is working.
  • You are on standby at the house/at their restaurant on the DAY BEFORE you’re supposed to leave for a VERY planned vacation to “see”  because he has just “one more thing to wrap up before I go”. Three hours later…. still no sign.

Need I say more? I THINK NOT. *actually, I could very well go on… but I think I’ve made my point.

Yea… let me tell you again. YOU’RE NOT CRAZY.

Here’s WHY:

Because up to now we have NOT had a voice. We have not had a chance to express OUR opinions, the good AND the not so good. Up to now it hasn’t felt BALANCED. Up to now, we’ve been in the shadows while their standing in the spotlight, right?

On TOP of that,  if the world knew that it was NOT all home cooked meals and VIP treatments at swanky restaurants (like it looks like on TV/magazines)… that their never home, are usually physically and emotionally spent when they are home and that in reality, there’s a high likely hood that some of us are struggling with chefs who are:

– workaholics – avoiding their family/friends, choosing to focus on work than on their responsibilities in their personal life.
– dealing with drinking/drug/infidelity problems

Commonly overindulging in the temptations that the restaurant industry brings. IF everyone KNEW that – the CREDIBILITY that the restaurant industry has been built on, would regularly come into conflict. And no one who is running a business wants THAT.

You do get that, right? Where your restaurant man/woman works IS A BUSINESS.

Investors, owners and possibly your own restaurant men/women want to succeed, to thrive – to open more restaurants and cast a wider net.

*maybe even become ‘famous’ in the process.

It makes no sense to expose the not so fun part of what it takes.

*More on this in an upcoming post.

Just think about it…

That’s WHY most people have NO idea what it’s like…

Why, when I tell regular folk, “Why would he cook at home FOR ME when his JOB is to cook for YOU?” I regularly get the response…

“OH, I never thought of that before.”

Why would they?

*The same goes for our fellow significant others who are connected to policemen, firemen, etc… – No one wants to hear what life at home looks like for them. They just want to know they will be there when needed.

So you’re NOT CRAZY when you ask yourself why you feel you can’t ever “get a grip” on the ins and outs of your restaurant relationship. Why you might be feeling like you’re always either CRYING or YELLING.

Give yourself a break.

There has not been, up to this point, a place to go, just for US. In the past few years, with the advent of us “regular folk” creating websites, there are now a dozen or so websites for us to VENT and find relief. *I thank my lucky stars for Hilarys Desparate Chefs Wives when I needed to find help.

SO… now that we have a voice.

Start using it.

When I say use it… I mean share YOUR experiences, (and don’t forget to share the good ones… we all like to focus on the not so good ones first)

  • Guest post here and share what your journey has been like
  • Meet a fellow Significant Other near you and commune
  • Figure out what YOU need and then make it happen (It’s the make it happen part that we get stuck… that’s why I’m here as your resident coach)
  • Create new RULES in your relationship (Who says you have to go by the ones already laid out for us)
  • Buck the system.

We are silent no more. Now the question is…

What are you going to do with your voice?

Finally, I know this might be hard to accept, with our try, try, try again mentality but

There is NOTHING wrong with you if (when) you feel like you are not strong/willing enough to ‘do’ this.

Nothing wrong with admitting that. I know… it pushes on us to think that if we are not strong, that must mean we are weak.

What if it doesn’t have to be all or nothing?

We’re figuring all this out as we go along, of course we’re going to have moments when we are unsure, stuck, lost and even scared.

Doesn’t mean you are weak. It just means you have something to figure out.

Take yourself OFF the hook for once.

So I’ll end here with a statement that I want you to say to yourself right now…Say it out loud a few times… until it sinks in your gut and becomes a bit more comfortable. {Oh come on…give it a whirl…}

Just because I feel overwhelmed/angry/unsure right now…. I know I still have what it takes. I know I will figure it out.

*You are not crazy and there is nothing wrong with you.

An exception to every rule

August 10, 2012 in Everybody Else, Expectations, Life

As you already know, for the most part, what is written here at Married to a Chef, as well as on other blogs you’ve probably read on the interwebs, about being connected to these culinary men and women is, for the most part, what’s going on in most restaurant relationships around the world.

It’s not easy being connected to the restaurant world. It can actually be downright confusing and also quite unnerving, if you don’t understand the ins and outs, the “rules”, as it were, to maneuver though this kind of relationship.

Kinda like walking into an intersection with a blindfold on.

Am I right?

The whole purpose of creating this website and eventually manifesting my mission to unite us all is to hopefully give those new to their restaurant relationship a leg up when it comes to how to deal and to comfort and connect with those who are already knee deep, so that we no longer feel in the dark.

That said… I cannot deny or ignore that for every situation, with every rule… there is an exception.

There is the case for alternative circumstances in every part of the evolution of this restaurant relationship. I know… it’s not easy to hear/accept or even read about those significant others who have managed to land what seems to be the actual myth of what most people say about being married to a chef.

  • There actually ARE chefs out there that do cook for their beloveds every night (or almost every night)
  • There actually are restaurant men/women who don’t work 70-90 hour weeks, 6 days a week.
  • There are couples out there who do… regularly have quality time together. *Yes, including frequent sex.
  • Who actually are in a position to be HOME for the holidays.
  • There are restaurant families who actually CO-parent. 50/50… including but not limited to weekend family time.

I know… just reading these exceptions might push on your buttons… make you feel a twinge of the green monster, might make you sad, confused, yep.. maybe even angry.

I know.

I know it all seems unfair. “How do THEY get to be with their restaurant man/woman on a Friday night and I don’t.”

“Must be nice.” when you read about someone whose husband/wife actually enjoys cleaning up around the house or is able to have a getaway weekend.

Sounds so hard to believe when you know that for most of us… we’re living a completely different reality.

Boo. Hiss.

I’m here to tell you that what you’re feeling isn’t out of the ordinary and actually… is very common for all human beings.

As much as we’d like to think we aren’t… underneath it all, we’re all wired to want to be the same. Whether we’re aware of it or not, we’re unconsciously conditioned by our natural instincts, our upbringing, and our societys rules and regulations (in our case, what most of the restaurant industry is like) to have very similar experiences. Not to waver outside the lines, to stand out too much, or to “stir the pot”, but to blend in. It’s why 98% of us have the same challenges in the same areas of our restaurant relationship. With just a little thought, you can probably list five things we all have in common. Why?

It’s ‘the norm’.

A stereotype of what the entire restaurant industry experience is like.

Like the perverbial snowball rolling downhill, the perpetual forward motion of what it’s like being in the industry has gotten us to this point that within reason… we know just about what to expect.

Then someone comes along who seems to be ‘living the dream’ with regards to being connected to their man/woman in the industry, someone who most likely has a very different experience from us. These people are actually living what MOST people (who have no idea) think it’s like, being married to a chef. Almost on cue, we instinctively put our guard up, become easily annoyed and agitated and without thought,  judge them as being weird, somehow presumptious, or wrong. We might even go so far as to take action to criticise and attack them, just so they know that they need to remember they’re no better from us, just because their experience is different.

I mean, How DARE they!

Right? You want to know the most unnerving part about all of this? Underneath our agitation, frustration… even our attack we all want the very same thing.

To be different, special…


It’s no wonder why this is such a confusing and often irritating topic.

  • WE want the husband/wife who comes home for dinner every night (okay, maybe not every night but at least enough so that the kids recognize him/her)
  • WE want to be the one who gets to travel with our man/woman as they stage in different countries, looking for the next exciting opportunity.
  • WE want to be the one with the restaurant man/woman who gets approached to do a cookbook.
  • WE want our other halves to have the same energy at home that they do when they are at work.

We want that to be OUR lives.

And when we realize that RIGHT NOW, it isn’t that way, it’s SO easy to get all riled up and flustered instead of it giving us the EVIDENCE that with a little hard work, maybe shifting our priorities, we TOO could possibly be in those same shoes.

And side note: This is a HUMAN issue. Not a singled out (insert finger pointing at YOU) kinda thing going on here. We ALL feel and react this way. Including myself. I’m always working to see someone who has something I want (hello.. a thriving full time coaching practice) as something to work TOWARD, not something to be angry at because that’s not me at this time.

For example – When I read Caths beautiful posting on what it’s like being married to a chef… I was swept away with how amazing her life was like. It was like I was watching a romantic movie. She worded it so well I could almost SEE it happening before my eyes. Her post has stayed with me, because of the impact it made. Of course, life with my chef doesn’t quite look that romantic at this time, but I appreciated it for being something I could aspire to, if my husband and I really wanted to. I think that’s why I will always remember it fondly.

On the flip side, if we are going by our natural tendencies, it would be so easy to get agitated reading her words. To judge it as being “unrealistic”, even getting upset for flaunting it in our faces.

Why is that really?

Because deep down…past the “It must be nice” and the “Noone really experiences that”… what we’re really thinking is


Whether you admit it or not… somewhere deep inside you, the people and stories you read that agitate us on the surface are merely signaling to us our DESIRES.

Frankly, it’s stirs us up to admit that there are things in our lives that we want but don’t have… and when we see those things in others, it pushes on our buttons that WE don’t have it and so we minimize our disappointment by making comments or lashing out to make us feel better. It’s kinda like saying to ourselves, “Well since I don’t have it,  I’m not going to want anyone to have it and since someone else has it…I’m going to make them feel how I feel that I don’t have it. It’s actually our natural human reaction to


Take your favorite celebrity (or celebrity chef perhaps), they seem to have a very different lifestyle from most of us, they’re what we call “living the life”…why is it that we never get tired of always peering into their lives to see what they’re up to? It’s because somewhere inside of us we ALL want to be seen as SPECIAL and unique as a celebrity. Unfortunately, because of the reason I’ve been mentioning, it’s also why we watch their every move, making sure we are there in case they fall because while deep down we would LOVE to experience what their life is like, it’s a bit too far from where we are now… seems a bit too improbable (maybe even impossible) for us, so the easier, less vulnerable thing to do is to criticize them for their choices as a way of neutralizing the underlying belief that we are sad or disappointed that we are not in their shoes.

*Honestly, it’s why it was important to me to have the monthly featured story with significant others of celebrated chefs/restauranteurs. When they can share with us what their experience is, hopefully it will inspire us that WE TOO… can have a similar experience if we really want it! *more like, if we’re willing to do what it takes to get there.

Again… this is part of the HUMAN experience.

I guarantee you, those who have the things, the family life, the celebrity that you desire… even THEY are looking to someone else… wanting what they do not. (I’m sure even Oprah feels these twinges. Side note: I love Oprah.) I say with confidence that none of us are without this experience. It’s honestly what keeps us moving forward, reaching, searching for what we think will bring us what we desire.

TRICK IS to catch it before it becomes anger/ frustration/ jealousy… into someone to be inspired by, work toward and admire. Instead of being angry at Cath for having this romantic life with her chef, I am inspired that I TOO, can create a similar experience, if I really wanted to. She gave me the EVIDENCE that it actually exists, instead of not knowing at all.

The next time you read or see someone living the life, doing the thing that instantly pulls you to feel that twinge of jealousy or a feeling of “Must be nice”, recognize what is really going on is a signalling inside of your own DESIRES. A good indicator of the direction YOU want to be going in as well. Instead of it leaving you feel lack… let it fill your database with information to chew on and strive to accomplish yourself! *I mean, one of the key VALUES in a thriving restaurant relationship is ACHIEVEMENT

We.. are the movers and shakers in our world.

Because there will always be someone who is experiencing something we desire… whether it be where they live, how much money they have, what kind of help they have at home, or what they do to satisfy their purpose…. instead of looking at that with the thoughts that that’ll never happen to me and letting it push our buttons… let seeing them in their glory give you the KNOWING that you can have it too.. if that’s what you desire.

“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.”  – Napoleon Hill