After living in Manhattan for eight years, my wife and I finally decided to make the dreaded suburban hop. We bought a house, a lawnmower, and a subscription to satellite television from www.tvbydirect.com. At first I resisted the purchase, since for years I had masked my poverty with faux-intellectual idealism, relishing my supposed commitment to literature, proud of the modest library I had cultivated with freebies and roadside discounts. But, soon as I plopped my soon-to-be overweight backside onto our new rec-room couch, and began flipping through the channels with my universal remote, I knew, without a doubt, that my disdain for TV was nothing but pretense—especially after discovering the Food Network.
All I watch is the Food Network these days, with the occasional switch to Bravo when “Top Chef” is playing. My wife calls me an addict. “The Next Food Network Star,” “Throwdown with Bobby Flay,” these programs are on a permanent recording schedule. But the rest of the shows, whatever happens to be on—from Emeril Lagase to, yes, even Rachel Ray—get my undivided and culinary-curious attention.
You would think that discovering such an affinity for food preparation would lead to a more active involvement in my own kitchen life, but nothing on that front has changed. The Food Network may have provided me with the vocabulary of a pseudo-gourmet sophisticate, yet my pallet still prefers macaroni and cheese from the box to steak tartare. My wife is happy about that one constant, that one stable aspect of our burgeoning suburban existence, and I can’t blame her, because I am too.