Daniel Auteuil directs and stars in Marius and its sequel Fanny. Drama, humor, and dialogue combine to make two beautiful, thought provoking films. Set in Marseille, these movies explore the dynamics of family, community, and romance, as well as the choices we make and their consequences.
I was thinking about the post I wrote the other day in response to the role of good food in a relationship. In my answer, I wrote, “They say that married men are healthier than bachelors, which is probably due in large part to their eating home-cooked meals instead of restaurant food, fast food, or processed microwavable dinners.”
I reflected on some of the married couples I see when walking around town, a lot of men with huge beer bellies who can be easily categorized as obese. Some of the women they are with are in relatively decent shape. So what does this mean? Ideally, it is great if two people in a relationship are on the same page when it comes to healthy eating and exercise and, therefore, support each other in maintaining that lifestyle. But in the end, it is nobody else’s responsibility to ensure you eat healthily and exercise; the responsibility rests squarely on your own shoulders. Having negative influences around you is not an excuse. If your girlfriend happens to consume pies and Twinkies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it is your responsibility to spread out the tuna salad, fresh fruit, and water. If your boyfriend is a slob and eats buckets of KFC and donuts every day; it is your responsibility to eat a salad and a healthy sandwich. Yes, studies conclude that married men live longer, but that doesn’t mean that just because someone ties the knot they will reflect that statistic. It is up to each person to make wise choices, especially if one’s significant other does not.
I received an interesting question.
Question for Paul: How important do you think it is for a woman to be able cook in a long-term relationship (marriage)?
It is very important. Food is a central part of life. It is also an enjoyable part of our existence on earth and an element of the joie de vivre. Furthermore, and probably most importantly, the kind of food that you eat is crucial to your long-term health. They say that married men are healthier than bachelors, which is probably due in large part to their eating home-cooked meals instead of restaurant food, fast food, or processed microwavable dinners. It’s important to eat healthy and enjoyable meals.
A few obvious things must be said before we go further:
- Many of the greatest chefs in the world are men.
- A man may love to cook and be pretty good at it.
- If a man loves the woman he’s with and she can’t cook for the life of her, then he might have to just learn to cook.
Okay, we got that out of the way. To specifically address your question, you should screen the girl– that’s what dating is about. Is she smart, funny, a good person, faithful, caring, and responsible? Is she a good cook? Here’s what you do: just have her make the two of you a nice dinner on the third or fourth date. You can buy her the groceries and make an adventure out of it. If you find that she can’t cook at all and it tastes horrible, you can make a decision.
There are millions of girls out there, but you only have one stomach.
Hope this helps!
La vie est belle, profitez de chaque moment
My mother read this post and told me to add this: “Anyone can learn to follow a recipe or watch YouTube. Cooking is a skill just like any other and one that has to be developed just by caring for a family. So even if she can’t cook at first, don’t give up hope. She can learn.” She also said that the photo I used was not very appetizing and that I should have used a photo of a “beautiful salad.” So to the questioner…maybe you should have asked a mother instead of a bachelor.
I received an interesting question.
Question for Paul: I am wondering what is your ideal woman to marry? Your ideal wife?
Well, as the saying goes, nobody is perfect, but the important thing is that you are perfect for each other.
We all know that physical attraction is a factor in a relationship. So obviously, I’m attracted to her physically. And that’s all one has to say about that. Someone once asked me, do I like blondes, redheads, or brunettes better? I answered, “I don’t care about a woman’s hair color, rather I care about what’s under her hair in her head.” So here are my ideal qualities in a life soul mate.
1) Intelligent: She will be educated and informed about the world or have a desire to become so. I don’t necessarily mean a bunch of degrees, because some people with degrees don’t know much at all and there are high school dropouts that are geniuses. Conversation is obviously extremely important and if two people, in a couple, are on different mental planes, it can be frustrating because you can’t hold an intellectual conversation with a person that is not able, willing, or interested to engage in deeper thinking about things in life. You probably can figure that one out after a couple of dates. A lot of couples don’t talk about thought-provoking topics at all. For example, they both watch t.v and chat about wrestling or work gossip and never talk about philosophy or “what’s it all about” or politics or world events– and are quite content with it all. But they’re both on that same plane and don’t have any desire to engage in a deeper form of discussion. When two people are on different wave lengths it can get boring for one or both. I don’t want a pretty mannequin on my arm for a wife, rather a life partner– a friend as well as a lover. So, intelligence is important in my ideal wife.
2) French Language. She will speak French, only because I speak it as a second language. I love the language– and it would be nice to talk to her in French.
3) Spiritual / Catholic— Love can conquer differences, but marriage is tough enough, so why, if you can help it, throw different religions into the mix. It is a lot easier if two people are not that religious– one is a Christian and another is a Muslim, or one is Hindu and the other is Jewish, but they don’t really practice their religion. That’s less complicated. But if one or both are devoutly religious and from different faiths, that raises some issues to think about: How will the children be raised? Do you go to church with each other? If you are truly in love, then you can probably work those issues out, but ideally, as marriage is difficult enough, it makes things simpler to be the same religion. Since I’m Catholic, ideally, my wife will be Catholic. I believe marriage is a triangle with a man and a woman at the bottom corners and God at the top. If times get a bit rough or very rough, then a strong faith in common can help a couple weather the storm.
4) Health Conscious My ideal wife would be someone who eats healthy food. I don’t mean she has to be vegan, but she should take care of herself and definitely not smoke. I spend a decent amount of time lifting weights in the gym, so perhaps someone who likes to go to they gym and do a few exercises or maybe she is really into fitness or maybe she just likes to go for walks or jogging, but the point is that she cares about her health.
5) Virtue– I believe the greatest wisdom in the world is not scholarly articles or academic theories or scientific discoveries (as extremely important as they are)– but it is the love of virtue. I believe, as Rousseau points out in Emile, that we have our temptations and passions, but we also have the capacity, as human beings, to be virtuous. And it is this capacity to be virtuous that makes being a human being so exciting. If we were programmed to be only good and kind, our behavior would not be virtuous; we would be robots. Of course, we have free will, and with discipline we have the capacity to overcome our passions and live a virtuous life. So in regard to my ideal wife: she will be beautiful, but her love of virtue will make her outshine all the other women in my eyes, even in a room full of cover models. Ideally, I would want a woman– who I was head over heels in love with– to look me in the eyes and say, “I want to be with you, but I’m not going to have sex until I’m married.” In this day of sex saturated media and societies– I’d find that appealing on so many levels. For some, this may seem shocking, like I just wrote something out of the medieval ages. After all, it’s 2014! But morals and virtues don’t change with the calendar (they are timeless), and just because sex is pushed everywhere now– on t.v., radio, internet, movies, magazines etc– doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good idea to wait until marriage. I’m not judging anyone, but for me that would make a woman special, because of her love of virtue and the courage to stand by her values. Since love of virtue is the greatest wisdom, I will include being socially conscious here as well; she will also care about peace, social justice, and the environment.
6) Affectionate: If you have ever gone out with a girl on a date, or a few dates, who obviously likes you, but she is kind of cold, you may know what I mean– she doesn’t do a whole lot of touching. It’s not a shyness– it’s more of a lack of comfort level. If you’ve gone out with a woman who is the opposite (very warm), then you know what I mean. Now, this may seem to indicate a slight contradiction with the end of the last point about sex and marriage, but it really isn’t a contradiction. Once again, virtue is about discipline, so someone can be very affectionate, but still wait until the wedding night.
7) Upbeat Personality: A good and positive outlook on life. I think this is a natural result of her virtuous nature or just being a happy person.
8) She’s In Love With Me: This should go without saying, but it needs mentioning. My ideal wife is in love with me for me. She knows my flaws and loves me more for having them.
And as the song says, “Pretty girls come a dime a dozen…make sure she’s in love with you.”
There you go, I took an honest crack at describing my ideal woman for a wife. The most important thing to remember is to know what you are looking for in a relationship, and that can definitely make what you aren’t looking for less attractive when you run into it. After answering this question, I feel like I’ve been married for ten years. I hope to meet this ideal, heavenly creation of mine in the flesh at some point or maybe I’ll be surprised and she will be quite different from what I’ve mentioned here. But for now, I will continue to enjoy the blessings of a single life!
La vie est belle, profitez de chaque moment