Eat Drink Man Woman | Of kitchens, frog farming, video games, and upset cards

Eat Drink Man WomanLong before he really made a splash as the director of blockbusters such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain, Ang Lee made two of my all-time favorite food movies, Eat Drink Man Woman and The Wedding Banquet

If you plan to check them out, make sure you have LOTS of good Chinese food on hand. Sorry, takeout won’t really cut it, but you can find some simple recipes for healthy homemade Chinese on my Tangstein blog (just substitute coconut oil everywhere you see canola mentioned – I haven’t had time to go back and make that change).

The-wedding-banquet-1993-posterBut these movies aren’t just about glorious banquets and how food can sometimes serve as a substitute for or expression of Vitamin L, love. They explore a range of relationships and how communication (as in “lack of”) can create tragedy and comedy alike, sometimes in equal proportions.

As my husband and I took on painting the kitchen together this weekend, I was pondering how different the experience would have been if I hadn’t gone into it armed with a lot of the wisdom I’ve gained about relationships over the years: if ever there was a test of a marriage, it’s taking on a major project like this!

I’ve written blog posts about relationships in the past (see Learning to speak a new (love) language and Rewrite the script, for example), and knowing that relationships between men and women, whether mother/son, father/daughter, brother/sister, etc., are often a source of my clients’ greatest stress, I wanted to share another great (and fun) resource for those of you who struggle in this area: check out WISHradio’s podcast with Alison Armstrong.

The podcast is long, and you won’t regret listening to the very end! Alison Armstrong and her interviewer, Tera Warner, kept me nodding my head, leaning in with excitement, and laughing out loud. (Guys – I guarantee you’ll get just as much out of it as the girls will!)

I especially loved Armstrong’s term “frog farmer” (think back to the Frog Prince fairy tale) and her explanation of why we women need to communicate as if we’re a video game. The biggest takeaway: men and women play “the upset card” very differently…and very badly in most cases. I won’t spoil it by going into more detail – go listen to the podcast!

And in case you’re wondering – the kitchen’s almost done, I LOVE IT, and we’re still married! Naturally, the color we chose has a food name – pumpkin butter – and the runner up did, too – 14 carrots.