There are five daughters in my family, plus my mom makes six Wise women. We are a mostly independent bunch, though I guess I can't speak for everyone.
But I like to think of us as having a strength unique to women, solidified for us by years of hard living and the necessity of grit.
So it comes as no surprise to me that most of the women in my family are Masters of the Grill - the outdoor cooking space most often designated for the men in the unit, a place for them to gather and guy-talk while handling big hunks of meat because, for some reason, cooking outside is much more maucho then slaving over a hot stove confined by four walls.
In true Wise-fashion, the Wise women push those boundaries.
Naturally, it was born out of necessity, as most traditions-turned-lifestyles are. There really weren't men around to fire up our grill. So when our lives gained some sense of normalcy and we wanted a cookout, we had one.
And the girls grilled.
We still do.
I think sometimes it baffles the current men in our lives. I was getting ready to put steaks on the grill the other night and Lucas took the plate from me on my way out the door.
"I've got it," I said. And he handed it back, maybe a little despondent. Maybe the grill is his terrority - I don't know. But I grilled the steaks.
Katie thinks nothing twice about grilling chicken (herself) instead of putting it in the oven or on the stovetop.
Over the Fourth of July, Mom grilled out and she cooked the hamburgers. Though she has been known to say at friends-and-family cookouts, "I need a man to grill the hamburgers for me" and either one volunteers or she designates one - one who may need to feel a moment of manliness.
Personally, I'm a master of both charcoal and propane grills. Last summer I bought a $17 charcoal grill at Wal-Mart and assembled it on the beach at the lake. Thirty minutes later, about twelve friends and I were enjoying hamburgers and hotdogs. That grill lasted all summer, too.
My realization that we Wise women had arrived at being grill masters was yesterday when Katie got back to the house from shopping.
"I got two things today," she said. One was a bamboo silverware seperator for the silverware drawer.
A grill brush.
"I got this for us," she said. "So we can clean the grill."
I think that means that,despite our gender, we've arrived among the many, the proud, the men...of grills.