I was in Philadelphia with Maggie when she was touring colleges a while back. She had been invited to stay with some of the crew team members in the dorm and I took the opportunity to visit a restaurant which had been recommended, White Dog Cafe.
I ordered a split of wine and what turned out to be a yummy piece of fish. I had a book with me in case I wanted to read at the table, but became engrossed in the conversations at the table for 6 set in front of me. Yes, I was eavesdropping, Actually, I was openly listening and would have joined in if given the opportunity.
They were all in their mid to late 20's. An engaged couple, a married couple a single woman and a single man. The discussions covered their jobs, living arrangements, friends, friends having babies and not liking the names they were given (someone had named their girl Cecelia, a name I considered for Allison. Hey! It was my Grandmother's name. And CeCe for short sounded cute.)
Anyway, I was put in mind of a side conversation between the married woman and the engaged woman about cooking and Rachel Ray came up. Engaged woman said how much she loved RR and had a couple of her cookbooks. Married woman was disapproving of RR. Engaged woman backpedaled a bit and the conversation turned to married woman's job and engaged woman's feelings that maybe she shouldn't have quit her job to play house with engaged man.
That evening was the first time I had heard of RR haters. Apparently there are blogs dedicated to bashing her. I don't exactly follow her every move, but I am aware that she is very open about her lack of training and penchant for short cuts. She doesn't profess to be a "chef", she is a home cook like the vast majority of us. She doesn't profess to be a Martha Stewart, either. Her shows are very down to earth, I suspect her magazine is, too.
I was reading an article on Salon about an interview she did with ABC journalist Cynthia McFadden. McFaddon questioned RR about having children, Ray said something along the lines of I'm 40, I'm busy with work and I like kids but I couldn't be a good mom and keep all my commitments. McFaddon asks her if she thinks she'll miss something. Geez.
When are we women going to stop questioning and judging other women for their choices? And yes, I see this as being a judgement, because why would it be any one's business to ask such a question unless it was to judge? Does anyone ask MEN these questions? And if a young woman decides to leave work and settle down with a young man and cook dinner with a recipe from a Rachel Ray cookbook and she is happy doing it - that is okay, too.