You know you’re a bachelor when you’re eating cold cuts by the handful and passing it off as a legitimate meal (an act I’m personally guilty of committing). But some bachelors have elevated the sad single guy meal to new heights—or lows, depending on your perspective.
One of the unfortunate side effects of our patriarchal division of household chores and the dissolution of home economics courses, which were specifically meant to instill in boys the domestic skills they weren’t being taught in the home, is that young men often find themselves woefully unequipped to take care of themselves and those close to them.
Lots of guys need to be taught how to clean themselves, clean their clothes, clean their living spaces, literally breathe, smoke weed, save money, create a dating profile, ask a girl out, go on a date with her, tend to her emotional needs, buy her Plan B and break up with her (among other things) — and that’s just a list of what I’ve written about.
It’s a running joke that bachelors are incapable of cooking for themselves — possibly the most fundamental life skill of all. And that lack of basic gastronomic know-how has never been more evident than on this Reddit thread about the sad meals men have eaten alone during their single days.
It gets way, way nuttier.
- One man recounts stuffing his face with cereal and washing it down with milk because he was too lazy to do the dishes and fashion a clean bowl.
- Another’s meal: “Sliced cheddar cheese and Lays potato chips substituted as crackers.”
- Some insane doofus made a Bloody Mary with vodka and SpaghettiOs.
- One guy drank six oatmeal stouts in lieu of eating an actual meal.
- “Fries that were supposed to be baked but I was too lazy to bake them so I just microwaved them. They were somehow soggy and dry at the same time and still cold in the middle.” (Yep, I think we all know that taste.)
- A man placed a can of baked beans directly on the burner, then proceeded to eat it out of the can using an oven mitt. Mr. Glovebeans, hats off to your ingenuity.
- “Plain white rice with Italian salad dressing poured over it.”
- A man who lives alone says he screamed “Dinner’s ready!” to his imaginary family when his delivery arrived.
- Another guy says he flicked ants off the Coke-covered pizza he threw away the night before because he was so hungover-hungry in the morning.
- “Spaghetti but with ramen noodles, ketchup and chopped hot dogs.”
Some of these acts are mildly defensible. There’s historical precedent for the all-beer diet: Seventeenth-century German monks subsisted solely on beer during their 40-day Lenten fasts. Eating baked beans from a can has been a staple of camping out for decades. And there have been worse crimes against food than using Lay’s potato chips as a cracker substitute, so we’ll let that one slide as a misdemeanor.
But there are some truly horrifying acts of food consumption. Taste-wise, the SpaghettiOs Bloody Mary is probably the most disturbing flavor combination, though rice with Italian dressing and the ramen-ketchup-hot dogs abomination are close runners-up. In terms of being sinfully lazy, the worst offender is the man who couldn’t be bothered to bake his French fries, a food preparation that involves just two steps: (1) putting fries on a baking sheet, and (2) turning one fucking knob.
But in terms of sheer sadness, there’s no competition for the guy who brushed aside ants to eat a pizza he retrieved from the trash.
A Gentleman’s Guide to Cooking for A Date
There’s a saying that if necessity is the mother of innovation, then laziness is its father; the indolent among us often discover efficient ways to complete labor-intensive tasks. And indeed, using your mouth as a de facto cereal bowl is an act of inspired ingenuity.
But sometimes lazy is just lazy, and if you find yourself having to contend with ants for your food, you’ve regressed to a point reminiscent of primate ancestors. May we suggest just … making enough for leftovers?