Uber Offended

Uber has done something that has the Internet really, really mad. Mad enough that the folks at Uber came out with an apology where they called what they did, “totally inappropriate.”

So what did they do?

Well, apparently it was Wife Appreciation Day in India earlier this week. So to celebrate the occasion and perhaps make a few extra bucks in the process, the company encouraged husbands to order UrberEATS and “let your wife take a day off from the kitchen.”

I’ll give you a few minutes to go burn something down in reaction to the horror of such a suggestion.

Here’s how stories like this work.

Someone does something that our culture finds offensive, which these days is pretty much anything. Someone from the Internet’s Office of Finding Things That Are Offensive then sends out screenshots of the tweet so that other people who like being offended all of the time can get really upset and also burn things down, either digitally, literally or both.

So you have some girl with a screen name like @progressivechick99 tweeting out, “Oh, no they didn’t.” And then there’s the gender fluid fellow with a handle like @multiplegender2000 who posts a meme of some guy from some reality show no one ever watches making a ewww face. Finally, the person from the Internet’s Office of Finding Things That Are Offensive writes a story with a headline like Twitter Slams Uber For Genocidal And Sexist Tweet, Nation Seeks Healing.

And then the offender, in this case Uber, apologizes.

As I write this, there is a hurricane aimed at the the Caribbean. A madman halfway around the world is threatening other countries with a nuclear bomb. Other madmen in D.C. are spending us into over 20 trillion dollars in debt. And the self-righteous gatekeepers on the Internet are upset because a private company encouraged husbands, not to kill their wives or run around on their wives but to take care of dinner one night for their wives.

If you’re not as culturally sensitive as these perpetually offended gatekeepers, Uber’s suggestion was supposed to make us all angry because women do so much more than cook meals in the kitchen. Also, men like to cook too. As do gender questioning non-binary girls who identify as boys on the third Tuesday of every month. I didn’t want to leave anyone out.

Have you ever watched a Netflix Original television show? These are sort of like the Wild West of television because they aren’t under the content restraints that shows on NBC or even FX are. Before I watch these shows I read up on them to see if they’re worth my time. More specifically, I read about the sexual content. I’ve noticed something in my research. A lot of the popular shows that are original to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are filled with nudity. More specifically, female nudity. So I pass on the latest binge-worthy show and turn a game on instead.

Now, our culture doesn’t find this ever present nudity offensive because it’s done by choice. The actresses want to do this. No one is making them.

Right.

Let the female lead on one of these shows refuse to do a nude scene and sit back and watch as her career spirals into the abyss. Within weeks of her decision, she’ll be off the show and making commercials for Crazy Pete’s Title Loans.

Do you see the hypocrisy?

Treating women as sexual objects is liberating. Cooking dinner for them is boorish.

When I came home from work for lunch one day this week, my wife and kids were in the backyard. When I walked back I saw my wife sanding a table she was restoring, my son painting another table, and my other son standing on the trampoline.

My wife asked if it was okay if we waited a few minutes for lunch so that she could get to a good stopping point in her project.

I told her not to worry about it. I guess you could say that I gave her the afternoon off. We also made plans for me to grill burgers that night. Bam! She had the night off too. Double score for her.

But after reading Twitter for a few minutes, I have discovered that I made a tremendous mistake. It was a bit cavemanish of me to do such a thing. The only thing I could have done that would have been worse was call an Uber to take us to Chick-fil-a. That would have broken the Internet.

Local Cult Leader Takes Wife To Hate-Filled Restaurant, Nation Seeks To Rebuild

Luckily, I don’t answer to the Internet. I’d much rather make my wife happy. And taking over for lunch and dinner that day made her happy. And get this. She really likes to cook!

I’ll wait again while you go burn something down and call the U.S. Department of Diversity Among Different Genders Understanding Meals In Togetherness (DADGUMIT) on me.

But later that night, while the Internet was raging about something else, I enjoyed a hamburger with my family that I made because I wanted my wife to take a break from cooking.

And my kids fell asleep in the middle of binge-watching The Andy Griffith Show on Netflix.

Man, we’re weird.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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In Defense of Kitchen Tables

When I grew up I ate fish sticks and tater tots for dinner almost every night. I don’t remember exactly but I think that the word fish on the box of fish sticks had an asterisk by it.

Captain Billy’s Fish* Sticks

*No fish were harmed in the making of this product because there are no fish in it. Seaweed? Yes. Fish? No way.

Enjoy!

Sincerely,

Captain Billy

We didn’t eat at the table very much either. We ate in the living room off of these miniature fold out tables called TV trays while watching reruns of Mama’s Family. That aspect of my childhood disqualifies me from ever being able to serve as the President of the United States. Or be a teacher. Or a pastor. Don’t tell my church.

My kids have it different. They’re growing up with homemade bread. No fish* sticks. No Mama’s Family.

And no TV trays.

Instead, we eat at our kitchen table. But it’s more than just a kitchen table. It’s a seminary classroom. This isn’t really by my design. It’s not like I make my four-year-old parse a Greek verb or defend the doctrine of election before he passes the potatoes. That doesn’t come until he turns five. For now, the questions just seem to come naturally.

“Dad, did God know that Adam and Eve would sin?”

“Dad, will we have jobs in Heaven?”

“Dad, how much does Jesus love us?”

“Dad, is Gregg Allman a Christian? What about Dwight Yoakam?”

When I was a kid, eating dinner meant listening to the sounds of the television. Now it means listening to the curious little boys sitting at the kitchen table. But it’s more than me listening to them. They’re listening to me too.

A few nights ago my son told me that he had something about God figured out.

“God is in control of everything. We can’t always understand the things that God does but that’s okay because God is good.”

I think he’s right. He does have that figured out. He went on to tell me that he was having a more difficult time with the Trinity. I told him that it was okay because any god that’s easy to understand isn’t worth worshiping. That seemed to help. But we’ve still got plenty of time to try and understand the Trinity better. My wife has a lot of good recipes and there’s always plenty of room at our kitchen table for good questions.

At some point our kids will have their faith called into question. They will have the option either to abandon the faith of their mother and father or make it their own. I’m thankful that my two boys are in a church where they are being prepared for whenever that day comes. But the kitchen table is where it all comes together. The kitchen table is where the theology they learn on Sundays comes to life.

So moms, while you’re planning out the menu for the week, remember that you’re doing more than providing nourishment for your children. Even if it’s fish* sticks and tater tots, you just might be helping to feed their souls as well as their stomachs.

And dads, turn the TV off and put your phone down. Talk to your kid. Answer her questions, even if your best answer is, “I don’t know.” Sometimes an open ear can say just as much as an open mouth.

When my sons are grown and their faith is their own, I hope that they look back and remember our family meals.

Along with a diligent mother who prepared those meals with love.

A father who loved them enough to listen, even if he didn’t know all of the answers to their questions.

And a sovereign God who graciously and gradually made himself known to them.

All at the kitchen table.