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Where's the beef in today's relationships?

August 16, 2007|By TIM ROWLAND


Hot dog. I mean hot sirloin. I want to tip my hat to Martha Flach, and I don't even know who in the heck she is.

All I know is that The New York Times picked up on her personal ad and wrote a story about it.

Remember the good old days when reporters used to monitor stuff like police logs and court records to dig up news stories?


No, never mind, I don't want to get distracted by that, because in this case the reporter in charge of the lonely hearts beat did the nation a great service.

And so did Martha. Her profile noted that "I love architecture, The New Yorker, dogs ... steak for two and the Sunday puzzle."

She went on to write that she was looking for "a smart, funny, kind man who owns a suit (but isn't one) ... loves red wine and a big steak."

You probably noticed the same thing the Times did, and apparently it is something of a trend: Chicks today dig beef.

This a major, positive change. There's nothing worse than going out on a date to a nice restaurant and listening in horror as your companion orders a Caesar salad entree with dressing on the side.

Salmon - the compromise

Right away, you're thinking, "I shouldn't have brought her to a bistro, I should have brought her to a pasture."

And then the waiter turns to you. You eyeball the New York strip, rancher's cut. Then you eyeball her. Then the strip. Then her. Finally, swallowing the drool that has accumulated in your mouth over the thought of a steak the size of a toilet seat, you order some stinkin' piece of grilled salmon.

It's a compromise, of sorts. You can't let her think you're some primeval caveman gulping down hunks of blood-red flesh. But you'll be hanged if you're going to lay down $20 on a freaking pile of lettuce.

Ladies, please listen: EGGS (Emaciated Girls Gorging on Salad) are not attractive. Men don't want to date a skeleton with eyeballs. Their egos might - someone to show off at the high school reunion - but if they are honest with themselves, they want a woman with a little meat on her bones.

And on her plate.

Woman orders a steak and you know she likes to live life. And if it costs her 10 extra pounds and you can't deal - well, that's a you problem, not a her problem.

The Times says this is becoming a trend: "Ordering meat ... is a declarative statement, something along the lines of 'I am woman, hear me chew.'"

New Yorkers and their unreal expectations

Of course, New Yorkers being New Yorkers, they are struggling with the finer points of beef eating. They want to eat a big sirloin bone-in, but still be rail thin. Which makes you wonder if she's really going off to powder her nose or stick fingers down her throat.

One vegetarian woman was quoted as saying that, instead of ordering a steak, she thought she might prove her love of life by ordering shots of Jagermeister.

Another substitute, a dining editor is "dropping into conversation the fact that steaks of Kobe beef come from Wagyu cattle, but that not all steaks sold as Wagyu are Kobe beef."

Ah well, one step at a time, I suppose.

And that's the down side. Only in New York could they turn a steak into a social statement. Or a status symbol.

There's always the danger this could be taken too far, like they did with wine and cigars, and you will soon see a line of beef tasting bars where customers order $15 bites of meat and then sit around talking about the merits of an Iowa Belted Galloway vis--vis an Argentinean, grass-fed Charolais.

The other buzzkill from the Times story is the fact that, while it's now OK for a woman to order a steak, it may not be so for a man.

One ridiculous woman went so far as to say, "When a guy sits down and eats something fatty and big, you wonder if they eat like that all the time. It crosses my mind they'll probably die early."

Like that's a bad thing?

Not if you're happy and well proteined.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2324 or via e-mail at You can listen to his podcast, The Rowland Rant, on

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