STATESVILLE, NC—Taking note of their audible sighs and the undercurrent of resentment evident in their attempts at cooperation, gourmet cooking class instructor Dana Robertson told reporters Wednesday she could already tell which couples signed up for her French Bistro Basics course based on their marriage counselor’s recommendation. “As soon as they went to their kitchen stations and started working their way through the recipe, you could overhear all the strained ‘I feel’ statements,” said Robertson, before subtly nodding toward a nearby couple who had sniped at each other for several minutes about how to properly blanch the vegetables before the woman took over full control of the process and relegated her partner to solely washing dishes. “A lot of times, it’s the silence that gives them away—all you hear is the sound of one of them chopping carrots a little too aggressively. I’d say it’s usually about half the class on any given night.” Robertson added that she generally prefers the couples suffering marital problems, saying their hushed bickering was much less aggravating than the constant giggling and playful sharing of bites of food between the couples who were deeply in love.

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