As the sun set over the golf course surrounding my grandmother’s beachfront condo community in Florida, I huddled by the grills with my mom and grandmother. We sipped our gin and tonics while chatting with the woman next to us, who was struggling to get her grill hot enough to barbeque her hamburgers. “My husband always did this for me,” she explained, looking a little embarrassed.

As the sky grew streaked with purple and pink and the mosquitoes came out to nip at our ankles, our conversation turned more serious. Her husband had died the previous year, leaving her to handle grilling—and a long list of other tasks—on her own. She had some words of advice for me before heading back inside with her dinner: “Women today should learn ...

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