One Of Those Days….

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I poured the batter into the baking tray and when I was done, I licked the spoon. It tasted good, the flavour was just right… wasn’t it? I licked the spoon once more… something was missing. I could just see her face, I could just hear her voice, “Well, even I could have baked something like that. But I appreciate the effort, darling.”

I’m a good baker… not open-my-own-bakery-undiscovered-talent good, but good by comparison to many other women my age who have a life and also like cooking/baking. I was running late and I went for my safe and fast desert, my somewhat personalized lemon sponge cake. I could prepare that with my eyes closed, one hand tied behind my back, I used to think… until today.

Baking powder! I ran all the ingredients in my head and that’s what was missing. Damn, damn, f***, f***, damn! I felt like throwing the whole thing out, baking tray and all. But then I’d have to start all over again, and judging by the way things were going, I would never finish it without blowing up the kitchen. So… after having used three more eggs than the recipe called for simply because I failed to separate the eggs properly (I must’ve been 7 or 8 when this happened to me last and I always laugh when I see others messing it up – this’ll teach me), now this. Ok… I put in the baking powder at the very last moment, I mix the whole thing right in the baking tray, hoping for the best and that’s that. I know that if it doesn’t rise properly, I’ll just throw it out and give up on preparing any desert whatsoever.

She’s a terrible cook and she can’t bake to save her life, but god forbid I make a mistake. So I triple check the temperature and timer and in the oven it goes. No time to watch it, I have so many other things to do. One restless look and I can see it’s rising nicely. Kitchen decluttered, dishes washed, I can stop for a moment and enjoy the delicious smell… and wonder why the oven timer has stopped ticking, yet it hasn’t rung. Yeap, it was back to 0 and kept quiet about it. By this point, I’m eying the unopened bottle of red and feel like saying, “the hell with it”. Instead I just pull out the baking tray, hoping it wasn’t too late. Any other day but today…

I was going to sprinkle some powdered sugar on top and serve it with a scoop of my own homemade ice cream. Instead, I carefully cleaned the slightly burnt bottom layer, and covered it the best I could with dark chocolate glazing. She won’t notice I baked the sponge for too long, that much I know. There won’t be any ice cream on the side, because my evening continued along the same lines and I gave up on preparing it.

Pointless to say, the rubbish bag broke as I was trying to pull it out of the bin, spreading all that stinky mess on the kitchen floor… Once it was all collected and safely double bagged, I threw on a decent maxi dress instead of my chocolate and flour covered ensemble and good thing I did, because several of my neighbours were standing right in front of the building, bickering about some imaginary issues. A teenage girl with perfect hair gave me a disapproving look. Just you wait, my friend… You’ll grow, up, move away and one day your mother will be paying you a visit… then you’ll know what this feels like… One mean, piercing look and she was staring at her toenails. Ha!

I was polishing the outside of my entrance door when a neighbour gave me a crocked smile, staring at my short shorts (the ones I normally only wear in the house), while insidiously wishing me a good evening. What, you don’t dust and polish your door? Neither do I – normally – and neither does my mother… but boy, will she passively aggressively criticize my not doing so. I can just hear her, “You’re so lucky you’re not married… You can clean when and if you feel like it!” Her own home is an indescribable mess these days, but that’s not the point, right?… It was time to throw in the towel and call it a night… and perhaps open that bottle and have a nice glass of red wine. But first, I need to clean the toaster too, how did I forget about that one?

There’s a special kind of hell that only a mother can inflict on you, especially when only distance can keep things civilized between the two of you. I’ve long ago given up on pleasing her, I can accept some things are simply impossible. I normally manage to distance myself and ignore her criticism and offending comments. This time, however, I don’t have the energy to argue incessantly on a daily basis… I’m trying not to give her reasons to criticize, so hopefully in return, I don’t throw back all the venom gathered over years and years of not at all motherly behaviour on her behalf.

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19 thoughts on “One Of Those Days….

  1. I thought for sure it was going to be about a mother-in-law coming over, I think that it is your actual mother makes it a little more sad…I guess we expect mother-in-laws to be miserable, but expect our own mothers to be more bearable! However, mine isn’t (she’s the most negative person I know) so I don’t know why I would assume other people’s mothers would be! Just a reminder….do NOT be the type of mother my kids cringe at seeing once they leave the next!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I guess we instinctively expect what should pass for normal, even if that hasn’t been the case in our families 😉 . You make a good point, we should break that vicious circle and behave differently. After all, my mother did learn this sort of behavior from her own mother, so… Well, let’s just not turn into them 😉 .

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  2. Oh my…..I was chuckling at all the mishaps until the tone changed….and I realized it really was a tough time. I think for some…….this running around and super-cleaning and super-cooking beyond the norm also happens when the mother-in-law comes. What makes us go out of our minds in a frenzy like this? What is that wierd pull? Is it a woman-competition thing? It is indeed weird….but true for so many.
    Great descriptive details here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laughing and making fun of it is a must, at least for me, once I manage to calm down 😉 . Otherwise, it would drive me insane. I suppose we all have our reasons for this sort of behavior and mine reside in years and years of being told that anything short of perfection is capital offense.
      On the bright side, she liked the cake and I enjoyed telling her how imperfect it actually was 😉 .

      Liked by 1 person

  3. enjoyed this ana – and I know “so” many people who get along so well with their momma from a distance – to where is magical and dynamic – but the bickering happens when together for more than a day (or less).
    and really laughing at the shorts part -I once accidentally ran to target in those kind of short s- never again – lol
    oh and teen glare – true that

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is what it is, not all people have great, even decent relationships with their parents. I’m not trying to fool myself, we don’t get along “so well” even from afar, it’s just a lot easier to be civilized when not infringing upon each other’s space.
      But let’s get back to more important things, like the short shorts sight with which you regaled target shoppers. Wasn’t there some teenage girl looking as though she was secretly thinking, “Damn, she looks better than I would wearing those?” That would have been a fun bonus 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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