Friday, September 22, 2006

Blackberry Spice Cake With a Side of Bitter

Um, let's see. Today I'm up at the crack of dawn because I am in the middle of making a blackberry spice cake with cream cheese frosting for Mr. E's company picnic. Yesterday I talked to my mom and she let me know that I could go ahead and make cupcakes from a box for this picnic at which the culinary highlight will be ballpark franks but then when Mr. E's career goes down in a spiralling ball of flames and we find ourselves destitute and out on the street and science and the very fabric of our universe as we know it is never the same again after he is unable to gift the entire world with his superior lake mud knowledge, well, then I can be secure in the knowledge that it's all my fault for not bringing a homemade dessert to the stupid fucking company picnic.

God, what is it with mothers? They can just get to you like no one else on earth. I swear my mom's voice is like a dog whistle to me - I can hear things in that woman's voice that no one else on earth can and I know I'm not imagining it. She doesn't even have to speak - all it takes is the tiniest throat clear from her and I know she hates my hair, my shoes, my makeup, AND she thinks I've gained weight.

I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday about she always felt really self conscious growing up about money, how her mom made her feel so bad that they couldn't afford the things she wanted, and how it made her feel poor as a kid, and you know Mr. E never had a lot of money growing up either since he had aproximately nine hundred and eighty seven siblings, but he never really felt it, and he thought it was because his parents never made him feel shitty about it. They told him all the time he couldn't have $100 sneakers but they never made him feel guilty about the fact that he was asking for them or that they couldn't afford them. They never made him feel like an asshole for asking. My parents never bought me anything I wanted either, everyone else had an Esprit bag and I had my old backpack from the year before and it killed me to be so hideously uncool, but it wasn't because they didn't have the money, it was because they thought it was stupid to buy something new if I already had a perfectly good backpack. And the thing is, they never made me feel bad about asking for stuff either, but it had nothing to do with money. It was because they felt completely and totally justified in saying no. My mom thought I didn't need that bag and my mom was never wrong. Never is, never has been, never will be, at least in her own mind.

I don't think my mother has ever had a moment of self doubt in her entire life. I don't think she ever feels bad about how she treats people or wonders if she should lay off a little. I really don't. It's just odd to me that a $15 Esprit bag could have made me so happy and so much less stressed out about school and yet it never even occured to my mom that maybe she was wrong, maybe she should buy me something I didn't need, just because. Maybe she shouldn't call her pregnant daughter from across the world and tell her that what she's doing isn't good enough when a lot of times she's just getting by, doing the best she can, and sometimes that comes from a box. And unfortunately I don't know that there's a conversation in the world, at least not one that I'm capable of having, that would ever make my mom think twice about some of this stuff that she does or says to me. She is who she is and she never wonders if that's ok.

I was talking to Mr. E about this last night and what I would really love to say to my mom is this. I would love to tell her that I am the type of person who has to work every single minute of every single day to let go. I've been trying to be more chill my entire fucking life. I have the people around me in my life because they are the people who tell me to relax, that it doesn't matter, that I don't need to research cakes from around the world and grind my own organic wheat and raise my own chickens, that I am still a good person if I don't push harder, run faster, do more and more and more. There's no one in the world harder on me than I am on myself and the last thing in the world I need is another voice telling me that I'm not good enough. The one I hear every day in my own head is loud enough.

1 comment:

PastaQueen said...

My mom's mom was kind of like that too and it made my mom especially careful not to be judgmental of me growing up. So maybe you can do the same and learn from your mom's mistakes to become an even better mother. Then you can screw you kid up in completely new ways :)