Okay, I’m going to let you in on a little secret or two. My first secret is I have a terrible temper. It just has to be set off in the right way. People can do things to me all the time, all the time, and I don’t get mad. I’m just there. I either feel sad or feel I deserve it or feel mad at myself at what normal folks would go Mike Tyson over. There is one person though who really gets me, sends me into a total rage. My mother, because it’s my mother who is the closest to me and she observes and she comments. Then I fly into a rage, usually over trivial things. I hate being reminded I’m not perfect, though it seldom is my mother’s intention to make me feel bad. I want to please her ALL THE TIME. Please my friends ALL THE TIME. And I always fail, which throws me into a rage. All I know is I am so angry I want and do hit myself. I try not to do it in front of people because it is a pretty crazy compulsion. And the funny thing is I don’t believe in hitting, but my standards towards myself on the other hand….
It is nothing I’m proud of and I would on no terms suggest anyone try it out. I’m not the first wacko with a need to punish herself and will not be the last. All the old saints used to do that stuff, but I’m not Catholic, just fucked. A fist to the side of my head, not hard enough to jangle my brains, just enough to smart a little. The arms. My thighs. I never leave a mark, just enough to hurt a little. My fists banging against a hard surface like the recalcitrant child I am. It purges anger, an emotion I loathe and fear, and this awful frustration. Frustration isn’t just an emotion. I feel it creeping around in my body, up around the eyes, in my arms, stomach, and legs. Mental Midget Deluxe.
Then if I can, I take a nap, hoping that I can do things exactly the right way the next time I wake-up. I won’t say anything wrong and I will do everything right. EVERYTHING!!!
Pollyanna would say, Of course you can. Everything will be glad, happy, happy, daisies and kittens!!!!
Nervous Nelly would say, Sure, Genius. Afterall, you’re an understudy for Jesus Christ.
Second secret time, and can any secret be more shameful than the last one? Why yesssssssss!
My therapist is trying to get me to do things called “life skills.” Rendered into English, that means, “Get off your lazy ass and try to learn how to cook. You ain’t gonna poison no one or die from exertion. While you’re at it, do your own damn laundry.” Anywho, my therapist believes, and rightly so, that the more independence I gain from my Mom the more my little self-esteem issue is going to improve and that I will be less afraid of my mother dying. But I also think my mom is afraid of being alone, but I wouldn’t ever move away from her. Afterall, the moment I moved out, I’d be sure she’d take that moment to up and die and somehow it would be my fault. Or I’d die. Anyway, someone would definitely kick the can.
So now to the part where the little men in white coats and butterfly nets should have been called out in their little white van. The shit hit the fan about the time I decided I was Julia Child. What is really quick to make, least likely to give someone food poisoning, and I have the least likelihood of totally screwing up? Tuna fish sandwiches! But not really trusting my memory, I hit Google. I search for a simple recipe I might follow. I wade through a couple, one even advocating putting apple slices in the tuna. Apple slices?! Either she’s pregnant or it’s true some real crazy-assed people use the internet. I finally settle on the easiest I could find.
First step, find a pot and a bowl. Check and check after a little hunting.
Second, the eggs. Boil 2 of them says recipe. I open the carton. A couple have tiny cracks. I avoid those in case it might cause a plague to break out if they were used, who knows? I find 2 that seem perfectly sound and put them on to boil.
Third, this step is vital, find the tuna! Where the hell did I put it the other day when putting the groceries away? Ah, yes! Behind my stash of Chef Boyardee. First can I pull out is chunk light, but that’s what we use to bribe the cats to leave us alone when Mom is preparing white albacore. But only Oscar the black tabby is around now and I hate to use the leave-me-be can of tuna on only one cat. “I’ll let you have the juice,” I promise our little connoisseur of all foods human.
Fourth, can opener. You’d think they’d make everything with a pull up ring to open the can with, but alas, no. We have a manual one only now because we just never bothered to buy a new electric one after our old one croaked. I think I have the lid cut through, but it turns out I only have cut through around 75% of the can. Close enough.
Fifth and sixth steps, dodge and placate the cat. Oscar is on the counter ready to pounce. “Wait,” I demand and with one hand holding the can, the other I sit Oscar back on the floor. With a blink of an eye Oscar is once again on the counter as though he never left. “Oscar-Dammit!” I cry his alternate name. It appears Oscar will be remaining on the counter. I take the can, grab a cereal bowl, and drain the water into it, plus add a small bit of tuna for his majesty.
Seventh, add shredded cheese. Cheese? Well, not so far-fetched really since I always order cheese on my tuna sub at Subway. But then I add mustard too, so take my tastes for what you will. Will my mother totally freak upon seeing bits of American cheese in the tuna? Next option: parmesan. Now that’s about as “shredded” as it gets, baby, and if used sparingly, undetectable. And I can say I followed the recipe to the best of my ability. Win-win. Feeling a bit like the mother in Flowers in the Attic adding a secret ingredient to the food, I sprinkle the cheese in the tuna. The only difference in me and the evil mother in Flowers in the Attic, is my secret ingredient is Kraft parmesan, not arsenic.
Eighth, add mayo from a half empty (not half full because optimism is sooo overrated) squirt bottle, all the while being on the look-out for an ambush by a cat.
Ninth, ain’t got no celery. Next.
Tenth, sweet pickles. I start with a steak knife trying to chop the slices fine, but end up deciding to later find some other chopping implement lest I cut myself.
Eleventh, find an onion.
Twelfth, get totally enraged and hand the whole thing over to my mother, who seems to think I can’t do anything right….at least that’s what my mind is saying.
Okay, so my mom walks into the kitchen and I ask where the onion is, that I’m making tuna.
“Oh, I’ll do it,” says Mama. Already I’m feeling flustered. I hear it as “You know you can’t do that.”
She then lets me know two eggs weren’t needed, just one. I didn’t put enough mayonnaise. Did I even rinse off the tuna after I drained it? Hello?! I’m supposed to be the OCD Blogger Girl, not my mom! The apple fell from the tree not too far away. And this was one angry apple by now and getting redder by the second. Let me say this though, I generally defer to people, knowing I’m not the shiniest apple in the batch, and because I don’t have to ritualize things if someone tells me exactly how to do something. BUT, if I’m already doing something and decided how I will do it, that’s when I get upset. And I got upset.
Dondee of Going to the Vet Fame & Oscar Dammit