Stuffed Shell Waltz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Standing in the kitchen that rainy fall day, I looked atthe stuffed shell I had just made. It was not sufficiently stuffed. The ones Ihad made before were either too thin, or overflowing with the shell breaking.Unlike my mother's shells, which were the epitome of perfection, mine had manyflaws. I sighed and continued trying to make mine more like hers.

Therehave been many times when I tried to do things exactly the opposite of the wayshe did. Why would I want to be remotely like this person who is so easily ableto drive me up a wall? She couldn't do anything right, and I resented it when myfather and sister said that she and I were the same person. I couldn't stand thethought of being even slightly like her.

There was a time when my motherwas my idol. Forget Barbie, I wanted to be just like her, though I never thoughtI could be as great or as wonderful. I thought she was a gourmet chef, as craftyas Martha Stewart and an artist. I remember drawing, and she would draw along onher own piece of paper. My people were awful-looking stick figures with what shecalled "chicken feet." Her drawings were the most beautiful creationsever. The people she made always looked so realistic, and were wearing the moststylish clothes. I never thought I would be capable of creating such fineart.

As time passed, I realized that her chicken was dry, she could notreally be compared to Martha, and my pictures were actually better than hers. Butas I stood in the kitchen that day staring at those shells, I realized that eventhough I may not like to admit it, she is still my model of perfection, and I dostill want to be like her. There are so many qualities that I admire in her, andI hope that some day I have children who look at me that way.

For the restof that afternoon, we continued our stuffed shell waltz: getting the shells,stuffing them, putting them in the pan, and covering them with sauce. I continuedto try to make mine as good as hers, but I know that that task may take my wholelife.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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