Nontraditional | Teen Ink


October 6, 2010
By Cassacola BRONZE, Helena, Alabama
Cassacola BRONZE, Helena, Alabama
1 article 7 photos 2 comments

Once upon a time, in a far away land called Birmingham, there were two old witches with a house made of coffee grounds, dark chocolate, and other bitter things. These two wart-free witches were my mother and me. We lived in a nice house in the suburbs in a neighborhood that always gave off this strange cult vibe. There were plenty of super swell folks, but all the little Cleaver families gave me the creeps. It was like a less perverted Stepford society. Here the men cared less about increasing their wives’ cup sizes by remote and were more enthralled by the idea of turning them into Betty Crocker. The moms in my little town were not the most attractive, but golly gee, they sure could they host a TupperWare party.
My mom and I were not the best fit in this deranged and domestic domain. My old woman was more into Lean Cuisine or going out to dine for super. I am confident that she would rather salt and pepper her own eyes before cooking a stew—she would prefer to drink premade liquid tar than make Kool Aid on a summer day. In fact, I think she hates the kitchen so much, if she had to choose between eating compressed sand cubes for the rest of her life or performing her “womanly duties” for a month, we would be sucking down Saharan smoothies.

One time, the fall after my Nana got remarried to a fellow named Buddy, they decided to have Thanksgiving at his sister’s house. Mom and I were still adjusting to my grandparents’ split, so we chose to stay in Hattiesburg that year. Basically, we had no plan and no food. After she announced the news that we were going remain home for the holiday, two thoughts ran through my mind. One: Thank goodness, I don’t have to pretend to be a charming Southern lady to a crowd of strangers. Two: Dear Lord, how are we going to eat? There is no way that Mother, my mother, could prepare an eatable meal for two; one, if not both of us, was not going to make it out of this break alive.

We went to the local Publix, with the intention of getting a pre-baked, ten-pound turkey. Who would have ever thought that two days before Thanksgiving there wouldn’t be any turkeys for sale? So, since my beautiful, type A mommy insisted that we have a lovely holiday dinner, we drove to the Piggly Wiggly, Winn Dixie, Brunos, and Target. After searching for fouls frantically, we finally caved and went to the store that must not be named. That’s right; we went to…the Wal Mart. I have already expressed the hatred Mom has for the kitchen. Well, her contempt for good ol’ Wally World was tantamount to her feelings for a scullery. However, we got our pathetic, little bird of five pounds, and it only cost my mother’s sanity.
Next, we get home, with a twelve pack of Diet Coke, and what appears to be a burnt pigeon in hand. Mom was getting ready to cut into our holiday tradition when all of a sudden she remembered that animals have bones. The idea of slicing this tiny turkey made Mom double over in a most dramatic fashion. While she was gagging over her mental image of savagely yanking his limbs apart like some tribal ritual, she put the knife down and got some fresh air. Ninny. Well, I was seven at the time, and she was convinced that if I looked at a knife too hard I would give myself cataract surgery. That said, I was not allowed to take a stab at it…pun fully intended.

Mother was traumatized and could not think about eating anything with an anatomy similar to her own. We then decided to go searching through the cabinets and viola! We have it: Ritz and Cheese Whiz. It was a meal squeezed for a king...or a peasant really. Wheat and dairy: The meal of a champion's caddy.
Finally, just to make sure that everyone is on the same page, my mother is not a Brady lady. She is more like a Designer Woman, but that is why I love her so much. She is the world to me. If it weren’t for her extreme feminist ways, and passion for things she cared about, there is no way I would be nearly as independent as I am now. Sure, she can’t microwave dip without some parts colder than a winter lake and others like cheesy lava. And, who cares if the only appliance she ever used is a Mr. Coffee she got in college? She is still the single most incredible woman I have ever known, and I am truly blessed to be able to call her my mother. Granted, it would be nice to have more than soggy cereal three days a week, but if she could whip up dishes like Julia Child, she would just be too perfect.

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