Tag Archives: Mom

Burnt Bagels and Mayonnaise Sandwiches

Harried, overwhelmed, inadequate. That’s how I felt one morning while standing over the breakfast I’d prepared for my 11-year-old son. I’d burnt the bottom of a bagel, the last bagel. Among the lapping of the dog at the empty dog bowl, the annoying motor sound of the leaking fridge, there was sobbing. “I’m a crap Mom!” I said out loud while trying to slice off the charred chunk and keep my tears from falling into the butter. “I can’t do anything right.”

I don’t know how my mom did it. She raised two kids, worked, kept an immaculate house.

There are dozens of dog hair tumbleweeds rolling about my floors. And I can’t even toast a proper bagel for my one kid.

Being a working Mom ain’t no joke. Being a Mom period ain’t no joke. I’ve been the stay-at-home and the working. They both have their challenges. Time is never on your side.

I am a perfectionist but I have had to learn to change my idea of perfection. And I certainly can’t compare myself to other Moms. God forbid go onto Facebook and see all the seemingly perfectionism going on there. Makes me want to choke on a bagel. But nothing is perfect. There’s always a burnt bagel or a sob fest or a moment of defeat behind gorgeous repurposed doors.

I can look back at my childhood and glorify and romanticize. But it had its moments, too.

My mom usually packed my lunch. Most of the time it was decent enough for a kid in the 80’s in the South. There was a lot of white bread and pimento cheese and I think maybe a piece of fruit every once in a while. But sometimes the content of the sandwich consisted only of mayonnaise. Which I hated. But the crusts were cut off. And while I choked down the vile thing I kind of felt sorry for my mom cause I knew she was doing the best she could do. And she left little “I love you” notes in my Smurfs lunchbox.

I never wanted her to feel bad about the mayo sandwiches so I never said anything about it.

After I salvaged my son’s bagel I brought it to him while holding back tears.

A few minutes later I heard him call out that it was the best bagel he’d ever eaten. And that I was the best Mom there could ever be.

We may not be perfect. In other people’s minds and especially our own. But we do the best we can. And a special note, gratitude, and some sugar and cinnamon goes a long way.

Caprice Estate

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom

11 Comments

Filed under Yep I'm Becoming My Mother

El Commando

My mother always wore muumuus to bed.  On Saturdays and holidays she might wear them all day.

The bird of paradise on my lanai-- inspirational flower for thousands of muumuu designs

The bird of paradise on my lanai– inspirational flower for hundreds of muumuu designs.

Although quite unfashionable, they looked comfy as hell.  Some were bright like the bird of paradise which blooms in the late summer in my tropical backyard patio.  Some were more subdued—perhaps a pale blue with lace around the collar.  They were varying lengths but Mom preferred the gowns that graced her firm, meaty calves.  In my beloved early 80’s childhood sitcom, Three’s Company, Miss Roper would wear those beacons of comfortable gaudiness like she was Lana Turner, pairing each of them with a classy, plastic bead necklace.  She was no Hollywood siren, but she definitely had something right.

Flash forward to the late 90’s.  I’m working at a mall photo store with this witch Dani who had it out for me ever since she learned I was ten years younger than her.  As I bend over to dust some shelves she starts cackling and pointing at me.  “Your panty line is showing and it looks ridiculous!”  Appalled I scamper to the restroom and look at my backside in the mirror.  The edges of my size 12 panties are visible underneath my geometric-style polyester dress.  It does kind of look ridiculous and enhances my already ample rump.

There are occasions which warrant the donning of undergarments.

There ARE occasions which warrant the donning of undergarments. What’s your style?

The next day I buy some of those new-fangled thongs everyone’s talking about.  Those crotch-scrapers definitely cut down on the panty line factor, but after a month or so I didn’t know which was worse—being embarrassed or in constant pain.  So I decided to, as they described it in my beloved college sitcom, Seinfeld, go el Commando.

See the thing about going commando (sans underwear) is that unless you happen to be wearing a dress and walk over an underground fan, it’s really your little secret.  That is, unless you start spilling it to your friends because you can’t believe how freeing it is and why the heck didn’t you do this sooner.  Why, on Golden Girls, my favorite sitcom of all time, Blanche is well known by her mates that she prefers that liberating feeling.

So this all goes back to the fact that I grew up with a mother who enjoyed being informally relaxed, at least apparel-wise.  Thank goodness slips and pantyhose are not a part of our daily modern wardrobe now.  Underwear is enough to deal with.

Gorgeously uncomfortable

Gorgeously uncomfortable

Period pieces, movies set in the 1700’s—I love them.  The décor, the thick, wood furniture, the renaissance paintings, the wigs, hats, ornate shoes and dresses—they are a feast to the eyes.  But underneath the ever-mysterious centuries-ago garments are the corsets.  My wedding dress was a floor-grazing long, cream-colored silk skirt and a corset with about a thousand laces in the back.  It was beautiful but after wearing the top half all day (my hairstylist had me wear it in the morning while having my hair done), by the time I walked to the end of the aisle that evening I thought I might pass out.  At the end of the festivities when my husband and I were back at the hotel for our first night of bridled passion, the very act of him trying to untie me out of that thing left us both exhausted and describing the awesome sex we would have once we got to the Bahamas and into our island clothes.

Yeah.

Yeah.

In fact, one of the main reasons I vied to move to Florida after less than a year of marriage was so I could wear flip flops every day of the year.  Once again, comfort.  And in our Florida department store Bealls, there was until a year or so ago, an actual muumuu section.  The first time I saw it I laughed and took a photo with my phone.  I texted my brother a caption underneath the photo that read, “My form of dress in 20 years”.

Some women wear stilettos, some don corsets.  Some prefer skin-tight jeans; others prance around in string-bikinis.  I’m not at the muumuu phase yet, but I do have a worn-in polka-dotted cotton dress that I call my “muumuu for my forties”.  And unless a gust of wind blows heavy at my hemline, I have a not-so-secret secret that keeps me in total comfort abandonment—all above a pair of luxurious $3 flip flops.

4 Comments

Filed under Yep I'm Becoming My Mother