Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Burning Bagel

I don't want to drone on indulgently about my brand new, fucking adorable babies. Well, actually I kind of do. It's not all kittens and rainbows here at the Jackson house, though, what with the sleepless nights and the grotesque, after-pregnancy body and my mother-in-law visiting from Florida. She is simultaneously saving my life and destroying it at the same time. We actually argued the other day about Nancy Kerrigan. Nancy fucking Kerrigan. She was insisting that that washed up hag was currently competing in the Olympic Games. And I kept insisting that unless I inadvertently entered a time warp and was somehow unknowingly existing in 1992, I was pretty certain Nancy Kerrigan was not taking the ice in Vancouver in 2010. I had to actually go on the internet to convince her of my absolute rightness. How many times do I have to prove to this woman that I'm right before she understands that I am always and forever right? Apparently, I must do this to infinity.

I am exhausted in this new reality in which 1 straight hour of sleep is an elusive luxury. But I am not too tired to champion the important causes, i.e. generic ketchup can't hold a candle to Heinz. Don't even try to bring that Walmart "great value" watery "catsup" shit home and tell me it's the same fucking thing as yummy, red, thick Heinz. Because post-partum depression means never having to say you're sorry for stabbing someone in the face for buying the wrong condiment. It also gives me automatic immunity from prosecution for burning a bagel, which is apparently now a capital offense. I watched incredulously as my mother-in-law leaned over the trashcan, sadly but with determination scraping the burnt black shit off the everything bagel I had just burned in the toaster oven. There was much sighing and mumbling under the breath about the "cost of things" until I finally asked why she wouldn't just let me throw the fucking thing away and make a new one. "Oh no", said the martyr, "I'll eat it. It won't taste that bad."

And then today, she is the one who commits this heinous criminal act. But since my mother-in-law is not post-partum and thus does not have immunity, she actually says, "Well I'm just going to have to punish myself by eating it." And I have to ask her to repeat herself because my ears cannot believe the nonsense she is spewing forth from her fucking mouth. "What on earth are you talking about, Tatty? Why would you have to punish yourself for burning a damn bagel? It's just bread?" And she says, "Weeeeell, if I punish myself and make myself eat the burnt bagel then maybe I won't burn one the next time I make lunch." And this is the part where I kind of lose my shit. "Ummm, it's just bread. It's BREAD. We do not live in a third world country ravaged by natural disaster where foodstuffs are scarce." She doesn't say anything but starts to put cream cheese on what is pretty much a lump of black ash. And she eats it, too, just to make a point.

Isn't it amazing that I haven't replaced her Centrum Silver vitamins with cyanide capsules? Aren't you proud of me? She could be easily tricked, too. All I would have to say is that I bought these great vitamins at Walmart, that I got a deal. She would be all over that shit.

But I kid. I love my mother-in-law. She is very awesome when she is not being tight and judgmental and touting the economic value of low-watt light bulbs and reusing dryer sheets "2 and 3 times" or asking me to get my crockpot from storage every 5 seconds or telling Liv to calm down when all she is doing is dancing and laughing like, I don't know, a normal 4 year old. In any case, she's changed a lot of shitty diapers for me. And do you want to know how she knows when the babies need to be changed? Not by sniffing around their asses for foul odors like normal people, but by actually sticking her finger into the diaper. Yet this same woman who has no problem putting her fingers in potentially shitty drawers says that aspirating boogers out the babies noses is "nasty" and would make her "dry heave".

Does anybody know how long it takes to kill someone with undetectable levels of arsenic?


  1. post-partum depression means never having to say you're sorry for stabbing someone in the face for buying the wrong condiment

    This HAS to be the new tagline for this blog. It HAS to.

    I feel your pain about MILs... but think of it this way, at least she's:
    a) willing to do night duty with you
    b) not charging you for her time
    like someone's MIL would.

  2. I would have killed her and pinned it on the 4 year old by now.

    You are a better woman than I.

  3. Damn. I should have used that excuse when I was all PPD. Catsup instead of Ketchup? Shit, I got Miracle Whip instead of Mayo. THAT AIN'T COOL.

  4. Wow. She sounds like a piece of work. My MIL drives me batshit crazy, but this is leaps and bounds wonkier. At least she's good with the diapers. Keep repeating that to yourself.

    And, if you need some fiction to read, try Dorothy Sayers "Strong Poison".

  5. Beds have sides. Get of the good one, you bitch.

    (Kidding, of course, I miss you.)

  6. The MILs are there for the purpose of helping you turn your rage away from your husband. She is always more fun to direct the invisible eye darts at than the man you count on to tell you when to up the meds.

  7. I think the Nancy Kerrigan thing is a sign that you should have paid attention to. This woman, helpful though she might be, is not based in the same reality as the rest of us. In her beautiful pink-skied world, apparently, it is alternatively 1992 and 1932. Nancy Kerrigan has just won the gold, Tonya Harding is being punished for burning a bagel, and the Joads have just left Oklahoma in their truck, headed to pick fruit in California.

    She sounds too much like my grandmother, who I eventually learned not to argue with. Although it irked me no end when she would insist something completely ignorant, going off on an antisemitic rant of some kind or another, or berating me for throwing out a plastic margarine container, I soon learned that a well-timed, superior sounding "Really?" (with raised eyebrows, as if to say silently after the 'really' 'you ignorant dried up husk of a moron') made me feel much much better.

    As for the generic ketchup (important point -- if it says "catsup" on the label, it is liquid evil!), I think my approach might have been to calmly ask where the ketchup is. When she handed me the 'catsup' I would laugh, and say 'I'm sorry. I asked for ketchup. Not spaghetti sauce.' and leave her to work that one out in her head for a while.

    (Do you figure that there's a reason my Mother in Law only visits once every five years or so?)

  8. I'm trying to feel empathetic, but mostly I'm just laughing my ass off.

  9. I want to come over and hold babies. After she leaves. I'll bring bagels.