Friday, November 23, 2007

Culinary Roulette

Note the earlier post (Prodigal Daughter), in which I observe that eating with my mother is a sort of culinary Russian Roulette. Somebody makes a fatal mistake.

Imagine the Thanksgiving feast, all that time to fumble and pitch.

As usual, the fatal mistake was mine (a dour and perhaps ill-conceived comment on the small rural town where I spent my adolescence). She packed up and left before dessert.

Now that I have children of my own, watching her walk away is harder--mostly because I'm always weak-kneed with relief to see her go.

But I want my children to adore me as adults.

This desire runs like a film clip (in Manhattan) where the 'mature' but still chic me is seen lunching with adult children; visiting museums; cooking huge Sunday night dinners (monthly, I'm realistic in my fantasy) during which we discuss politics, the economy, religion, and life and there is plenty of philosophical dissent but Family prevails; planning baby showers or anniversaries; grabbing the quick workweek lunch with my successful, happy children--who find me interesting, witty, frustrating, wise and generally pleasant to be around.

The soundtrack is Jeff Buckley's version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Just in case the intensity of the vision isn't clear.

But I am decidedly not modeling the parent/adult child relationship I want to create with my own children. Instead, I'm stuck holding the spatula, watching my mother round up her dogs (that's another story) and leave.

Hope I fare better.

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