Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Good Enough

This is the truth: My life is only as complicated as I make it. And I have a habit of making it complicated.

"You don't always have to make something." The Husband said, as he was leaving for work. It was the day of the Christmas luncheon at his office, and he had neglected to tell me that he was supposed to bring in a dessert. So I found myself, at 6:30 in the morning, trying to come up with an amazing dessert that I could prepare, attractively package, and deliver to his office (30 minutes away) by noon. While at the same time supervising my children, whose insanity reached a fever pitch during Christmas break.

"I'll just buy something." he said.

I gasped.

"It's not a big deal. It's not like it's a reflection on you."

Oh, really? Because it is. Because you're going to show up with store bought cookies and everyone is going to think you have a horrible wife who can't cook and is probably a bad mother and unlikeable to boot. Because my self worth is somehow wrapped up in the quality of the dessert on the stupid work buffet.

That is either hugely self absorbed, or an issue for a therapist. Either way, it's fucked.

I'm not resolving to do anything this year. Mostly because I think it's silly to pick one day to change your life. I mean, what's wrong with March? Partly because I suck and can't keep resolutions. But I am going to try, try very hard, to not be so worried that what I do is who I am.

"Buy the damned cookies." I said.


  1. I have been making the same cookies for about 43 years, just posted the recipe, but the current batch was cooked too long so I had a zip loc bag of wonderful crumbs. But I had just got a giant can of cashews, and, hmmm, ah, yes, I added some, and wow! The next batch I am substituting cashews for some of the oatmeal, living dangerously, eXperimentally.

  2. Kelly,

    I stopped baking things for school when my older son said "Mom, we like the cupcakes from the grocery store better than yours because they come with prizes." The prizes were little plastic doodad rings shaped like soccer balls or Harry Potter wizards. Martha Stewart magical perfection cupcakes (that I make) obviously cannot compete with that.

    So I guess the real prize is I get to sleep in instead of pop out of bed and obsess about icing colors.

    ps-- to esbboston, if you are going to describe those homemade cookies in such yummy detail, you really should make us some. You know, as samples.

  3. I am right there with you on this. Not sure where we learned that self-esteem is wrapped up in baked goods, but alas...

  4. What's sad is that I do this even though I can't eat either flour or sugar. I even have written a book of dessert recipes that I give as teacher gifts. And I can't even eat them. Therapy, for sure.

  5. I'm the very same way. I need to get over what I think people will think and realize that a) most people are so friggen worried about their own issues that they don't give a single shit about me and b) people who do think those things are assholes who would think something bad of me even if I made cookies while saving orphans from a fire, and curing cancer. "They're a little over-browned... you would think, being so successful as she is that she could manage her time well enough to get cookies out of the oven when they are golden instead of golden brown. Clearly she doesn't care."

  6. One giant step....and good for you! (You can always make cookies and mail them out to us, because, we care....truly)

  7. I could have written this about myself. I've said those exact words. I don't know why it is so easy to wrap my self-worth up in what I bake for others, but it sure as shit seems to happen. I'm going to try to embrace the "buy the damn cookies" philosophy more.

  8. Yay, you! I have gotten a little better about not creating unnecessary complications (especially in the cooking/baking for others department) for myself, but when my kids were younger, I had it so bad that my three-year-old daughter told me one night, "Mommy, dinner doesn't have to be so complicated." She was probably just parroting her father, but she had a point. (It's partly funny and partly tragic that at 17, she complicates EVERY damned thing, but that's a story for another day.)

  9. I do the same thing sister. It absolutely IS a reflection of you - just like buying the kids' teacher a better gift than the other students. It's ALL a reflection of the mom! I loved this!

  10. GOOD GIRL!

    Also? I was humiliated today because the birthday cake I was supposed to make and bring to a party this evening was hilarious in its massive failure. I cried over that damn cake. And then, I sliced it up in big hunks (because it still tasted fabulous, it just looked like vomit) and took it to the party anyway, checked my pride at the door, shrugged, handed it to the birthday boy, and took my place at the table. When I told the birthday boy, "Hey! It still tastes great." He said, "Duh. I know. You made it." :)