Making A Thing

I’m not a good cook. 

I’m not awful, I guess. But I produce more  anxiety and self-deprecation and mess than delicious food. It’s something I’d like to change. And like writing or chair pose or plumbing, I suspect it’s something one needs a few tries at to get better. (Although chair pose and clogged toilets remain my arch enemies.)

But, I’m determined to keep saying yes. To keep trying. 

So, making the food tonight. Yes. And if I burn or melt or otherwise desiccate the whole lot in my attempt, well I was probably going to order pizza anyway. 

This won’t be Pinterest pretty. Won’t have flowery, detailed instructions. I’m making it all up. Without filters. So here goes. 


I cut up whatever vegetables I had in my drawer. The ones on top of the many candy bars. And not the slimy, turned ones that I threw out. The carrots and red potatoes and sweet potatoes and green peppers that seemed still edible. 


In water. Boil. How long? Don’t know. However long it takes to help with spelling homework. 

Take steak out of freezer and thaw. I know I lost most right there. The vegetarians and the good meat snobs. Sorry. This is real grown up life. Work and  kid’s guitar lessons and laundry. I’m not dealing with Giant Eagle tonight.  If it helps, I’m sure it was a really cheap cut, that I’m sure was only mediocre to middling at the start. 


Speaking of cut, do that. Don’t know from bias or grain. Just cut. 

Put salt and pepper on it. Then more. Then yank the produce out of the water and throw their asses on a tray too. Same salt and pepper and maybe oil on them too. Who knows?


Another pause because I forgot to sign some paper for school and then did that but then put it in the wrong folder. 

Heat the oven. Crank that bitch. How high? (he, he, high, weed joke.) But seriously. No idea. Just turn it up. Far as she goes.  Then shove it all in. (he, he, sex joke that I won’t specify because this about my food not my kinks.)

Before. 


Ten minutes. Maybe fifteen. Don’t know. I had ‘Call the Midwife’  on my Kindle and then needed to come up with rhyming words for march and restore (starch and before oh my gods these poor women without birth control pills!) 

Then I had to stare at the pretty I had wrought. And play at artsy. 


After. 

Trays got twisted. Script Supervisor and continuity are not in my skill set. 

Plate that bitch. 


Obviously I are three times that during various kitchen passes and walk throughs. 

Didn’t turn out half bad. 

So, I did make the thing. We finished homework and ate the thing I made. 

Yes. A good yes for today. 

Even if it’s probably yes to pizza tomorrow. 

No Crying Over Spilled Ink

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I’m not good at art. At all.

Not ink. Not charcoal. Not finger paints.

Not any kind. Not any presentation. Not any medium.

And I’m not good at saying no. Gives me more responsibility, anxiety and heartache than a girl can handle somedays.

Problem is, I’m also really god damn bad at saying yes.

“Hey, you want to grab a drink after the show?”

No.

“You want to get the girls together for a-”

Probably not. No, on second thought,  you know what? Absolutely not.

“Wouldn’t it be fun if we-”

Never.  Could not refuse harder.

For me, there is something so safe and comfortable about being tucked away alone. You can’t embarrass yourself. Well, you can but at least no one can see it. It’s easy.

So,  trying something new? With others?

The painful, saccharine, no-way-in-hell, kitsch of that is so gross and full of sticky treacle it’s almost adorable in its irony. New things? That’s the hard stuff. And there’s no way I’d even consider such a horrible idea.

But today, for some inexplicable reason, I did. Well, actually I can explain, but it’s boring.

I was invited to buy nibs and ink and gorgeous sleek paper so that I could take a shot at calligraphy. For no other reason than it seemed like a fun way to spend an afternoon. Me. Arting.

My initial instinct? No. Fat, stoic, austere no. Why? I can’t do that. Notion like that could surely only bring pain and gutting of what residual self-esteem a Sunday night has to offer.

But, I didn’t say no. Because I wanted to be nice. I wanted to make happy. I wanted to show that I’m not a constant and perpetual drag full of mope and pessimism. I mean, I usually am, but we don’t need to advertise that.

To my surprise, I said yes. We bought the pretty things and went home and sat and drew bold, black, gothic letters.

It was silly. My work was a jumbled mess. I’ve seen neater letters on a preschooler’s letter to Santa.

But it wasn’t bad. I sat and tried and tried again. I played along. Then I pretended to be Mary Shelley, writing for the Monster. That was actually lots of fun. Those incredible women suffered this inky pain and wrote this magic words while strangled and erect in corsets, not slouched kyphotic in yoga pants and a blanket scarf.

The pattern of mine, the unexpected yes,  is starting to repeat and those acceptances and their reasons are starting sharpen into focus. No long ago, instead of hiding away in a room, I said yes to sitting and talking and had a lovely night with some lovely girls. This same culprit also asked me once to stay for pasta. Something told me to fight my instinct and say yes to that as well. I’m so glad I did. Been staying ever since and I’m better and so happy for it.

This afternoon turned into a good night. Lots of letters on pretty paper. Slanted, uneven, sloppy, lines and curves with perk when they should relax and malaise when they should  assert their point. Objectively speaking, I’m not going to get work in a print shop anytime soon. I won’t get hired to write the addresses on your cousins’ wedding invitations.  But I did something better.

One more time, I said yes.

And then dripped ink across everything.

So now the writing says vjcc.

But I’m still saying yes.