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Duly Noted

by The Next Family April 22, 2011

By: Ann Brown

When Grandma comes to visit

I need a stimulus package. I am so fucking tired.

A Morning In The Life of Mom’s Visit This Weekend:

8:30AM – She feels like tuna.

8:30 and a half – She opens and shuts ALL the squeaky cupboards looking for tuna, waking up everyone else in the house.

8:40 – Finds tuna, but notes that it’s packed in water, which “has no taste.” (Note: to merely note something is not the same as criticizing it. This is a very important distinction and it will be on the final.)

8:41 – Begins to tell me about the tuna she made at home with wasabi mayonnaise and how delish it is. Short detour about the wasabi tuna salad at Gelson’s and that none of the workers in the deli knew what wasabi is. Impressive segue into the history of Yiddish.

9:24 – Story ends (note the time). During this time, she has taken out of my refrigerator: scallions, fresh parsley, wasabi, mayonnaise, cucumbers, red onions, shredded carrots, bell peppers, fresh basil and lemons. Then she has put back the carrots, peppers, basil and lemons. Then she TOOK back the lemons.
I have “shushed” her about eighty times, reminding her that everyone is still trying to sleep.

9:25 – She opens a can of tuna, smells it, confirms/notes that it is not tasty like tuna in oil, and empties it into a paper cup. (“Why dirty a whole bowl?”) I race around in an attempt to fetch everything she is fetching because her fingers STINK with tuna and onions. She sees me with my bottle of Mrs. Meyer’s basil-scented counter spray, wiping down everything she touches and when I explain why, she says, “they don’t smell at all, see?” and shoves her fingers under my nose. Still partially asleep and not have had coffee yet, I retch at the smell of fish. She laughs and notes that I am “so sensitive”. It is not a compliment.

9:50 – Chopping veggies, and a synopsis of the opera she saw at the Dorothy Chandler last week. Brief detour to discuss the merits of the thin flexible chopping boards she uses and how they are superior to the ones I have. Plus, why do I always have to put them in the dishwasher? What a waste. She just rinses them off in cold water and uses them again and again. (See above note about her inability to smell tuna and onions on her fingers.) I make a note to NEVER use the chopping boards when I come to her house.

10:05 – I take out the garbage even though it is only one quarter full because the tuna can is making me nauseous. Evidently, I am VERY sensitive to smell. This observation is still not a compliment. Also, why am I not wearing shoes? Or a camisole under my sweatshirt? It is very cold in my house. Not a criticism, just a notation.

10:25 – Maybe fresh cilantro will help make the tuna taste the way she makes it. I go to the market. As I am getting into my car, she stage whispers from the front door (which is directly above the sleeping people’s bedroom windows), “Wait! See if they have the good kind of parsley!” I raise my finger to my lips in the “shush” gesture and she blows me a kiss back.

11:00 – Still not quite right. Maybe more lemon. Oy! Too much lemon now. I didn’t have the Trader Joe’s wasabi mayo that she uses and maybe that’s the reason. Maybe add more of the wasabi I have. OY. Too much wasabi! Maybe a little more mayonnaise. But we are not really mayonnaise kind of folks, so even just dipping the fork into the mayo and then spreading it around the tuna seems excessive. Short detour back to why my house is so cold.

11:20 – More lemon. And then, why do I put the knife in the dishwasher when I only used it to slice the lemon? You just rinse it off. Plus, my dishwasher is always so full. (This is a criticism, but I am still not quite sure why.)

Noon- The tuna salad is okay, just okay. Not great. The leftover is spooned into MANY paper cups, each cup secured with a paper towel and a rubber band. (“Why dirty the Tupperware?”) Oh, and she finally figured out what is missing from the tuna salad. I buy the wrong kind of tuna.

Before she leaves, she packs up the leftover food she brought with her from LA last week – the steamed broccoli, dried fruit compote, assorted half-eaten apples that she was not able to finish while she was here – into various used ziplock bags and shards of aluminum foil, to be returned, I am sure, to her refrigerator at home. Until, I don’t know, she comes back up here for Passover.

God help me, I miss her already.


[Photo Credit: Flickr member: Aki_Lusi]

The post Duly Noted appeared first on The Next Family.

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