My lesson for the week: when the curried tomato coconut soup explodes all over the kitchen at 10:30 p.m. on Sunday night, it’s time to admit there’s no way you’re also making bulgur pilaf for a Monday night dinner gathering.
Here’s one of the things I don’t understand about myself: why does it take exploding soup to get me to realize this? Simple addition would do the trick. Number of hours between present time and guest arrival: 20.5. Hours that should be spent sleeping, working, or getting to and from work: 19. Time it takes to make bulgur pilaf: too much. After all, there is now a big mess of soup to clean up.
Needless to say, I ordered pizza. And poured everyone large glasses of wine.
Earlier that very day my mom and I had discussed the radical concept of accepting our limitations. We spend a lot of time in this culture pretending we can overcome any shortcoming with hard work and will power, but that’s just silly.
I am never going to be an Olympic high jumper, for example, or win the Nobel Prize in Physics. I’ve pretty much gotten over both of those. For some reason, it’s harder to accept that I’m never going to approach Martha Stewart-ish, even though I don’t actually want to make matching, spring green, baby-duck napkins, placemats, and table runners out of recycled aprons for Easter brunch.
Other difficult ones: I will never be the uber-productive, uber-efficient, uber-thrifty member of any randomly selected sample of American women aged 27-45. Or any other age for that matter. I will almost never get anything much done after 9 p.m., except this blog. I will probably never succeed at any diet that includes less than a lot of chocolate. I feel I ought to be able to make myself have these capabilities, but I don’t.
It’s possible I’ll once again be cleaning soup off the butter, the counter, the floor, the cookbook, the real estate papers before remembering any of this. At that point, I hope I also remember to laugh and order pizza.