Christmas Eve Day. The table is set – beautifully I might add. Why? Because for the last month I’ve fretted over each and every detail because I adore a gorgeous table. The theme this year is glam-glam with extra sparkle. Mirror and silver and babbles.
All is well. Except it isn’t. Due to terrible planning on my part and tons of reasons (excuses) I do not have a menu planned. That is correct. The table is set – but there is no food in the house to eat on the lovely china plates. And I am stressed. (Ya think?!)
My loved ones aren’t all going to be together. There is other “stuff” going on. Little stuff and big stuff. Emotions are high and it fells like – despite my perfect table (yes I said it again – the table is gorgeous) – my world is crumbling. And I am sad.
Frantic race to the grocery store to fight with all the other poor planners and scramble for what ever food scraps are left to throw together because hey – that’s not the important part of a meal anyway, right?!
Seriously. I feel myself begin to unravel.
Making my way to the meat department I pass women with the frantic, crazy eyed look that I know must mirror my own. I pass men with the “what in the world – I don’t wanna go home to that crazy woman” look that I recognize too. I am not supposed to be one of “these” people. I do not belong among the great mass of disorganized. What is going on in the universe! I fight on to the counter.
I have seen another one of those “no fail – perfect every time” recipes on FaceBook. (Damn you FB! I have been stung WAY too many times by your sweet, sweet lies!) At this point in time whenever I say I’m trying a new recipe my lovely family smiles, says awesome! it will be great! and quietly goes ahead and orders pizza. And that my dear ones, is a fact.
So. With great fear I walk to the meat counter and peer through the glass at a large blob of red meat. And I stare. And I start wondering if pizza delivers on Christmas Day. And how much that meat costs. And how sad I will be if we have to throw it all away because I ruin it. And if we should just have tacos because I usually get that right…
The Butcher approaches. He is twelve. With a sweet – dare I say “jolly” face that kind of makes me want to throw something at him, and he says brightly, “Can I help you?”
That’s it. That is all it takes. As I begin to explain how hopeless I am with large red meat, I loose it. I burst into sobs, only slightly below hysterical. The deep, snotty, snorty, blubbery kind.
I’m quite certain butcher school did not prepare him for this. But bless his heart, he stays with me. After he recoils, collects himself and smothers his shock and awe, He starts writing out recipes and giving me ideas, and directions. He assures me it is “no fail – perfect every time” and ends up with, “you can do this – I believe in you.”
Which of course is perfect – because everyone needs a motivational speech from their twelve year old butcher. *sigh*
I did survive. And surprise, surprise – the food was pretty good too! I didn’t ruin the meat – so maybe the curse is broken! And we laughed a LOT and we hugged and we did a lot of giggling and random dancing and bursting into silliness and teasing.
The table however – did catch on fire. So there’s that.
Life you guys – it’s messy! And sometimes it’s every bit as crazy as it is wonderful. And sometimes it hurts just as much as it is amazing. And sometimes holidays are so wonderful you can’t even believe your life is so perfect!! And sometimes you cry while the Butcher comforts you. And sometimes the most perfect table catches on fire. And we go on. And we love each other. Because that is how it goes – and it doesn’t mean you are doing it wrong – it just means you are doing it. So keep on. And here’s to a wonderful holiday season – but not a perfect one – because that is entirely toooooo much pressure. Much love, mE