Mom was going all out with the meal. It wasn’t her usual way when it came to cooking. She was usually pretty basic and practical. The kitchen was chaos with every counter covered with the supplies for multiple recipes in progress.
Her brothers were coming over and she wanted to come across as perfect and having it all together. No one expected this and maybe that’s why she was trying so hard.
I would have happily stayed hidden in my room all night or just disappeared. I even tried to drum up a school-related excuse. But since my school has instituted a ‘no homework over holidays policy’, it’s ruined my usual excuse to seclude myself from the boisterous family interactions.
Naomi, could you give me a hand in here? my mom shouts at me already sounding exasperated. Do I have to? I reply. Immediately, I know this was the wrong thing to say.
I go into the kitchen and look for the least interactive thing I can do. I offer to take out the compost and recycling.
The doorbell rings. Mom is covered in flour and I hear her swear under her breath. I know she’s pissed that her most critical brother is always early and his saccharine wife will offer to help. This really means that she will stand around the kitchen criticizing my mom’s every move.
Mom wasn’t having it this year. She had a strategy where she quickly put drinks in their hands and sent them to the living room. I could see that she was determined this year would be perfect.