Gloom, Doom, and Fudge

9 April 2001

I've pulled out half of the dessert recipes in my recipe file and am going through the cookbooks. Oof. I'm thinking I'm going to make two items. At least one of them can have no walnuts in it (and I'm aiming for no walnuts at all -- why make Mom feel bad when she can't have them and loves them?), and at least one of them can have no blackberries or raspberries in it. Beyond that, Lord knows. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Pie? Flourless Cocoa Cake? Lemony Cheesecake Squares? Ack. I really do want to do this. I just have too many options.

I'm always amazed at what impresses people. When Jen came out to visit, she was amazed that I had made fudge. "I didn't know you could make fudge!" she said in her sweet but ever weakening drawl. Like it was a major skill that I had perfected over the years -- I speak French, I play the piano, I make fudge. I counted, and I believe I've made fudge in at least eight kitchens. But it turned out every time. It's really not hard.

Maybe I'm doomed to be supermommy. I would hate that. It's like being a wunderkind, which is pretty high on my list of distasteful options. My classmates were always amazed when it was my turn to bring treats, and I'd bring my mom's cake: "What kind is this?" "Well, there's flour and cocoa and...." "You mean it's not from a mix? Doesn't your mom work?" "Yes." "She works and bakes?"

Not that I'm trying to say my mother is devoid of impressive skills. She just gave me high standards, is all.

If I get my timing wrong (get a book or two published right before I have a kid), I could manage to be a wunderkind and a supermommy simultaneously for a couple of years. Wouldn't that stink. I want to hang out with a smart baby for awhile. I barely got to see David The Cool Baby at all yesterday morning (ack! another David!), and I really need a fix. But what I really want is a puppy. I am severely fur-deprived.

I'm no good at this death thing. I don't get over it well. My dog died a year and a half ago, and I still miss her so much it hurts. I can still tear up over missing my Gran, and she died when I was a freshman in college. I don't see any good reason why I should have to let go of people I love, skin-people or fur-people. So I just keep on loving them, and keep on missing them.

Since I've moved far away from my extended family, I can understand why funerals and memorial services and sitting shivah and other such customs are important. Getting together with the family and friends at tough times helps. But it also makes the whole situation real. I miss my Gran, but I never forget that she's dead. But for some of my other, more distant family members who have died since I've moved away, I forget a little. I start to assume they'll do something, and then remember that they won't. I hate the stink of mismatched flowers, the stupid things people say, the bad funeral home art (what idiot decided that a painting of a grieving family in a graveyard was good decor for a funeral home?), the bad egg or ham sandwiches on squishy white buns that have become the funeral baked meats in my experience -- but it's all real. It's something to anchor to.

Death and despair, gloom and doom! Hmmph. This is what happens when my agenda for the day doesn't involve anything interesting -- I get off on a tangent that takes me right over a cliff. I'm going to go think about dessert for Easter. That's a pretty entirely cheery subject, and I really don't feel like wallowing at all.

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