One Greasy Slovak Spoon

My oldest daughter’s sorta-kinda boyfriend was over the house when I got home from work today. He’s a great kid, and I like having him around. So do both of  my daughters. I told my oldest that sorta-kinda boyfriend had to leave by 7 so we could eat dinner at a reasonable hour. A few minutes later youngest daughter came in begging to let him stay until 8. Or 9.

I  knew this was going to present a dinner dilemma…mainly speaking, asking sorta-kinda boyfriend to stay. Many of you may be thinking “big deal.” Problem for me is, over the years I have become cook-a-phobic. I have come to the conclusion after 17 years of marriage, and almost 16 years of motherhood that I am not a very good cook.

Naturally, this means I get a bit panicky when it comes to cooking for strangers. I even get nervous cooking for my sister, the person outside my family that I see the most. Doesn’t help much that she is an excellent cook. bitch.

So I picked my self up, marched into the Wii infused living room and said “sorta-kinda boyfriend, would you like to stay for dinner?” He meekly replied that he didn’t want to be any trouble and would by happy to just watch us eat.

Watch us eat? They would take my Slovak membership card away if I allowed someone to just “watch us eat.” My mom would always ask friends of mine if they wanted to stay to dinner. Lots of times they did. Why am I missing this simple impulse? It was time for my hands to grasp the bull by the horns.

I told him nonsense and that he was staying for hamburgers. Yes, that was what was on the menu. It is what my oldest requested. I did them up gourmet style though with sauteed onions and mushrooms, pickles and bacon, and baked potatoes.

I could tell he was slightly uncomfortable while eating. I can remember back to my days eating over a friends house let alone a sorta-kinda boyfriend’s house. It could be murder. So I jabbered on about stupid, funny topical stuff trying to keep it casual. And I was really proud of myself.

My instincts were to not eat and force sorta-kinda boyfriend out of the house as early as possible, thus escaping the uncomfortable I-know-my-cooking-sucks-but-eat-it-anyway scenario. But I bucked up, took charge and fed the masses. And it turned out ok. We ate at a reasonable hour, and I showed  sorta-kinda boyfriend and my oldest that I am capable of being a normal mom.

A mom like my mom was. I can see her winking at me now and humming “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries.”