Thanks, but . . .
Gotta admit, I’m kinda tweaked. Tonight was the 34th Anniversary meeting for the Al Anon group I attend. It’s a big deal for the group. We invite guest speakers, bring in food, announce the meeting at other area meetings and invite friends from those groups. At 34 years, this group is one of the oldest in the area too.
Every anniversary meeting this group has I bring in pizza bread. Simple to make, packs a lot of flavor into a 3 or 4 bite (or 2 bite?) serving. Folks rave over it (I think they’re surprised a guy cooks, frankly) Monday night on my way home from work I picked up the necessaries to make a couple of loaves.
Tuesday afternoon I was trying to wrap up a few things at work before I left. I got home in time to throw together my pizza bread, let it cook, grab a bite for dinner and head out to the meeting with some nice, fresh, warm bread.
Well. I got home a little after 6 to find that Cindy had made the pizza bread. In spite of my disappointment at not being able to make the food I was taking to my meeting (note the 1st person singular pronouns!!!), the first words out of my mouth were “gee, thanks for making the pizza breads for me” – and I really tried to make it sound sincere.
Unfortunately, there were some issues with the dough I had bought. We typically make this stuff with the Pillsbury Pipin’ Hot Loaf pre-made bread dough in the pop-open cans. For the life of me, I couldn’t find the Pipin’ Hot Loaf. Left with no clear winner, I substitute a couple of cans (tubes? Pop-open thingamajiggies?) of the French Bread. Apparently Cindy had trouble getting it out of the can, then the shape of the French loaf wasn’t what she was used to, so she tried to re-shape it with a rolling pin. The dough ripped & tore, the shape was all wrong, and in spite of all this she still layered in the mozzarella & pepperoni, shaped it into a giant “U” on the cookie sheets and baekd it anyhow.
When I opened the oven, all I saw was loaves of bread that were cracked open all up & down their length with cheese & pepperoni grease leaking out all over the place. What bread wasn’t awash in cheese or pepperoni grease was welded to the baking sheet.
My reaction was along the lines of “I can’t take these to me meeting. I have to get to the store and get the stuff to remake them”. So off I went to the store to re-stock. Found the tubes of Pillsbury pizza dough this tie too! Got home, pulled the now finished, mis-shapen, leaking loaves out of the oven and immediately bent a spatula trying to scrape the loaves out of the cookie sheets I needed to make the new ones.
I got a more stout spatula (after retiring the first one to the trash – which got mysteriously bent into a pretzel) and scraped the loaf out best I could and took the cookie sheet to the sink. At the sink I find no SOS pads. Under the sink I find no box of fresh pads. Figures that’s the one thing we leave off this weeks grocery list.
Managed to clean that cookie sheet and its twin minus the SOS pads. Prepped to make the loaves. Opened my cans of dough without incident, got them on the sheets, did the egg wash, spread some ricotta, layered in the pepperoni and added the mozzarella. Fold, fold, roll & pinch the ends. Move to loaf two, repeat the process. 30 minutes, 350 degrees in a convection oven. (40 min at 400 in a regular oven)
Pulled out two gorgeous loaves, wrapped them and took off to my meeting where I was only a little late in helping to set up. Crisis at the meeting averted.
Crisis at home NOT averted. Once I saw the condition of the loaves Cindy had made I think I was clearly upset.
A – they turned out horribly.
B – they were for ME to make and take to MY meeting
C – they were MY contribution to MY groups celebration
D – I initially got the wrong dough. Had I been allowed to figure that out, I would have made different choices than Cindy did in deciding to try and make the dough I had work. Would have saved me a pack of pepperoni and a pound of mozzarella.
E – I wanted to make them a little different than I had in the past, Cindy didn’t know that therefore she couldn’t have done what I wanted.
F – SHE NEVER ASKED
G – She was already drunk when I got home.
H – I will not be apologizing for much of anything. Actions were taken on my behalf without my prior knowledge or approval. I appreciate and acknowledged the fact that Cindy “was only trying to help”, but damnit – if you’re trying to help, why fuck up my stuff?
No, I didn’t tell her that. I initially thank her for making the bread (before I saw the results). I did tell her I appreciated her efforts. What I haven’t yet told her is that I really, really resent her taking all the decisions about what to do about MY gift to the group out of my hands and making a total mess out of it.
I couldn’t tell her actually. She’s stayed out of my sight since ‘The Event’. When I got home from my meeting, I heard her (drunkenly) lumber up the stairs to bed. I can’t wait to get up there, get in bed and ask her to roll over and get her booze breath out of my face. Too bad the spare bedrooms are full of all the stuff out of our closets and the old master bath. No room in the spare rooms.
A speaker at our meeting tonight (the Al Anon speaker I invited) said something that really made an impression on me. It had to do with really letting go and letting the alcoholic crash & burn for themselves.
In my head, I know this to be true. Might be time to really think deep about if & how I am still enabling and take some steps to eliminate that. Know it in my heart and live it. Find the denial and melt it away.