Sunday, December 2, 2012

Kitchen clean-up...a follow-up to my previous post

Years ago after dinner, my mother and father decided to go for a walk. It was my job to clear the table and fill the dishwasher. Being a typical kid I did the barest minimum regarding clean-up. That particular night I decided to make the kitchen shine. Scrambling from task to task I cleaned that kitchen as if a white gloved Army Sargent was showing up for inspection. (She was.) I worked fast because I wanted to please my mother. Job done…it was perfect. I was so proud.


When they came back from their walk I was on the couch watching TV, proud as all get-out by what I had accomplished. Walking into the kitchen my mother went ballistic. In my haste to clean perfectly I had missed wiping clean a one square foot section of counter-top to the left of the stove. It was the first thing my mother saw when she entered the kitchen. 

“Can’t you do anything right, you are so lazy, all I ask is one thing, get your ass off the couch and finish the job…scream, scream, scream.” When I pointed out how perfect the rest of the room was she turned and stormed out of the kitchen. I was beyond hurt. I had tried my best to please her and all I did was piss her off. I was a failure in the eyes of the person I wanted to impress with my efforts. 

That day I learned that even if you think it’s perfect, it’s not, and that sometimes the people you admire most are the ones who focus on the one square foot of crumbs rather than the rest of the gleaming kitchen.

It’s too bad my mother focused on the crumbs. It’s too bad that out of my entire childhood and relationship with her I focus on the crumbs, I am after all her daughter. At least now, with my own family and the people I deal with each day, I try to look past the crumbs and search for gleam. But as has been pointed out to me on numerous occasions I’m not perfect, no one is.

2 comments:

Cooking on a Budget said...

My mother focused on the crumbs and left me marred for a long time. Thankfully I think I have gotten past that and not passed it along. Life's lessons.........

Wry Wryter said...

Hey Cooking...I can't tell you how many times I've noticed the crumbs first and kept my mouth shut. Hopefully 'negative-Nelly' will die with my generation.