My Mother Won’t Feed Me
My mother wasn’t a very good cook. She made a couple of things well, like Kasha Varnishkas and Pot Roast/Brisket, which I have adopted for our family dinners.
When we were first married, Barbara asked my mother for a roast beef recipe. She bought an eye round roast and followed my mother’s directions. Sure enough she made Pot Roast. That’s the only recipe my mother ever used when making roasts.
We used to rotate the family dinners and one time she was supposed to cook a Passover meal for 20 of us.
We got to her house and walked in. We all started tearing up. She was cutting up onions for the Kasha Varnishkas and the onions were making all of us cry, except for her. We had to wait outside until she was done.
At this particular dinner, she was making pot roast, chicken and a turkey. The chicken and pot roast were getting done, but she couldn’t understand why the turkey wasn’t.
It turned out; she had two ovens; a top and a bottom oven. She had put the turkey in the bottom oven and turned on the top. We didn’t let her cook family dinners anymore.
Once my kids were born, she decided she would not feed me, only them if we came over. If I came without the kids, no lunch for me. Once the grandkids were born the same rules applied.
If I told her I was coming to visit she would say “What time are you coming? Can’t you come after lunch so I don’t have to feed you?”
Once, I was up in her area and called to see if she was home. Her first question was, “when are you coming?”
“In about an hour” I replied.
“Oh, can’t you come later?” she said.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because that would be about lunch time” she said.
I started laughing on the phone.
“What are you laughing at?” she said
“You don’t want me to come because you’re afraid I’ll want lunch,” I replied.
“That’s right, I have nothing for you,” she said.
I continued laughing.
“Oh, alright! You can come, I’ll give you lox and cream cheese” she said reluctantly.
I continued laughing.
“What are you laughing about now?” she demanded.
“Ma, you know I don’t eat lox. You’re just offering that so I will decline,” I answered.
I didn’t go there that day.
Another time, I told her I was stopping off around dinner time.
“Don’t expect dinner from me,” she said. “I have an important engagement tonight.”
“Yeah, what is it?” I asked.
“If you must know, Bingo at the clubhouse”.
I stopped off at my aunt’s house across the street from my mother and had a brilliant idea.
I made a poster that said: “My Mother Won’t Feed Me. Please Help”.
With my aunt half heartedly advising against it, I went up to the clubhouse.
I walked in. The room was full of women and some men playing bingo. My mother was there. She spotted me walking in but tried to ignore me.
I walked over to the bulletin board and put up my poster.
Some women gathered around to see what was written on it.
“That’s terrible”, “Who would do such a thing?” “Come to my house, I’ll feed you.” And “I’ll take you to dinner” they began to say.
“Ignore him, he’s just an idiot” my mother shouted.
“Is Jean your mother? She won’t feed you? Jean is this true?” they asked.
“He’s an idiot, a moron, a troublemaker” my mother repeated.
I continued to get offers of dinner. I stood there doing my best to look forlorn and starving.
Finally she couldn’t take it anymore.
“Get over here,” she said through gritted teeth. “What is wrong with you?”
“I’m just sad and hungry” I said soulfully.
“You’re just doing this because you think it’s funny”
When she’s right she’s right.