I have one of the nicest jobs in my small town. I work catering, making some fantastic food in amounts large enough to ensure that I get a taste of the chorizo stuffed dates and skewered shrimp in mango chutney we prepare for some very appreciative clients.
I like the food sampling part of the job a lot. I also like the way I can stand behind my green cutting board with the perfect evening summer sun coming in through the picture window in front, the sound of my freshly sharpened knife chopping and dicing, while my mind wanders.
Most of my thoughts are sweet reminiscings of the day spent with my three children, but on occasion there has been the unpredictable mental wince that pops up out of nowhere, making me squint my eyes in emotional pain as my data banks cycle through like a roulette wheel and the memory dice land on a time where I wish I could have a Do Over.
Painful, humiliating, cheek burning recollections that come up and slap you in the face like some angry cuttlefish. I have had memories that come barreling in destroying the peace of an afternoon as an image of me is conjured up -- of times like when I was in the 8th grade and thought prepubescent me could somehow look good in a red tube top.
Want to know what a red tube top on a 5 foot 5 inch 94 pound thirteen year old girl looks like? It looks like this:
|Subtract the men fighting for my hand and you've got a spittin' image of me at 13|
I'd like a Do Over.
Of that end of school year day, when I walked into JCPenney's on Appleton Avenue and stopped at a display table in the Junior Department full of itty bitty 5 inch wide tightly cinched tube tops and said That's the look for me! I can ignore the 34B breasted mannequin filling in the prototype so nicely. This sausage encasing like fabric will look just as AWESOME on 28AA me. [a cup size that truly does exist. No matter what Victoria's Secret tells you]
And that's how it goes, one minute I'm at work, smiling as I slice ruby red Roma tomatoes and Vidalia onions into thin ringlets for tomato pie with a three cheese blend topping, and the next I'm almost slicing my finger off from the needle across a record scratch of a less than stellar moment in my life memory in my head.
I'd like a Do Over, a Do Over of so many moments when things seemed like a good idea at the time.
Like when I thought I really had what it takes to haul an 18-month-old baby along with a three-week-old newborn with me for my annual tooth cleaning. Really?
Like that July afternoon when I attempted the community pool with a six-month-old baby and two-year-old toddler with the only words in the toddler's vocabulary being "let go a hand, mama ... let go a hand!..."
A Do Over, please, of the time I thought matte red lipstick, black mascara'd eyebrows, gold hoop earrings, and a spiral perm would NEVER make me look too ethnic. Nooo .... anyone can get shouts of "Hey! Maria! Is that you?" as they walk down a street.
Could I please also have that day back when I mailed a six-page-long hand written in my salty fat tears letter to my *one and only boy I will EVER love* telling him I understood what happened between him and Margaret after the party at Ronny's house on Saturday and I was all grown up and ready to forgive. Call me. Since this is 1982 and there is no voice mail, I'll be here all weekend. Waiting.
Can we turn back time to the hair appointment in 1983 where I said yes and let that two days out of Aveda beauty school hair "designer" talk me into hacking off five inches of lush locks for the Rosanne Rosannadanna? [especially this day, could we have back? This one still makes me feel like I can't breathe. I looked like an arrow]
And why? WHY can there not be for the love of all things holy a Do Over of the hour I wasted in my graduate school advisor's office while he MADE me listen to him practice his Shakespeare-In-The-Park for his community theater rehearsal that night? Like I didn't have other things to do? Do. Over.
And, finally, a Do Over, for the time I sat my college freshmen butt down at my can-you-believe-it-I'm-dating-a-grad-student!'s grandmother's house, while she served up a platter of I swear it's cauliflower! my favorite! that I excitedly heaped onto a pile in the center of my red apple rimmed china dinner plate, announcing, "These? I LOVE these!" with the dumbest smile possible as I shoveled gobfuls of cauliflower-looking rosettes of what was hand-whipped BUTTER into my pathetic mouth. [I still see your horrified face, Gramma Lucy, at your grandson's Latino girlfriend's mad passion for the oleo, which is why I'd like a Do Over. To explain.]
A Do Over, a start over, a repeat.
Just another chance to do it oh so differently. You know, like that first weekend in the summer of my thirteenth year, a Do Over, to whisper into my 8th grade ear as I picked up and tugged at the elastic puckering of the red tube top; a Do Over, to say, Get the ruffles. It's the sleeveless flowered chiffon number with the layers of ruffles hanging on the rack to the left that you want.
**I'm over at CoffeeLovinMom's site today, shouting to the world about the one thing I just can't seem to do without: coffee. I hope you click over and meet Amy, I met her at Bloggy Boot Camp last year, and we were instantly comfortable with each other. Must be that Midwest thing.