A tale of chicken nuggets, corn flakes, and Schleprock…
I hate to whine about myself here, for a few reasons: Lizzie and I promised one another, when we conceived Pandoration, there would be no personal whining. Unless of course it was funny. Another reason is because everyone I know, knows who "Jane" really is. This makes talking about myself, or them, either impossible or impossibly uncomfortable. Outing yourself kinda blows that whole anonymous, pseudonym thing. In my own egotistical case, it was ultimately a choice between blabbing with impunity versus showing off. We all know I chose the attention seeking prize behind the curtain. And I guess, number three would have to be that no one likes a blogging Andy Rooney. A lot of you young’ens wouldn’t even know what a blogging (or not) Andy Rooney is.
We’ve all had those times where the the Schleprock Cloud seems to hang over our lives. Schleprock has actually become a term you can look up in Urbandictionary.com, which makes me feel really old. (not as old as my friend B. You know when you use your price card and get coupons somehow generated specifically for you? Yesterday at CVS hers were for Poise Pads and hair color. Ye gads!)
So back to the Schleprock Cloud: You can’t get anything right, and it all becomes a little overwhelming. The house is a mess, the kids are out of control, and Calgon can’t even come close to taking you away. I call this mood, the "I can’t kill myself because my house is not shiva-ready " mood. Which is similar, but still different, from the "I can’t just walk away from it all, because my house is a wreck and the inevitable woman who would come in to be sympathetic to my husband would say, "wow – you are so better off without her, just look at the dishes in that sink… here you poor sweet man let me fold that laundry for you" mood.
I’m trying really hard to not give in to my kids’ eating habits. (okay, not that hard) Sure, I’ve continually caved to their demands for chicken nuggets and pizza, because sometimes you just have to push the Easy Button. But this past Thursday night I decided to take it into my own hands. If they had to eat chicken nuggets, well then, dammit, at least there would be real chicken in them…
Corn flake coated chicken fingers would be the perfect solution. They love cornflakes! But we don’t fry anything anymore, right? It’s not healthy, it’s messy, and at least in my house, we always bake whatever other people fry. Nonetheless, clever Easy Button Slacker Mommy that I am, I have a secret weapon up my sleeve. Unbeknownst to many of my nearest and dearest, in college I worked at a joint called Joe’s Paradise Chicken. Really, no kidding. Best fried chicken and buffalo wings in the Happy Valley. (Joe’s isn’t a fake name, but the Happy Valley is a beloved, if not historically correct, nom de guerre).
That was my college job. Slinging chicken. It fed me, it put money in my pocket. And when Joe’s would close up for the night, after the last Fry-O-Lator had been drained and cleaned, I’d head to a local purveyor of adult beverages with best bud and fry cook in arms, B. We’d sidle up to the bar, and inevitably some cute guy would wrinkle his nose, sniff, and say, "who smells like Chinese Food?" Ahh, I love the smell of peanut oil in the morning. Very sexy.
All this to say, Thursday night I made fried cornflake fingers for my kids. Skipped the eggs, dipped the chicken strips in milk and dredged them in perfectly crushed and spiced cornflakes. For those of you who really know how to fry (and truly tasty fried food is indeed an art) skipping the eggs was my fatal flaw. The corn flakes flaked off in the oil, leaving bare chicken breast strips. And "those do not look like the ones in the box, Mommy!"
It was not a good moment. They started to demand Eggo Waffles. Somehow, I pushed Schleprock aside and became Super Mommy, victorious over kitchen disaster. I resurrected the meal by baking the next batch of strips (if I was Rachel Ray I’d say, yummo, and delish! Pass the EVO!) They still didn’t eat them. (Landeaux and I devoured them).
And at that very moment, I thought of my father. The guy who considered my college diploma his "receipt". And why, you might ask, on this occasion did I think of my dear, departed dad? Because after ruining the fried chicken that evening, I realized… I had failed at the one actual trade I learned in college. Ya gotta laugh.
Anyone know of a job for a SAHM, former fry cook and English Major with blogging delusions of grandeur?