Tuesday, August 18, 2009


The other day, I was up in the morning making myself breakfast, and my mom was standing around impatiently, waiting for her turn to use the toaster.

I finished my own toast and Mom began hers as I was putting the finishing touches on the rest of my meal. When her toast popped up, she grabbed a butter knife and began shoving it into the toaster to dig out her toast.

Immediately I began screaming.

Me: AAAAHHHH, put the knife down! Put the knife down! PUT IT DOWN!

She, at first, was startled by my reaction and set the knife down. Then she was indignant and defensive about it, as if she felt stupid for listening to me and regretted it.

Mom: WHAT is your PROBLEM?!

Me: OHMYGOD, you can’t put a knife in a toaster! Has no one ever told you that? Have you never heard of anyone being electrocuted by shoving a piece of silverware into a live toaster?

Mom: NO! I’ve never heard of such a thing!

Me: The knife is metal! You’re putting it against, what boils down to, live metal wires inside the toaster, that heat up the bread. If the knife touches the metal in the toaster…YOU’RE toast!

Mom: That’s ridiculous! I do this all the time!

Me: Well, you better not do it ever again! Or you may not live long enough to eat that damn toast.

Mom: You’re so over-dramatic! Jeeze.

Me: Don’t. Put. Silverware. In. The toaster. Look it up if you don’t believe me. You’re going to kill yourself!

Mom: *hmmpf*

So what does she do? I swear, I could not make this up if I tried: she picked up a fork, and shoved it into the toaster, to dig out her toast.


Mom: YOU need to calm down and stop yelling at me! MY GOD! What the hell is your problem?

Me: Did you NOT just hear a word I told you? You cannot stick silverware in the toaster!

Mom: You said the knife!

Me: I SAID SILVERWARE! The metal is the problem! Stick all the plasticware you want in there, but keep the metal out!

Mom: I’ve been sticking a fork or knife into the toaster to get my toast for a month now.

It’s a month-old toaster and much, much bigger and less cooperative than the nice compact one she felt was too small.

Mom: I’ve never had a problem. I’ve never been shocked. You’re making WAY too big a deal out of this!

Me: GO LOOK IT UP! GO LOOK IT UP RIGHT NOW! I swear, woman, I don’t know why you refuse to believe me and insist on doing something that can get you killed. What is YOUR problem? Why would I freak out like this if it wasn’t serious?

Mom: Well, I’ve never heard of it before.

Me: THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT’S NOT TRUE! You think you know EVERYTHING? You think that anything new to you is a lie because you haven’t heard of it before? Like you learned all there is to learn, and everything else is just silliness? Is that what you think? That I’m feeding you some myth about the dangers of toasters?

Mom: Well… I don’t know! I’ve just never heard anything like that before!

Me: Why do you resist everything I say? Why must you argue with everything? Why can’t you just understand that I’m telling you something that you might not be able to comprehend, but it could be true, and maybe you shouldn’t do it if it might kill you? Why? Why, Mom? Tell me why?

Mom: It doesn’t make any sense to me!

Me: Does gravity? Does the economy? Does nuclear physics? Does that mean they don’t exist?

Mom: No!

She was finally relenting in the argument, but she stubbornly kept up her attitude like a spoiled teenager, clinging to the hope that if she’s snotty and resists, she can somehow walk away with some dignity.

I have no doubt that she did NOT look it up, that she rolled her eyes at me and walked away, promising herself that she wouldn’t make toast in my presence again because I have some weird fear of putting metal into a toaster. Silly me. You know how over-dramatic I am.

Should I have let her electrocute herself? Should I have invited her to shove whatever metal instrument into the plugged-in toaster that her heart desired, because she clearly wanted me to give in? How the hell do you get through to a woman who is 21 years older than you, but acts like she’s 21 years younger than you? AND won’t believe a damn word you say? As if I’m the one who has a problem with lying, cheating, stealing, is on probation, and is mentally ill, instead of her. Why does she think that even though she’s psycho, on all kinds of mind-altering and mood-altering medications, has brain damage, has borderline personality disorder, and has to report to a parole officer once a month because she can’t control her impulse to steal, why does she think that she has any room to argue with anyone about anything?

Holy crap, it’s a miracle every fucking day that I come home from work and the house isn’t blown up.


Kate P said...

Yelling is about all you can do. Oh--also, one time at a Pampered Chef party I won some small bamboo tongs and that's pretty much all they're good for (even the company says so). . . maybe keep a set of those next to the toaster.

katie m. said...

you can show her this.


Lummox said...

Listen Nikki, that's all we can do is hold onto those miracles. Gather them around us and keep us warm.
Kind of like a house burning down around us, keeping us toasty, and warm.
heh heh. Toasty. heh.