Life with Teenagers

tuesday night dinner

with 4 comments

dinnerStanding in cold kitchen with coat on, drop commuter bag on table and open refrigerator door. Feel good about the partially defrosted turkey meat on the shelf even as you notice the frostbite on the edges. Continue to thaw in microwave. Pour olive oil in big pan. Shit. Big pan is lounging in sink under grayish sudsy water. Wash pan. Dry with towel. Place on stove. Now remove coat and drape over one arm while pouring olive oil in big pan.

6:40 PM. On way to bedroom to change, still carrying coat, turn house heat on. Change clothes. Return to kitchen. Thank a god that there is red wine still on the counter from the weekend. Pour a glass halfway full. Look at it with dismay. Pour more in again to the top. Spy an onion on top of the microwave next to a lone garlic clove. Consider the ingredient list: Onion. Turkey Meat. Olive Oil. Fresh Oregano, Tomato Sauce. Whole Wheat Spaghetti. Parmesan Cheese. Crusty Bread. Garlic.

Boil the water. Take a big sip of the wine as son number one walks in the kitchen complaining.

"Spaghetti? when will it be ready?" he says.

Try not to notice the disgusted look on his face and say something snide like "Never."

Look at the clock. 6:45. Decide against the onion. Toss a frozen french bread boule in the cold oven. Crank the dial to 450. Listen for son number two and ex-husband making their entrance through the front door.

"Mom, we're home!" they say.

Notice that they've completely ignored your request to stop at Deluxe Tux in the center of town and take an even bigger sip of your wine when the grey shirt and the maroon tie spill out of the Men's Wearhouse bag and onto the table.

"I thought we decided on a simple rented tux for Sat?" you say.

Answer from ex husband, "Well this way he'll have a suit for special occassions."

Answer back from ex-wife "What special occasions? He'll grow out of it before the next occasion. I agreed to pay half of the price of a tux. What did this cost?"

And now it starts.

"You don't need to pay half"he says.

"But what did this cost?"you say.

"Just pay me whatever you were planning to pay me for the tux"he says.

"What did this cost?!"you say.

" 265 dollars"he says.

" 265 dollars!" you say.

Throw frozen turkey meat in pan of smoking olive oil and pulverize with a wooden spoon. Skip the fresh oregano. Toss pasta into boiling water while raising your voice to shrill ex-wife level.

"I'm not paying that and neither are you! We don't have it. And another thing, do we really want to reward him with a 300 dollar suit right now?! you say.

Now brace yourself for the teen to join in.

"MOM! I cant believe you! You are ruining my life!" he says.

Scream back. "Get out of the kitchen and let me be mad at your father right now!" you say.

"It was 265 dollars not 300" ex husband says.

Flash angry look at ex-husband while emptying jarred sauce into turkey meat with a splat. Ignore ex-husband as he leaves the house and the other teen starts to cry at the computer.

"And what's wrong with you now?"you say.

You are fighting with dad and I have a five paragraph essay to write and it was due Monday." says the younger teen.

"But its Tuesday." you say.

"My teacher is a bitch. She is making me do it anyway and there is no point now." he says.

Now lose your mind while brandishing a tomato-sauced wooden spoon in one hand as the sullen teen stops to text his girlfriend.


Catch whipped cellphone with your free hand before it hits you and slam it on the counter. Look at the clock. 7:00 PM. Lower heat on sauce. Dump overcooked pasta into collander. Toss pasta and sauce together in a mixing bowl and place in the middle of the table. Arrange three plates. Set out forks and one spoon. Place plastic parmesan cheese container on table. Remove crusty bread from oven and try to cut even though its still frozen in center. Say fuck it and cut off one end and apply butter. Leave the frozen splintered bread mess on the cutting board indefinitely. Scream DINNER! and heap a large pile of totally unappetizing pasta onto your plate and don't make eye contact with either one of your spoiled, ungrateful, miserable teenage children. Eat furiously while waiting for your ex-husband to call you from the road.

"Mom, it's dad on the phone" says a teen.

Take another sip of your wine while listening to the phone ring.

"Mom, that's dad calling." he says.

Keep chewing while placing the phone to your ear.

"Uh huh" you say.

"I can"t return it now because I didn't pay with a check." says ex husband.

"How did you pay for it? In blood?” you say.

"I paid with a debit card" he says.

"You can get your money back. Just return it" you say.

"It will only be store credit" he says.

"I think you're wrong, read the receipt to me. You can get your money back." you say.

Drink more wine while you listen to your ex-husband read you the return and exchange terms on the store receipt.

"Ok, I'll return it tomorrow" he says.

"Yeah, I think that is best" you say.

Now notice the teen at the table turning red. Put your hand up in front of his face before he pops a blood vessel.

"Chill out. You'll get a tux for Sat and it will be fine."you say.

Turn your attention back to the phone and twirl more pasta on your fork. Listen to ex-husband say, "I'm an idiot"

Feel bad for him and angry at yourself for losing your temper.

"No you are not, I've done it before. They are good salespeople and the store is overpriced. That's why I don't go there anymore. We'll take care of it tomorrow. Good night." you say.

Place the phone down and survey the kitchen, the two empty chairs now, an empty wine glass, a massacred loaf on the counter, the sound of the tv from the tv-room blaring, the computer keys clicking away.


1 hour and 10 minutes later and another Tuesday night dinner is complete.


Written by kmguay

August 22, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Posted in family, teenagers

Tagged with , , , ,

4 Responses

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  1. I love your writing style. It keeps the reader intrigued. Thank you for sharing!

    Owning Pink

    August 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm

  2. […] what’s for dinner?”  It’s my son at the computer realizing that I haven’t emerged from my motionless […]

  3. […] wired up and fiddling with his ipod and his cellphone at the same time. “What’s for dinner?” “Chicken,” I answer back, but he is already breezing past not bothering to look […]

  4. […] my ex to join us at the kitchen table for a little full family face time while whipping up a fast weeknight dinner of… of… (I look over again at the prepackaged portobellos I asked him to buy) something […]

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