It’s worse than taking the last potato chip.
It’s worse than drinking all the Simply Orange and then leaving the carton in the fridge.
It’s worse than eating the last piece of chocolate cake.
Yeah … it’s pretty bad. It’s a did-that-just-happen-to-me-yeah-it-did-I can’t-believe-that-just-happened-to-me moment. And only one person could understand what I was going through, could understand the principle of the thing.
Costanza. George Costanza. He knows exactly what I’m talking about.
“Yeah sure … you’re welcome.”
I sat there on the couch and I heard it, but I couldn’t believe it. I mean it’s family. My family. And within this Guat familial structure you know you’re not supposed to cross culinary lines. You’re just not.
The kitchen is sacred ground. You don’t go taking credit for something that isn’t yours. If it’s Tia Lola’s guacamole, it’s Tia Lola’s guacamole. You don’t go passing it off as your own. Just because you put the guacamole in an avocado looking bowl doesn’t mean you should get the thank you that rightfully belongs to the chef. If it’s my broiled chicken in special red sauce, then it’s mine. You can’t go off pretending like you made it. You can’t. I mean you may kid around a bit, but in the end you usually cave into the truth.
This did not happen.
I saw the thank you happen as she handed the plate over and then the you’re welcome followed. And I sat there in my George Costanza state of mind as compliments were being exchanged. I sat there waiting for it. Waiting for the … oh no I didn’t make it, she did.
I was waiting for it.
And it never came.
Normally I guess I would have let it go, but the compliments kept coming in and she just took them. Just grabbed them. She stole them, really. It was like class 5 felony.
And in truth she could have stopped it at any time. There were plenty of pause breaks. But she continued to nod her head and smile, as if taking the chicken out of the package was somehow a contribution to the final dish worthy of a Food Network Challenge. No dude. No it wasn’t and she knew it too. She knew. But what made the moment worse was the fact that someone in my family that rarely gives thank yous or compliments was gushing over the chicken, asking for seconds and thirds and even a take-home plate. And there she was taking the apron off and pretending she had something to do with that bird.
I had no words. I sat there betrayed by my family in the kitchen.
I was just feeling the George Costanza in me bubble out.
But I waited. I waited for her to leave and then said … Duuuuuuude … that was my chicken! What the hell?
And all I got was a raised eyebrow questioning the validity of my statement.