Yesterday afternoon I was blowing up some balloons to the extreme delight of the Sproglette. I’m sure she won’t be so delighted when, one of these days, she manages to pop one in her face or under her bottom or in some other situation that will scare the crap out of her.
I hate balloons. I always thought it was because I grew up with two older brothers who had no qualm in popping them in my face. But maybe there’s another reason…
So yesterday, as I was blowing up balloons, I was transported back a few years… To Mr Moi’s birthday in say, 2005… I’d planned to cook this absolutely delicious dinner for him – Chicken Rissoles with Pine Nuts and Polenta.
It was a real bastard of a recipe to cook, especially the first couple of times. It’s esentially three recipes in one, so was quite fiddly and took a lot of preparation. And a lot of shopping. And a lot of forgetting ingredients, and a lot more shopping.
So, it had been a painful afternoon – rushing home from work, shopping, cooking, more shopping, more cooking, but I was dedicated to the cause of making Mr Moi’s birthday perfect.I finally got the meal ready by about 7.30pm and put the final touches on it.
When I realised I was, of course, missing one major ingredient – Mr Moi himself.
A flurry of phone calls ensued, and I couldn’t get in touch with him, so the dinner sat there and started to ‘set’ (if one is aiming for runny polenta, it has to be served immediately).
My blood started to boil. How dare Mr Moi not come home early on his birthday. (I will note that his usual coming home time at that point was around 8.00pm). Could he not READ my MIND and KNOW that I was planning the perfect dinner for him?
Finally 8.30pm rolled around and the car pulled up the driveway. A couple of seconds later Mr Moi came to the door and before he even stepped inside, I released a barrage of bitchiness at him, accusing him of such things as being inconsiderate, lazy, unloving, blase etc etc etc.
When I finally finished, he stepped through the door with his head bowed and walked into the kitchen. And trailing about two metres behind him were three helium balloons. A gift from work on his birthday.
For some reason, those three pathetic balloons became my symbol of shame. I was so ashamed with myself for being so bitchy that I started to cry. And continued to wallow in my own self pity for a little longer, before I apologised profusely and we sat down and broke polenta in celebration of his birthday.
But that shame comes back to haunt with every balloon I see.