Saturday, January 26, 2008

On the other hand these families always end up with dogs in the end. Where is MY dog?

I tried to make brownies Friday night to see if it really does taste better when you add a little vanilla in the batter. My college years have subsisted on spaghetti os (Batman shaped with meatballs, please) and hot pockets despite my ability to make spring rolls and French macaroons from scratch. I can accomplish series things with a whisk but by and large, I’m happy with frozen food and a microwave. Which is where the curious void concerning boxed brownie mix with vanilla comes in: I needed to know and I needed to know now. I whipped up the mix while watching Countdown with Keith Olberman and basked in the scent of baked goods. I basked in that scent for thirty minutes instead of eighteen and ended up with twelve heart shaped hockey pucks that smelled like brownies but tasted like rocks. I threw them out this morning.
I turned on the television this morning and the first real words I hear were, “WELL YAAAAAA’LLLLLLLL,” a loud boister “Ya’ll” that jarred me awake in her Southern hospitality. Good Lord, it was Paul Deen and with the help of her Neanderthal son, she was making brownies. She made brownies last weekend, and some kind of chocolate dessert this week that wasn’t brownie, and wasn’t pie, and wasn’t cake or pudding, but something between. All three dishes ended with ice cream plus whipped topping. This was a sign that my apartment was meant to have brownies, and later that night I was hunched over the stove melting chocolate and banging a block of brown sugar against the counter in effort to have a passable form of brown sugar.
It didn’t work. Ultimately I had an edible brownie batter, for which I set a timer. Around 10 p.m. Winifred called to check in on my progress as she did chores around the house. She says she has to go soon; a new movie will air on the Hallmark Channel. She then begins to describe the plot, as seen on the commercial in depth. Something disturbingly similar to P.S. I Love You plus old people with hearts of gold, and a girl who has to carefully notate the details of her days. As soon as I heard that Some Old Guy handed Young and Cranky Youth with an assignment to Better Her Life Through Virtue, I wasn’t interested. “Oh barf,” I say at a pause in Winifred’s detailed synopsis of one commercial.

Winifred sighs. “I guess we won’t be watching together she says,” slightly irritated.

“Nope.” I consider lying and telling her I don’t know where Hallmark is (channel 73 and mysteriously, a repeat of the same broadcast one 140-something) but bite my tongue lest I hurt her feelings.

Winifred says outright that her synopsis was meant to get me involved, “But I guess we can’t get roped in together,” she says.

“Nope.” Hallmark aired several poorly constructed holiday movies in which Single Dads looked for the Love of a Good Woman; usually with a career, no kids, loads of money, and happiness without housewifery. Or, Women Who Yearned for Domesticity found Cranky Ol’ Men who Hated Christmas. In the end families became nuclear, women gave up their professions and took care of kids and had dinner on the table at 5. I’m still mad at Giatta’s slight insinuation life is still that way after watching an episode of Everyday Italian this week; it’s probably not good for my mental health to settle into Hallmark tonight.

I called Winifred later for help with something else. She didn’t tell me if the movie ends happily or not.

If everyone didn’t end up alright in the end I’m going to be very upset.

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