Spinsterella

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pop-psychology Wank

Right then. That rather brilliant post from Patroclous that I stole has put the moment off for a while, but there's no getting away from it. It's time to disappear completely up my own arse, as promised the other day. I'm don't have any hidden depths really, so I can't imagine I'll wring more than three or four posts out of the whole thing. So don't panic. Anyhow, if you can't be a self-indulgent solipsistic twat on your own blog, what else is it for?

So. Deep breath.

Food


I’ve been catering for myself since I was twelve.

It was during the summer holidays. I don’t know why it happened, but my sister and I both started cooking lunch/dinner/tea for ourselves (individually, because we didn’t get on very well in those days). It always seemed to involve burgers and alphabites – fried. When I was 13 I stopped eating meat, so the burgers were replaced by frozen pizzas.

My mother just let us get on with it; I supposed she was relieved that she didn’t have to do it herself any more. That was the end of family mealtimes forever.

It wasn’t as if I was a precocious little proto-Delia – I didn’t actually know how to cook.

Throughout my teenage years, a typical evening would go like this.

My sister and I would arrive home from school and fight over the toaster. We’d usually have numerous rounds – often that’d be our evening meal. My much younger brother would have cereal, probably because he couldn’t reach the toaster. Even today he lives off overflowing bowls of rice crispies.

My Mum would have rice with stock and maybe a few peas; cooked, inexplicably, in the microwave. My poor Dad would have a normal meal - meat, potatoes and veg – cooked by himself.

I also started doing all my own washing and ironing shortly afterwards too.

When I fly home for a long weekend every now and again, people, friends and colleagues, will usually say something like, "You’ll be looked after by your mother for the next few days then – spoilt rotten with food and drink I suppose?". This vision of family life is completely alien to me.

So nature/nurture? Am I like this* now because I’ve been looking after myself for so long? Or did I make the subconscious decision to do it at a young age because that’s just the sort of person I am?

*by which I think I mean perennially single, ferociously independent, unlovable...

25 Comments:

  • And I imagined it would all be like the Waltons in Ireland.

    I think you'll find, Spins, that there are lots of blokes who would love your feisty independent spirit, but you just need to start looking at them without the Catch 22 type "I wouldn't want to join a club that would let people like me in" thing.

    Oh, and perhap's just let them play fast and loose with their apostrophe's.

    By Blogger Murph, at 4:03 PM  

  • chicken. egg. 'nuff said.

    By Blogger Chaucer's Bitch, at 4:05 PM  

  • My mum was/is a top old girl in many ways but, boy, she's a terrible cook. I'm a great cook but a poor person so my family won't let me sit with them during mealtimes. So I sit in the shed eating lobster.

    By Blogger Wyndham, at 6:44 PM  

  • Wyndham - are you *actually* Nigel Slater?

    And, as already established, the Blind Flaneur is *actually* Bruce Dickinson.

    Who would have thought those two would be friends?

    By Blogger Spinsterella, at 9:55 PM  

  • Single and independent perhaps, unlovable definately not. I also had a mother who was challanged in the nurturing department, especially when we were ill. Maybe that's why I did medicine, but I doubt it, I just wanted to be Hawkeye. Maybe all Northern Irish mothers are just crap spins.

    By Blogger realdoc, at 10:40 PM  

  • I don't think wyndham is Nigel Slater, if only because of Dexter but I am beginning to wonder if you are Marian Keyes.

    By Blogger GreatSheElephant, at 10:43 PM  

  • If I was Nigel Slater at least I'd ensure there was a pretty young French man enjoying my lobster in the shed.

    By Blogger Wyndham, at 11:36 PM  

  • im sitting here eating ice cream out of the carton with a fork and ive been married for 20 years. i dont think food preparation has much to do with it.

    By Blogger First Nations, at 3:09 AM  

  • I heard Spanish, not French.

    That said, Nigel Slater has taught me how to poach an egg, and for that I am immensely grateful.

    By Blogger patroclus, at 9:34 AM  

  • Nope. You're like "that" because the rest of us aren't worth the bother.

    By Blogger dive, at 11:17 AM  

  • I can't think of anything more boring than sitting down at the table every morning and evening, all the family together.

    My idea of Hell.

    By Blogger Geoff, at 1:46 PM  

  • Well, I thought it was a great story. But then I didn't learn how to eat properly until this year (and I'm 34). Lost seventy pounds before you'd know it.
    Your background sounds really functional by American standards, but disfunctional types do tend to be parennially single, like me, or in relationships that last way longer than they should...like me.

    But you actually sound quite sane.

    By Blogger Nigel Patel, at 2:21 PM  

  • Hey, watch what yer sayin' doc., or I'll tell my sister on ye. (P'raps I'd better check with her daughters first).

    Bit late to tell the mammy, but in her case, I'd have to agree with ye.

    p.s. do you number yerself among the "world's worst cooks?"

    By Anonymous The Muller, at 2:33 PM  

  • OMG is my auntie on this blog?????

    By Blogger realdoc, at 2:57 PM  

  • I poach eggs in the microwave. So much easier.

    By Blogger Billy, at 3:35 PM  

  • Pfft, Marian Keyes, she's happily married I think, so not identical with Spinny. Also one of the worst writers I have ever read, am I the only one who thinks this? Her style makes my skin crawl. I just made the mistake of buying another of her books (even though I hated the last one) and it's annoying me enormously. I don't think its JUST the obsession with make up.

    By Blogger Loganoc, at 4:04 PM  

  • Ha!

    I have never managed more than half a page of Marian Keys - I'm with loganoc on that one.

    I suppose I should be insulted. But I wouldn't mind her money...

    Also, welcome to Realdoc's Auntie Muller! Woo! Why is Realdoc so shocked????

    I can, by they way, cook a little bit. I can do poached eggs quite well (dash of vinegar in the pan - actually, my mother taught me that).

    By Blogger Spinsterella, at 6:17 PM  

  • I am freaked out by Muller's post also. Auntie Bernie is that you? But I can relate to Spin's comment. People also regularly said to me about going home and having your Mum spoiling you and eating loads which did not coincide with my vision of decaying items in the fridge and the tin of Lobster Bisque in the cupboard which remained there for over 25 years surviving 2 kitchen re-furbs.* To be fair to dear Mama though she did always produce a family dinner, it's just that it was rarely edible.

    *Realdoc can confirm this.

    By Anonymous Tedward's Missing Ear, at 9:02 PM  

  • See, my parents were both excellent cooks and offered lovely meals. Unfortunately, however, until I went to university all I would eat was chicken nuggets and fishfingers.

    Ironically, now I love cooking and will eat almost everything apart from sprouts.

    By Blogger frangelita, at 9:48 PM  

  • It's interesting that your mother just handed over the reins to you like that. Mine would never relinquish the control of cooking the dinner or washing the clothes, no matter how bored of it she was, because she saw/sees her function as providing sustenance and comfort. I found this both comforting and exasperating growing up. It still pisses me off that I have to hide my washing from her when I stay so that I can do it myself. Did your mum allow you as much independence in other areas of you life?

    By Blogger Albert, at 10:04 PM  

  • Justp t second realdoc.

    Can we get just one thing straight now, Spinny?

    Unloveable? Definitely not.

    looby

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:17 PM  

  • You aren't what you ate...

    This just shows you as being independent, practical and strong willed, but repeatedly on this blog you have shown yourself to be vulnerable, compassionate and fallible...

    Unlovable? If you feel you're on the shelf (?) then it is only 'cause it's too high for any guy to reach (not for want of trying).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:14 PM  

  • That second anonymous is not me, by the way.
    looby

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:13 PM  

  • Albert - souds like you had a 'normal' mother. Equally infuriating as the non-matronly type I realise.

    Can all anonynous people have a name please? You can just make it up if you like - as well as being fallible I'm easily confused. I like that shelf analogy though.

    Tedward you've reminded me - when I was a teenager i found a little bottle of gravy browning from a shop that had shut roundabout the time I was born. It has also survived several moves (and the invention of Bisto, I assume).

    By Blogger Spinsterella, at 9:48 PM  

  • Unloveable you are not.

    Most men are stupid, what can we do?

    Apart from lower our standards of course - but that's rarely acceptable for long.

    By Blogger Shiny Blue Black, at 4:58 AM  

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