Throwing Dishes & Blueberry Cream PiesWednesday, March 03, 2010
I divide the people that populate our world in two. There are people who throw dishes in anger and those who don’t. I am from the first category.
On Sunday Rebecca stamped her feet and started yelling how she hated making pie crust. She showed it to me and told me, “It’s too hard. Something did not happen right.” And she promptly threw it into the kitchen trash can and stormed off.
At age 12 we are all saying that Rebecca is at that point in her life where she is about to become a woman in body while the mind is not quite there yet. I am not all that sure of this.
In 1957 I took this picture of my Revell replica plastic kit model S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides) with an Agfa Silette. I placed my finished ship on a bed of cotton. The picture is not all that sharp. I have played around with Photoshop here to make it look like a fake late 19th century photo.
My S.S. Constitution survived with many other models I built (cars, airplanes, ships and tanks) so that when I became a late teenager I gave them all away to my cousins, the Forments. There were several models that did not survive. One I remember well was H.M.S. Bounty. I was carefully applying the rigging (black thread) with tweezers when something just did not occur to my liking. I screamed. I got up. I threw the ship to the floor and then I jumped on it. My mother was all upset and almost in tears. I never quite outgrew these fits of destructive temper although I must confess here that when I am about to throw something I always weigh its value as opposed to its immediate need in my life. It might take a short second but I always think it first.
I had been considered a gifted painter and drawer since I was 5 and by the time I was 10 I had been given many lessons. It was about then that I would become frustrated with an attempt to paint this or that that I would pick up my work in progress and tear it up as loudly as I could. At age 14 I suddenly and finally stopped painting. I received my last paliza (whipping) from my mother as punishment for my artistic block.
My wife Rosemary, at first, like my mother did not know how to deal with my fits of temper. She would tell me to stop while screaming or crying. This always made it worse as I had an audience. In our early years of marriage most of the beautiful tea cups (some were Noritake or Wedgwood) went flying across the kitchen narrowly missing my distraught Rosemary. Here are two cups (the upper one is Wedgwood, and the lower Noritake) that survived my china onslaught.
It took a while but Rosemary figured it out. She stopped being my audience and ignored my outbursts. These outbursts were almost always followed by intensely powerful migraines. My intelligent Rosemary gave me no comfort. It was sometime about 10 years ago when my weekly migraines suddenly ceased and I have not broken anything for years.
I observe in Rebecca something of myself. I am going to see if I can approach her with logic and explain how I was and how I regret the destruction of my H.M.S. Bounty. I have told her that anger and temper are never an excuse for rudeness. I think I will give her as a gift my two cups (I do have the saucers as Rosemary must have hidden them during one of my tantrums) and perhaps they will serve her as a guide to controlling her temper.
Ever patient and low key Rosemary removed the pie crust from the trash can and rolled it out and lined a Pyrex pie plate. Rebecca was furious but she calmed down enough to say, “I will finish it.” This she did. She followed the recipe blindly and added the full count of sugar. The pie was too sweet. She was furious and refused to take a few slices home for her father.
Just a few minutes before I started this I helped myself to the last slice of Rebecca’s blueberry cream pie. It may have been a tad sweet but thank God for women like my Rosemary.