Standing Up For Myself

I know what you are probably expecting when you see that title. “Maybe she finally went off the deep end and told off her in-laws!” or “oh em gee, I bet she let her Trailer Trash Mom have it!” Sadly, standing up for myself involved none of that.

So today was pretty blah … most days the last few weeks have been. I’m not sure why. Okay, actually I do – I’m depressed because I hate California and don’t know how to get out of here. Regardless of that, I do know my blahs need to be remedied, and now. So I decided to do the laundry, take care of a sort-of sick kid, and get the polish color on my nails changed before making dinner. You see: pretty mundane and low key so that I didn’t run the risk of being confronted with anything else that would make me feel more blah-ish. And when I got my nail color change, the guy did some accupressure on my foot that made me feel ghads better. So that was a plus.

Anyway, so my mom called at some point this morning and invited herself over for dinner. Of course, not often standing up for myself with people in my real life (as opposed to my blog life, when I do it all the time), I just acquiesced and went along with my day. I was planning on making empanadas and salad anyway, and I always make way too many empanadas, so I didn’t really care. See how blah-ish I am? Not care about my Trailer Trash Mom coming over? Indeed.

This evening, though, as I began to make the empanadas, everyone started complaining about what I was making. No one wanted my corn and carrot empanadas. Not a one of them. No one wanted my spinach and feta cheese empanadas, despite the fact that every time I make them they melt in your fucking mouth. Not a one of them. Everyone wanted ham and cheese. Ham and fucking cheese – not one bit of healthiness in there; nothing special at all. Of course that is what they wanted. I should have just gone to the grocery store and bought them those nasty ham and cheese Hot Pockets. I really should have, but then I would have been standing up for myself, which is something I just don’t do.

But then my mom took it a step further when she walked in the house: “oh, just so you know, I forgot my teeth so I can’t eat any salad or anything really crunchy.”

Okay, first of all: gross. Who goes out of the house without their teeth in? Second of all, I’ll just throw away the beautiful salad I just prepared, as well as the pita chips. Did I stand up for myself and say this, though? Of course not.

And when I asked her what she wanted to drink, I discovered that she had already pilfered all but a few drops of the $25 bottle of wine I bought while on my trip to Solvang last week.

At that point, I should have just given her one ham and cheese empanada in a to-go napkin (no tupperware or paper plate for her) and shuttled her toothless ass out the door. But I didn’t do that either. I just smiled and poured the last few drops in her glass.

You see: I never stand up for myself.

So as my mother drank my expensive wine, my husband began his journey home to his meal of empanadas, but no corn – I don’t want those corn ones, and while the Pookies whined and bitched about how gross my empanadas usually are, no matter what kind they are – I made that shit with a smile on my face. A smile on my face as I looked over to see that my poor guinea pig was being tortured whilst I slaved in the kitchen for close to two hours, unable to rescue him because my hands were covered in ham … and cheese (okay, you can see it was cute). As I always do, I made everyone’s to order like a goddamned short order cook. The Pookies won’t eat salad, so I heated up some frozen corn and peas and mixed in some olive oil and spices. My mother forgot her teeth so I prepared some of the pea-corn mixture for her as well, and baked down her spinach before putting it into her empanada (because, yes, I decided to force a spinach empanada on my mother anyway). My husband wanted two ham and cheese empanadas, rather than just one, so I prepared a whole extra batch of them so he could have two.

Then I got to the bowl of corn and carrot empanada filling I had prepared last night to marinate. Now, I had already prepared 12 spinach and feta cheese empanadas and 8 ham and cheese empanadas. I had enough corn mixture to make another 12 empanadas, for which none of those ungrateful assholes wanted any. As I went to make more pastry for the empanadas, I realized something I have never realized before – the marinated filling I use for the corn and carrot empanadas is exactly what I use as a base for my homemade corn soup. This led me to realize two further things: (1) there isn’t a fucking reason under the sun why anyone should be shitting on my corn and carrot empanadas because they all worship the ground my homemade corn soup is cooked on; and, (2) since no one is going to eat my corn and carrot empanadas, I should just make a batch of soup to throw in the refrigerator.

Here’s where I stood up for myself: as I served everyone their specially prepared dishes; as I watched my mom swig down my expensive wine in her toothless mouth; as my husband came in the door and reminded me just how much he didn’t want my corn and carrot empanadas … I decided it was about damn time I start standing up for myself.

“I didn’t make any corn and carrot empanadas. I made my homemade corn soup instead. No one gets any but me, though.”

I have a feeling that soup is going to taste extra good tomorrow.

In other news, these are the types of things that bring me joy now. 25 year old self – in school, on her way to a career teaching philosophy in a university – is hanging her head and laughing hysterically at how much of a loser housewife 30 year old self has clearly become.



    You are too kind. I would have told them to make it themselves, if they didn’t like what I was making.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I will be next time!!

  2. theonedatewonder

    I understand not standing up for yourself. Do u think there is an easier way to get ur point across?

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Excellent question!

  3. njhasan

    Spinach and feta empanadas sound yummy! Greek salads made with spinach are great too. I never fully realized how difficult being a mom and wife can be until I read your post. I already knew the trials and tribulations of being a daughter and I suspect it will only get worse as I get older. Yay!

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      Well thank you so much for your comment! And the spinach and feta empanadas are amazing haha

  4. Connie

    We’ve come to the understanding in our house that they will be offered 3 choices for a meal. If they don’t pick one of those 3 choices, I pick one. Then they either eat or go hungry. I got tired of wasting food and having to spend so much time cooking. Now I can even sneak in leftover nights without them bitching! 😀

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      It is a struggle to get other family members to be respectful of the “eat what’s on your plate or go hungry.” This is of course ironic, because I learned it from them (mostly my parents). Enough with the picky eating and food wasting!!

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