Being an Adult Means Bargaining with Your Mother

Axiomic to my ethic of interactions is the anti-principle of “don’t give people homework”.  Unless you’re being paid or a gun could be pulled, no one gets to tell you what to do without some indication that this is a request, even if a strong one.  One may use “please” or “I would appreciate” or “could you” even but the moment a sentence leads with a verb someone’s in for some pain.  So when my mother said “Call me when you’re free on Sunday” my response was “no, I’m not going to.  You don’t get to tell me to do something .  I promise I’ll be home and free with the exception of using the bathroom between 1 and 3 pm.  If you wish, you may come over at your leisure.”  It’s a line I’ve wanted to say for two or more years.  Today I said it and my mother took it well.  She came over and commuted her business of picking up some element of her married life she’d forgotten on the previous ten score trips when she saw I had two stand mixers of which she wanted one.

Mom: I see you have two stand mixers.  Could I take one off your hands?
Me: Not gratis, Craigslist has similar ones regularly moving between $100 and $150 and that one’s in reasonable shape.
Mom: How about you give it to me for my birthday?
Me: I need something to sweeten the pot.  I love you as my mother but not “free stand mixer” love you in the same way you probably don’t “free car” love me.
Mom:  What else then?
Me: I give you the stand mixer for your birthday, you hem my new Scout pants and I get to throw another dinner party at your place.
Mom: Only if you save me some of whatever you make for the party.
Me: Deal.

On Stand Mixers: A stand mixer is a device that is at its best when not noticed; in the same way the writer doesn’t notice his pen for the words or the musician doesn’t notice the staff paper for the notes the Aristotelian Platonic ideal stand mixer would be invisible, of variable capacity, not shoot out a mushroom cloud of flour on activation and would either be silent or sound like a Mustang GT.  Barring a kitchen appliance plucked from the Realm of Forms® I’m happy with my new mixer but the previous white Kitchenaid was still perfectly serviceable.  Thank you to Cari Foreman for giving it to me around the time that 5th Dawn was released as by my best guess I’ve produced almost 2000 cookies by its mixing bowl.