This could be a Bonding Moment between Doris and me! We are going to make a pie for Primo.
I know! I will ask Doris for pie-making advice! Everyone loves to be the expert, right? She will get to teach me and it will give her all the good feelings about me and hey, the pendulum will start to swing the other way.
Of course, I already know how to make pie. I make excellent pie. My grandmother taught me and I know not to overwork the crust. I know how to make pie.
But – I also know that being a Know It All is not the way to ingratiate yourself with your boyfriend’s mother, so I will be a good little sous chef and ask her questions about how she makes pie so she can be the Expert Sharing Her Knowledge. Letting other people be the Know It All is not a bad life strategy for getting along.
Except – do you know how hard it is to be quiet when the alleged expert is doing it all wrong?
Lord have mercy, Doris! It is NOT THAT HARD to make a damn pie!
But she is my boyfriend’s mother and someday, she will be my mother in law. I want to be friends with her. I do it her way.
Even though she is wrong.
Me: What can I do to help?
Doris: You may peel the apples.
Me: Where is the potato peeler?
Doris: I don’t have one.
Me: Oh. OK. Then – how do you peel the apples?
She hands me the old blunt paring knife I used to smash the Imitrex last night. I flick it against my thumb and regret my stupid, stupid offer to help.
Me: Primo actually likes the peel.
This is the truth. This is not just me being lazy. It’s partially me being lazy, but it is also the truth. We never peel apples or potatoes when we cook. First, a lot of the vitamins are under the skin. Second, the skins taste good. And third, the lazy part.
Doris: No he doesn’t. I always peel the apples when I make pie for him.
Me: Yes he does, Doris! I’ve made apple strudel with him and he specifically said we shouldn’t peel the apples because it would taste better that way.
Oh wait. I don’t actually say that last bit because it would be stupid to fight with my boyfriend’s mother.
Instead, I bite my tongue and peel the apples with a dull paring knife that still has Imitrex powder on it.