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On Your Table Blog

January 27, 2021

You suck, Tammy

You suck, Tammy

by Kelli Bowen

There’s some mean woman in my head. I’m not sure how she got there. She was most certainly not invited. She likes to show up every now and then and tell me how terrible I’m doing at life.

Karens get a bad wrap, so I’m going to call the mean woman in my head Tammy. Sorry if your name is Tammy and you are a delightful person, I don’t mean to add to your inner-Tammy. If you’re not a nice person to begin with, may I just say: You suck Tammy!

Let’s take today for instance. I have three packages of steak and two pounds of hamburger completely thawed in my refrigerator so Tammy likes to point out what a terrible planner I am because I can’t possibly eat all of that. What was I planning on cooking anyway??? Tammy forgets she’s dealing with a pro-level stress/night/happy/binge eater...yet Tammy has a point, so I decided to make meatloaf for dinner to help with one of my issues.

The girls have photos for one of their extracurricular activities tonight, so I go to check the schedule...oh...oh dang. Miss A needs to be dressed and ready in an hour I’m at work. My children are at school. They won’t be home for 45 minutes.

I fly home (adhering to all posted speed limit signs and traffic signals-take that Tammy) and find pieces of Miss A’s outfit. The whole time Tammy is prattling away in my head telling me how I suck. I should be more organized. Maybe if I got out of bed at 5 instead of hitting snooze like a lazy bum, etc, etc, etc...

Miss A’s tights and shoes are missing, so I snag her sister’s. Two sizes too big? Who will notice in the photo? “Everyone who sees it”-Tammy. I grab the envelope to order photos and pull out of the driveway to watch the bus go by. I follow it down the street like a stalker and attempt to kidnap my own children from the bus stop before they walk home.

I then drive them the block-ish home explaining our very tight schedule, to pull into our garage so Miss A can change in the comfort and privacy of our garage. I whip her hair into a not-perfect-dance-bun and we drive across town where her shaggy hair stands out like sore thumb. Tammy is berating me for my terrible hairstyle skills, “Isn’t a bun, like the most BASIC of hairstyles?” I even had the opportunity to overhear other moms talking about their nervousness about the perfect bun, but low-and-behold, they all just managed to fall into perfection...CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??? But Miss A is beaming and another girl’s dad wandered in late, without a face mask (GASP). I would have handed him the worst-parent award, but his little girl also had the perfect dance bun, so I held on to my Terrible Mom Trophy that my inner Tammy kept presenting me...over...and over.

Back in the car we head home again. I tell Miss E to find her dance outfit and hair bangle and I’m going to whip up some dinner. Miss A is here to help. We get a meatloaf slapped together. It doesn’t look quite right, thanks for the reminder Tammy, and then I frantically look around my house for bobby-pins. We are a house with three girls, where on God’s green earth did all of the bobby-pins go? “Maybe if you were more organized and not so lazy on the weekend-“. I swear to GAWD Tammy... found the bobby pins.

Miss A helps with the meatloaf prep

I get Miss E’s hair in a kind of decent slightly lopsided bun. Miss A tells her “It’s cute” so obviously it’s bad, but I think the girls sensed me teetering on the edge, so they rolled with it. “They wouldn’t need to if you’d just buy the cheater piece. Aren’t your children worth the maybe $5 it would cost to not look like raggamuffins? Maybe you don’t care if they’re the laughing stalks” For-The-Love-Of-Pete Tammy.

Hubby is now home. The timer is set on the oven. I wish him luck with the meatloaf, Miss E and I go, she gets photographed. Next up: we need to go home, eat and then Miss E has piano via Zoom. Thirty seven minutes. We have thirty seven minutes. “By your children being so busy, are they even getting an opportunity to be kids and explore their own creativity?” I will throat-punch you Tammy.

We get home. Hubby has made grilled cheese and Mac and cheese, because cheese. Apparently cheese is the answer. The meatloaf is out of the oven. Hubby points out it isn’t “the usual” and puts it back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Before this I ate a chunk, so if I die of salmonella, it was the spite-loaf. Tammy tells me how even pioneers without running water and electricity could pull off a friggin meatloaf. I curse her as I look in the pantry to get the taste of undercooked ketchup soaked beef out of my mouth.

The point, if there is one, is: I’m trying. We’re trying. We are all trying, so let’s have a little grace, a little patience, and a little kindness, especially for yourself. After running from one fire to another at work and then at home, we deserve a little peace. Don’t listen to that mean, uninvited woman in your head; also don’t yell “You suck Tammy!” in public, more people are named Tammy than one would think.

Kelli Bowen Kelli makes her home in Cass County with her husband, two daughters (8 and 5) and two dogs. She works for a regional seed company by day and tries to be an alright mom, wife, friend and writer by night.

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