On Saturday, I had some free time in the afternoon with my youngest son, so I packed him into the sweltering van, cranked up the air, and toodled up the road to the grocery store. My primary purpose was to get allergy medicine for myself because my head was throbbing. When I was pushing the card through the store, though, enjoying the air-conditioning and navigating my way past the clumps of people (it’s a crowded store), I found myself on the baking aisle. Hmm, I thought. I wouldn’t mind having some cake. I selected a box with a garish blue cake on the front, figuring the kids would go for it. I got the medicine and head back to the house, telling my son that we’d have cake for dessert later that night.
For this to seem something more than just a mundane occurrence, it might help to know that I used to bake cookies and cakes and all manner of things while tipsy or drunk. I recall making many desserts while under the influence, and I was usually jolly during the whole process. If my involved my kids, I patted myself on the back, once more assured that alcohol remained the secret to family harmony. Ol’ Dad sure is fun in the kitchen when he’s rockin’ and rollin’ with the mixer.
While I might have had a few good instances in the kitchen, there were many more that were dark, ones where I fumed and stressed over every little detail and shooed the kids away, cursing myself for being inadequate. The solution? Drink more, of course.
I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to be sober in my kitchen, measuring out ingredients, listening to the mixer whir, and pouring myself a tall glass of water instead of vodka. I poured the batter into the pans, set the pans in the oven, and then got about finishing Bioshock Infinite (the ending of which knocked me for a loop, but that’s a discussion for another time).
My family was happy with the cake. Well, my oldest found something to complain about, but that’s usually the case. It didn’t stop him for asking for a piece this afternoon.
I’m looking forward to more time in the kitchen, making cakes of all shapes and colors, and doing it all sober. Huzzah!