Georgia, USA
December 29
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DECEMBER 10, 2008 12:26PM

Comfort Food

Rate: 25 Flag



“Pudding pops. Listen, am I crazy?”

“Uh, yes.”


“Oh…you wanted me to wait for the story…”

“Listen…Cody texted me today and…”

“I was just getting ready to call you. Daddy said you called earlier and wanted my recipe for tuna casserole.”

“Yeah. I’ve been craving it all day.”

“Do you have a pen?”

“Mom! Look I don’t feel like writing it down right now. Can you email it to me?”

“Sure. Daddy and I were just sitting down to eat. I made that bean soup he likes. It’s really yucky here today and it just seemed right.”

“Oh. Yum. It’s crappy here today too. Listen, do you have a minute?”

“Sure. What’s up?”

“Okay, like I said…Cody texted me today and I asked him how he was doing and he said contented. Is it me? I mean jeeze…when I asked him why he said he had spent time writing in his journal and then had a long talk with one of his friends and then he just felt content.”


“Would it have killed him to mention that he just spent the weekend with his girlfriend and that’s why?”

“Yes. It is definitely you.”


“Oh please kiddo! If Daddy expected every emotion I experienced to have some direct relationship to him I’d go crazy! Yes! It’s you. Cut the guy some slack. He has friends. Besides, who’s to say it’s not cumulative? You know…he spent the weekend with you. He wrote. He talked to his friend. Sounds pretty great to me.”

“Yeah, but…”

“Yeah but you’re looking for some huge compliment.”

“Okay. You’re right. It’s me.”

“Do not smother that guy. Any way, how’d the weekend go?”

“Okay. I guess.”


“Well, he was kinda down and I kept trying to cheer him up.”


“You know me.”


“He sat me down and said that he wasn’t always sure he was seeing the real me.”




“So I burst out crying.”

“Ha ha ha! Snort!”

“It’s not funny!”

“Ha ha ha! Yes. Yes, it is.”

“Okay, maybe it is a little. Anyway…it seemed to help. Things went a little better after that.”

“Ha ha ha!”

“Mom! Ha ha ha!”

“So any hoo…bet it was good to get away from the roommate for a couple of days, huh?”

“Oh God yes. Although she’s been skulking around the place all day with that we’ve gotta talk look on her face. I hate that face.”

“So talk to her.”

“No! I am so PMSing right now! I’d kill her if she started in on me today.”

“So tell her. Say I can tell you want to talk but I’m the Queen of Pre- menstrual today and will totally over react to anything you say. Not to diminish the importance of what you want to say but it would be in your best interest to let the hormone cloud blow over before we address it.”

“Yeah Mom. That’s what I’ll say…”

“Hey, just be honest, right? You’re crazy when you PMS. You’re protecting her.”

“Thanks. Really.”

“I used to have terrible PMS when I was your age. That’s when I used to beat up floor lamps and stuff out on the driveway, remember?”

“You did like breaking stuff.”



“When you kids and Daddy were sound asleep I used to take my travel bag, the one I kept packed in my closet, and leave during the night.”


“Yep. I’d get in the van. Go to the gas station, fill up, buy cigarettes, and drive north.”


“Oh just north. I’d turn up the radio, smoke, cry, and just drive. I usually made it to Blue Ridge before I stopped.”

“You smoked?”

“Yes, I smoked. And screamed. And cussed. And cried. And then when I got to Blue Ridge I’d stop at the Waffle House, you know the one, and eat a waffle and drink coffee.”


“And then I’d decide if I wanted to turn around or not. I just really liked the idea that if I wanted to…I could just keep going. I never did. I’d get a to go cup. Get back in the van. Go home.”

“Wow. Really?”


“PMS sucks. I wish I never had to have it again.”

“You could always get spayed.”

“Mom! I’m only twenty seven. What if I decide to have kids?”

“You could adopt.”

“Are you forgetting what a pain in the ass I was?”


“Ha! Am?”

“I don’t know. It worked out pretty good for us, right?”

“Yeah. I guess so. Oh! I don’t know what to do about that office thing next week. It’s a plus one invite. Do you think it’s too soon?”

“So just invite him! Give him room to say no. Tell him you won’t take it personally. And if he says no… DO NOT take it personal. Maybe he’s like Daddy and hates crap like that? Doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you, right?”


“You’ll have fun either way, right? Deep breaths. Deep breaths.”

“Right. Okay.”

“Well, kiddo. My soups getting cold…”

“Hey, Mom?’



“For what?”

“You know. Turning around and coming home all those times.”

“Oh. You’re welcome. Listen, I’ll email that casserole recipe in the morning, okay?”

“Okay. I love you.”

“Love you too kiddo.”




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Bump 'cause a daughter's a daughter for life!
This is my mother and me. I find tremendous comfort in the fact that whilst everyone looks like they have it all together, they are just barely hanging on ..just like me.

Because everything is about me. Ahem.

Now I want the damn tuna casserole.

...and I have developed a rather fierce affection for you from just reading your stuff. How funny.
Aww, I'm always making Mom's soup turn cold. That sounds like some serious PMS, Gracie! I like to break stuff, too ; ) You're a good momma.
Persephone: Aren't we all just hanging by a thread? Thanks for your nice compliment. The feelings are mutual.
Krissi: PMS sucks and breaking shit rocks! Don't let anyone tell you any different.
The Mister tried to tell me different, but saw that it only makes me break more stuff (I'm really not a violent person, I swear).
Bumpin' for Momma!
Krissi: thanks for the mom bump! I'm not violent towards living things but I am, at key moments, hell on inanimate objects.
gracielou ... you're an awesome mom!!! I love the way you and your daughter play off of eacah others words ... that is a sure sign of mom/kid totally in-tune, comfy love :) the very best kind!!!
Gracie, I have 2 daughters and the bond is one of the most precious things in my life (besides my bond with my 2 sons). I loved this post! Thank you.
I love this. So honest and real. You're a good mom, past PMS, Waffle Shops, and all.
1_mother, mary t, and PF: Thanks for the kind words. Just sos you know...I was the devil, according to this child, until she was about twenty one or so!
Everyone's mum's the devil. Its payback for the little shites we were, I guess.

Of course....given what I know about your Stepmonster...I'm kinda sad you didn't set her on fire.
Awwww. How sweet. You're such a great mom, Gracie. She's very lucky to have you.
and I thought this was going to be a post with a great recipe for comfort food.

But gracielou, you have done it again; written a story that makes the read want more. You are a heck of a mom.
So I'm pretty sure I want to be you when I grow up. Or, rather, when my boys grow up!
G-lou, if I had a daughter, I'd want her to have a mom like you.

Rated for comfort.
Persephone: Ha ha. Yeah.
Young mung, gmgaston,MzEll, and Lonnie: Thanks. Thanks for stopping by and tapping my phone line.
think I'm going to go to bed after that post :) Wonderful interaction Gracie, felt like I was sitting there next to you two
I need to find me one of those waffle houses! Great post Gracielou. The love and warmth between you and your daughter is a beautiful thing. :)
This makes me want tuna casserole, too! What a sweet post -- thanks. I'm really glad I have a daughter. (I'm looking forward to having my son, too, but there is something about a daughter...)
This is priceless. As in not just funny but:
Tuna casserole: $4.00
Waffle breakfast: $8.00
Broken household items: $300.00
Heart-to-heart with grown daughter: Priceless.

I have a 24-year old son and we talk this way.. well, minus the PMS. We always have. I think it's a mother-son things vs mother-daughter. Once he's married he'll have his wife to talk to more than me. Once a daughter is grown she values her mother. If she's lucky to have one like you. I'm so glad I still have one like you too.
Sally: I am always so flattered when any of my kids calls home just to talk. I know exactly what you're saying. I didn't have exactly that relationship with any of my parents but I did (and still do) with my older siblings. That said...I miss my mom. The relationship we developed later in life was precious too. Thanks for coming by and reading my stuff. You are so kind to me.
hy, mamma, and steph: I just can't get enough of my girl. She and I had a long rocky road to this point and I'm amazed everyday at her. Thanks for your nice comments.

BTW: I'm trying to experiment with different types of posts. This dialogue was just too "there" for me to pass up. I hope it told part of our story in just our exchange on the phone the other night.
Great post. I talk to my mother twicw everyday even if somedays, all I have to say is Good Morning and Good Night.
Amy and janie: HA the secret tuna casserole recipe! It's not really a recipe, just a bunch of crap thrown in a pan and baked. And I don't know how to make it to feed less than 10 people! Plus, it's really cheap to make. And yummy, cheesey, comfort food.

1 large bag extra wide egg noodles cooked and drained
1 large can cream of mushroom soup (I know...I didn't say gourmet)
2 1/2 cups shredded cheese (usually cheddar)
1 large head broc, chopped, and steamed
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (I like italian)
pepper to taste

mix noodles, broc, 2 cups cheese, and soup together in a large baking dish (huge). Pepper to taste. Top with bread crumbs and remaining cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until brown and bubbly.
Feeds an army for pennies. Not low cal or low cholesterol. Good old fashioned "mom" food. Be warned.
HA HA! I forgot to add the tuna! In the mix add two cans solid white tuna in water, drained. Typical me.
janie: scattered, smothered, covered, AND chunked! Oh Gawd, now I'm jonesing.
Moana: good morning and good night. I love that.
Love the dialogue. Really brings the story to life. :)
Funny post that also made me cry...
" Turning around and coming home all those times.”
Talking to my daughter is like talking to myself. Incredible treasure...
mama: thanks for the double dip! I appreciate the comments...especially because I admire your blog so much. I have a long way to go.
o'steph: God love the daughters. How could I not turn around?
Finally… Tuna casserole - a classic comfort food recipe! And from memory, think...
gracielou, you’re the best.
G, This is great stuff, even for a guy to read. Missed this first time around. Glad I spotted it. Hate to miss your work.
Good post but it reminded me of how I was able to support myself through college---by way too many tuna casseroles! I can't eat them at all now.
I think it's always a good sign that you're being a good parent when your child goes through at least a couple of years of thinking you're the devil. Well done!
I don't know how I missed this, gracie. I try to always read your stuff. What a fun mother-daughter conversation. You both must be very close. I agree with Persephone - I have a craving for tuna casserole. Care to post the recipe? :)
Hi GracieLou,

I hope my open call dialog writing challenge inspired you to fo this. In any case, it is beautifully written.

Tuna casserole - I'm with Joan K, can't eat them anymore. They cause seriously depressing flashbacks to college, Pell grants, food stamps, and wasted nights.

Waffle House - I avoid 'em 'cause they always have the thermostat stuck on Antarctica. Easy to spot who's not wearing a bra. ;>)

When my daughter was born, I thought it was a good thing I had my two sons first. She spoiled me rotten.