Cassie Self: Oh! Jeeesus! I forgot the vegetable oil. STUPID cupcakes. Don’t have time for a birthday tomorrow. Dammit. Shit. F*ck. Stupid. Damn.
Cassie Sub-Conscious/Inner Therapist: Relax. You can fix this. Easy-Peasy. Just scoop out the batter from the muffin cups. Yes. That’s it. Good, good. Scoop out as much of that “wrong” batter and we’ll make it “right.”
Cassie Self: Jeeesus! What a friggin’ mess. Batter dripping all over Hell.
Cassie Sub: Just move a little more slowly. You can do this with less mess if you would just s-l-o-w d-o-w-n. Okay. Now all the batter is back in the mixing bowl. (Pause) We’ll just add the oil. (Pause again) Completely understandable, really. Considering the night you just had with Gigi’s asthma and the emergency room.
Cassie Self: Didn’t even go to the emergency room. Scott did it. Horrible mother I am. Too weak about emergency rooms. What a friggin’ baby.
Cassie Sub: Well, Scott IS better at those kinds of situations. But you were definitely on top of it when Genevieve was at home. You knew what signs to look for in her breathing. You were the one who suggested it might be time for the trip to the E.R. Your mother’s instinct really kicked in, didn’t it? You were right. The doctors said so.
Cassie Self: Whatever. Now Scott’s dead tired and can barely work.
Cassie Sub: Okay. Okay. But you’re tired too. Up most of the night worrying. Just give yourself a break. There we go. Now we’ll just remix the batter with the oil this time. Yes, throw out the old muffin cups. Good. Set some new muffin cups into the tin. See? We’re concentrating now. Yes, the oil went in this time. Now turn the mixer on. Mix…..mix….mix.
Cassie Self: Shut-up. I know how to mix.
Cassie Sub: Settle. Breathe. Relax. Easy cooking.
Cassie Self: What a Stupid Ass Cook I am. These are BOXED cupcakes; not even anything fancy. Lame-o.
Cassie Sub: Why do you say that about your cooking?
Cassie Self: Cuz it’s true. I’ve made this same stupid mistake before….forgetting an ingredient for something I’m baking or cooking…having to go back, or worse, start over.
Cassie Sub: Why do you think that happens?
Cassie Self: I don’t know. Rushing around too fast, I guess. Always in a hurry. I never leave enough time to do any of my cooking really well. I’m not a graceful cook. Truth be told, I’m pretty awkward at the stove.
Cassie Sub: Hmmmm. How do you feel about that…in relation to your mother?
Cassie Self: In relation to my mother?! What’s my mother got to do with it? (Pause) My mother is an extremely good cook.
Cassie Sub: Ahhhh.
Cassie Self: Ahhhhh…..what?
Cassie Sub: Do you wish you could cook as well as your mother?
Cassie Self: I wish I had remembered to put the oil into the cupcakes!!! (Pause) Yes, I wish I could cook as well as my mother.
Cassie Sub: Do you compare yourself to your mother about other things besides cooking?
Cassie Self: No. Mostly just the cooking.
Cassie Sub: Why is that?
Cassie Self: Because cooking well for your children is being a good mother. I want to make the cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday with love…and care…and oil. I almost screwed up and forgot the oil. Stupid Ass.
Cassie Sub: You feel you have to be a good cook to be a good mother?
Cassie Self: Yes.
Cassie Sub: Why?
Cassie Self: Because cooking and nurturing and keeping a neat home are loving things to do for my family. It’s what a good mother, a good wife does. Also, I feel in control when I do those things.
Cassie Sub: You want to be in control?
Cassie Self: Yes.
Cassie Sub: But you don’t really want to cook and clean the house, do you?
Cassie Self: Not so much. I used to like it more. Now I just want to write all the time.
Cassie Sub: Ahhh….
Cassie Self: Shut up with the “Ahhh thing. That’s really so annoying.
Cassie Sub: Maybe you actually like feeling a bit out of control. Maybe you’re a little bored with control…with the constraints of being in control.
Cassie Self: Hmmmm. Maybe.
Cassie Sub: Well. I think we both know that even though cooking’s not your best skill and you’ve let the house cleaning go to pot lately, you still love your family. Right?
Cassie Self: Right.
Cassie Sub: Okay. Now put the fixed cupcakes in the oven. There. Turn on the timer. Let’s not burn the f*ckers, I mean the cupcakes. Good. You’re done.
Cassie Self: Yea. I know.
Cassie Sub: Well, you’re good to go, I’d say!
Cassie Self: Yea? Good to go where?
Cassie Sub: To go write!