Compulsively Screaming, “I NOTICED THE PROBLEM TOO SO IT DOES NOT COUNT.”

I noticed yesterday that I have this tendency to call out possible errors or mistakes in my homemaking OUT LOUD when I’m hosting big gatherings or cooking complicated meals. Like, “I’m know the ratio is off between broccoli and rice…I’ll double the broccoli next time,” or “I’m sorry if you got a chair on a table leg, it’s the only way I could figure out how to get 9 people around these two tables.”

Those were two real examples OF 55 MILLION that I did while I hosted Christmas dinner yesterday.

I also did it at other points while I was cooking because I cooked a lot of weird stuff yesterday for the first time. I made french toast casserole for Christmas morning and since I don’t eat french toast I was a little skeptical of how it worked so I was said, “I’m suspicious of the weird kinda-egg layer at the bottom of the bread so it may not taste right.” Donnie was all, “THAT IS FRENCH TOAST YOU SILLY. It’s egg and bread!”

I pre-made cookie/cheesecake bars on Christmas Even and said, “I’m worried the bottom cookie layer is too tough. It turned out too brown.” OH MY GOOD IT’S CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE AND CHEESECAKE IT WILL BE FINE NO MATTER HOW CRUNCHY THE COOKIES ARE.

I don’t know why I kept doing it. I don’t know if it’s my insecurities around cooking or domesticity in general, but once I noticed myself doing it I started realizing I do it with everything. “I didn’t set the silverware out because I don’t know what people will be putting on their plates and they may not need all three pieces and I don’t want to have to wash stuff no one used and…”

Once I noticed it there started being a counter-voice saying things like, Jeezus, Kim…everyone here is a regular human person who understands silverware and doesn’t need explanations as to why you did it different than other family members sometimes do. No one spends even two seconds saying, “Weird…why is the silverware in these mason jars instead of set nicely at each place setting?” AND IF THEY DID YOU SHOULDN’T CARE BECAUSE THAT IS A CLEAR INDICATION THEY ARE NOT YOUR KIND OF PEOPLE.

I don’t know why I kept doing it. Everything was fine, nothing is ever perfect, and if I’m being honest with myself? Slight variations from and concept of “the norm” has kinda always been my brand, and everyone knows I don’t love cooking, so of course none of these things that I kept point out all day were anything off of what anyone would expect or even flinch about. THERE WERE FOUR DIFFERENT KINDS OF CHAIRS AT THE TABLE, did I think everyone expected the silverware to all come from one matching set?

It’s like I felt like if I beat them to the thought, or if I also acknowledged it, then that somehow would make me okay? Like I had not made any mistakes or anything if I knew about them? I don’t know…but reflecting on it, it was pretty ridiculous and I need to be kinder to myself and just bask in the celebration because I MADE FREAKIN’ HOMEMADE MASHED POTATOES AND THEY TURNED OUT DAMN GOOD.

It was a wonderful day/night. I did a shitton of cooking. I don’t know who I am anymore. Here are a few pictures from the day I thought I’d share.

Christmas morning before the chaos. Wes is into cars so Santa brought him a couple of new posters which we got on clearance for $2! They were by far my best deal of the holiday season.
Before we moved the chairs from the living room to around the other end of the table. I don’t have enough seating to have room for 13 butts in both areas simultaneously so we moved the other chairs to the table after the living room festivities wrapped up.
The table with all 9 chairs (the kids sat at the barstools at the island)…these are chairs pulled from all around the house…specifically the desks. When you downsize you improvise and no one gets rolling desk chairs because they have to be able to fit under the folding tables when we host family dinner.

2 thoughts on “Compulsively Screaming, “I NOTICED THE PROBLEM TOO SO IT DOES NOT COUNT.””

  1. I hope this doesn’t feel like piling on if you’re feeling insecure but just want to share an observation. I have a friend who is an over-apologizer like you are describing and I noticed when she is doing this it shifts other people’s energy into reassuring her instead of just enjoying being together. It kind of zaps my energy to constantly be saying no, this is fine, you did an awesome job, I don’t mind at all, etc at every turn. I’m there to be with her because I love her, not for the food or the place settings. I don’t care if we are eating leftovers on the floor. Just something to think about!

  2. OMG, we call this poor-mouthing. My mother-in-law does this all. the. time. Literally nothing she ever cooks is good enough according to her. I do think it’s to head us off at the pass – like if she acknowledges a problem with something then we won’t have a chance to criticize her? Even though none of us would have criticized her to begin with, and most of the time we wouldn’t have noticed the supposed “problem” if she hadn’t said anything. I’ve been with my husband for 20 years so this has been something I’ve dealt with a long time. If I ever catch myself starting to criticize out loud something I cooked, I stop myself cold because I don’t want to be like her. I don’t know your friends and family, but I can almost guarantee that none of them left and snarked behind your back about your mashed potatoes. I mean, the way I look at it is if they didn’t cook it, they don’t get to complain.

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