Have you ever tried to make everyone happy with a pizza order? If the gang all likes one meat, or one vegetable, or just plain cheese, you have it made. Or, if you're making individual pizzas, life can be good. But if you have some picky people in your midst then, well, you might get frustrated. Such was my life the other night.
"What does everyone want on their pizzas?" I asked.
The kids were the easiest of the bunch. "Cheese!" said two of them. "Pepperoni or sausage!" said three more. (I realize that 2 + 3 = 5 and I only have 4 children, but we have a cousin visiting.)
FRN asked about bacon. "Can we do bacon? If we do that, A would eat that or the cheese pizza." (A is the visiting cousin.)
"Let me check." I walked into the room where the kids were sitting. "How about bacon?"
All kids nodded their heads, and one actually answered me. "That would probably be okay. But how about pepperoni, too?"
So we had plans for one cheese pizza (Tim, Melina, and I like cheese) and one half bacon/half pepperoni. Dad didn't seem to care one way or another, but said he'd eat pepperoni but that he likes cheese, too. Easy peasy, right?
Not so fast. When I went back to the study, I asked Mom what she wanted. "Mushrooms," she said. "I want mushrooms on my pizza."
I groaned inside. I like mushrooms. Tim likes mushrooms. No one else in the house at that time, which included seven other people, likes mushrooms. I looked at her.
"Mushrooms? Do you like anything else?"
"Nope. I want mushrooms."
I mused out loud. "They sell really big slices. Maybe we could buy you a couple of mushroom slices..." The look on her face stopped me. Apparently, that option was not a good solution. I needed to find another one.
"Well then, I'll order a medium mushroom, too. How's that?"
But sadly, life does not always go as planned. Because the pizzas that came home were not a cheese, a half bacon/half pepperoni, and a mushroom. Instead of a medium mushroom pizza, we were given a plain cheese one. Which means that we only had cheese and meat pizzas. The horror, you know? I'm not kidding, either. The look on Mom's face stopped me again. How could she be so disgusted over a simple mistake? She's not even vegetarian.
"No mushrooms," she said. "I tell you, I'm tired of things like this happening. Can't they get an order right?"
"I'm sorry," I said, although I really wasn't. I had no hand in the lack of mushrooms on that pizza. "And I don't have any mushrooms for you to heat up and put on top."
"That's okay," she said. "They should have gotten the order right!"
As I busied myself getting napkins and plates, I wondered how the evening would proceed. Would she just eat the cheese pizza and complain about it? She hadn't let me know of any other alternatives to her list of approved toppings.
So imagine my surprise when she opened up the box of pepperoni and bacon pizza--the one that I bought mostly for the kids (and Grandpa)--and proceeded to take two slices. No asking. No thought to whether or not that specific pizza was for someone else.
I thought about saying something about the behavior, but in the end, I didn't. Because she no longer possesses the ability to think logically and use sound judgment all the time. It's a symptom of the disease--and I know this--but it's the one symptom I'm having the most trouble with because it makes her seem just plain selfish.
I fumed for a minute and grabbed Zoe and Aaron. I explained what happened, and suggested that they eat the cheese pizzas (they like cheese, but they prefer pepperoni) so that everyone would have enough to eat. Aaron said fine and walked away. Zoe, in her 13-year-old wisdom, wound her arms around my waist and held on tightly for more than a minute.
"It's okay, Mommy," she said.
And it is.