Wednesday, December 31

FONDUE AND GIFTS

Even though I dreaded it, Christmas this year wasn’t bad. On Christmas Eve my mother set fire to her kitchen, since she was trying to make cheese fondue. It was supposed to be a sober, vegetarian Christmas, the fondue was our contribution to world peace. When the flames reached the ceiling my mother started blaming the Chinese. They were at fault for selling her a worthless fondue pan. Luckily there was little damage, dinner could go ahead as planned.The next day I helped with the laundry. Little did I know that doing the laundry would lead to another shocking event. I entered her bedroom with two clean pyjamas, planning to put them in the cupboard next to her bed. When I opened the cupboard I found a packet containing twelve condoms, ready to be used in case there was a need. Call me childish, but I wouldn’t have been more shocked had I found a needle and some smack. For a few minutes I stared at the packet and hesitated, wondering if I should confront her or not. Should I talk to her as if she was a teenager, the same way that she once talked to me? Or be as blunt as possible and say: “I found a packet of condoms today, what are you doing with those?” To be torn by curiosity and not wanting to find out, that’s how it felt. Later that day I had to ask the question: “Do you have a boyfriend mom?” She did not look at me when she replied. “Those condoms were a Christmas gift for you,” she said. “I just hadn’t wrapped them yet.”