Thursday, May 21, 2015

Good Pancakes - A Short Story

We were out of pancake mix.
My stomach rumbled.
    “I want pancakes,” I told my husband, Josh.
    “There’s no pancake mix,” he pointed out.
    “People were eating pancakes before pancake mix, you know,” I pulled out my ipad and brought up pinterest. With a few swipes and a click, I found a homemade pancake recipe that looked pretty good. I set up the pad and read the ingredients list. Josh wisely withdrew from the kitchen to someplace safe. Britny was experimenting.
    Flour. Baking powder. Sugar. Check check check. Melted butter? Vanilla? Whoa! These were fancy. I decided I should probably follow the instructions, which is not normally how I do things. So I pulled out my measuring utensils and scrupulously spooned my flour and sugar into the bowl. Next came three whole teaspoons of baking powder. I wasn’t sure that was necessary, but I put my trust in pinterest and dumped it in anyway.
The milk, melted butter, and egg were beat together in a separate bowl.
And then I realized that the recipe specifically said not to do that. Oops. I mixed everything together and put the skillet on the stove.
    For the next twenty minutes, I made 10 perfect, non-burnt pancakes. They smelled amazing and my mouth could hardly stop drooling. Now THIS was an accomplishment! I was certain that these were the best pancakes I had ever made in my entire life. With glee, I skipped to the living room.
    “Breakfast is ready!” I smiled, certain that Josh would share in my enthusiasm. We grabbed plates and forks and knives and butter and syrup and sat on our living room floor. The stack of pancakes was split and the prayer was said. I tore into the stack of deliciousness with ravenous fury.
    It was glorious. Never had I tasted a more scrumptious pancake. I giggled and clapped. My exploits had been a marvelous success! I took many glory filled bites and sighed. I turned to Josh, who was chomping away at his own fluffy, syrupy meal.
    “So?” I smiled at him.
    “What?” he responded, smacking his lips and stabbing another pancake with his fork.
    “What do you think?” I wanted to see if he thought they were the best pancakes he ever had.
    “They’re good,” he responded
    “Good?” I gave him one of my special you-should-probably-use-a-different-word looks.
    “They’re good,” he repeated. My heart sank, but my spirit rose playfully.
    “They’re not amazing fantabulous pancakes full of sugary buttery awesome?” I was trying to get a more enthusiastic response.
    “They’re good,” he repeated for the third time, still chomping away. This was the same response I had received when he ate my horrible lentil broccoli potato disaster. I frowned. He stopped chewing.
    “What?” he garbled with his mouth full.
    “You don’t like my pancakes,” I folded my arms like a stubborn child.
    “But I said they were good,” my poor husband was clearly confused. He was a professional writer, surely he could use a different word to define my fantastic meal!
    After a period of strange silence and weird looks at each other, I decided to forgive his lack of expanded vocabulary toward my exquisite culinary creation.
    “You know that moment when you’re really excited about something and you try to share your excitement with someone? And they’re not excited as you are? And then you feel sad?” I blurted as I grabbed my empty plate.
    “A buzzkill?” Josh took a swig of his milk to wash down his last piece of pancake.
    “Yeah,” I stood to take the plates away to the kitchen. “That.”
Deep down, I knew the breakfast was one of the best breakfasts I had made and I always would be proud of that. I just wished Josh had shared in my enthusiasm. After all, what is happiness if it isn’t shared? I sighed.
    “Britny,” Josh entered the kitchen as I was scrubbing the plates.
    “The pancakes were really good.”

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