Before we leave high school me, there’s one more story that just needs to be told. It isn’t that profound but HOLY MOLY was it embarrassing. After accepting to go to the local college instead of going to my dream school, I had hoped my embarrassment had been completed for my high school career. Oh no. Silly me. There was one big incident left in store.
It was the last semester of my senior year. I had pretty much given up in school, all my classes were a joke and if I showed up I got an A so I spent a lot of time sleeping in class and leaving to get food. The only real class that needed my attention was my senior project.
Senior projects involved getting a mentor and spending 15 hours with them learning a new trade or skill. You wrote a paper about it and then presented it to your class and the Senior Project Board. My senior project…it went well but that’s not the real story here. The REAL story is that my mom was asked to be a mentor by not one, but two students. Oh yeah.
Have I ever mentioned my mom is a phenomenal cook? I mean…sober or drunk that woman can cook the most creative and delicious meals on this earth. She was so good at it that people started hiring her to cater small events; showers, birthday parties, fundraiser dinners, etc. Two girls from my high school decided they wanted their senior project to be on gourmet cooking. Both of their moms knew my mom was such a great cook, she even catered an event for one of them, so they asked her. My mom agreed before I was aware any of this was going to happen.
When I heard the news, I thought it was a joke. My mom was going to mentor students? She was going to advise the youth…call me crazy but maybe that’s not the brightest idea we have ever had. It didn’t matter though. I advised the girls against it and they both ignored my advice. They started their hours and I ate enough Tums to keep the antacid company in business. I was constantly anxious about what was happening when they went with my mom to an event or they had a cooking lesson. These girls pushed themselves into the worst part of my life with the most destructive person and it was all taking place in my own kitchen.
The first few lessons were uneventful. I started to even only need two tums when they would come over. Then they had a cooking class at a local art gallery one week. My mom asked me to assist because they would be butlering food and she needed help in the front. I watched my mom prep the food and reviewed the recipes, they were all things I had never made with her before but they all looked great.
My practice goes late that night and I have to meet my mom at the event. When I get there, she is hammered. The girls don’t notice because they think my mom is just being silly. I know this isn’t going to end well. I make her some coffee and start prepping the class. I review the recipes and realize I am about to teach a cooking class. I am seventeen, can’t tell ya how to boil an egg, and I will be teaching a cooking class in a high end art gallery. What could go wrong?
My mom was functioning enough to cook but in no way could talk. I start the class by explaining she lost her voice and said I will be talking for her (This is a big enabling move right here, forgive me…I was only 17). She starts putting things together and I stumble through the instructions. Its humiliating but working and I get the hang of it after awhile. The girls butler the food and everyone seems to be okay.
Right before my mom makes the desserts, she goes in the bathroom and doesn’t come back out. When I finally get a staff member to unlock it, she’s gone. She is completely passed out. She must have had something in her purse. I leave her there and ignore the gawking staff member. I go back out to the class and start instructing on how to make the dessert. It, by some miracle, works out and everyone enjoys their food.
The girls see my mom sleeping in the bathroom and it is more than they can handle. They look at me and I direct them to clean up after the class. It takes us about an hour to clean and pack up the car, my mom wakes up by this time and signals for the girls to get in her car. I tell them that’s a terrible idea but they say they’ll be fine. I think they were still in shock. I pray harder than I ever have that my mom drives safely.
I get a text an hour later from one of them that they made it home but my mom had hit a car and just reversed and kept going afterwards. She said no one was in the other car, it was just parked on the side of the road. I didn’t respond to the girl. I told my dad and my mom came home around 3am that morning. I heard him yelling at her and rolled over to sleep because it didn’t matter. As usual, my mom didn’t have any real consequences.
I never heard if those girls told anyone what happened. If they had, nobody talked to me about it. Even though it was humiliating and they could have gotten hurt, it was comforting to know that at least someone had witnessed my truth. Someone knew I hadn’t been lying for attention. The girls didn’t come back for anymore lessons and they lied about their hours. Their mothers called my mom the next day furious and my mom didn’t teach anymore cooking classes at the art gallery. Can’t imagine why…
That was thankfully the last big public embarrassment in my high school career. My mom made it count though. I still can’t think about it and not laugh. I was teaching a cooking class at seventeen to some sixty year olds who attend events at art galleries. Good lord.
My next post will talk about my mom’s spreading our embarrassment to the church front. Thanks for reading! I love hearing feedback from people who can relate to these stories. Subscribe if you want to read more in the future and please share this blog with friends! I would love for more people to see that addiction/alcoholism comes in all different shapes and sizes.