Shopping for home upkeep supplies isn’t our favorite task. As Lady Beldon says in Mrs. Miniver, “Oh, shopping’s absolutely impossible nowadays. You can’t get near the counter…and when you do, they haven’t got it and you pay twice as much for it.” So when we finally got to the check-out counter at Menards® on Friday, I was prepared for the worst. Incorrect prices. Coupons that didn’t work. You name it.
Instead, I met an angel. She wasn’t a drop-down-dead beautiful woman, but once you talked to her for five minutes, she became the most beautiful woman you’d ever seen in your life.
I think she noticed I was having a tough day. My mascara was all cried off and I was scratching about fifty mosquito bites that itched like Billy-ho! That was when her kindness began to shine.
“Try an ice pack on them,” she suggested. It never occurs to me to use ice packs.
Then she went on. “You’d be surprised by how much you can learn about someone by what they buy,” she said, scanning my Bob’s Red Mill® flour.
This was a woman after my own heart! An inveterate people watcher.
“Now you, dear” she said, stopping for a moment to talk after scanning packets of active yeast, “know how to cook!”
Call me “dear” and I’m a gonner. Every time she spoke she called me “dear” and I was putty in her hands.
“Do you like to cook?” I asked.
“Oh, I love to bake,” she said. “I could always bake some things better than my mother. She used to get so mad about that. My angel cakes always turned out; hers never did.”
That’s when my ears really perked up. An angry, competitive, jealous mother!? Was I speaking to the daughter of a narcissist? Oh! I was just itching to mention it, but y’know, how do you bring up something like that!?!
But it makes sense, in a way. Making a successful angel (food) cake requires patience, delicacy and a gentle touch. The whipping of the egg whites just to soft peaks, no more. Folding the egg whites into the batter gently. No whipping; no beating. Not opening the oven door to check on the cake. All fatal mistakes to an angel cake.
Perhaps angel cakes, living up to their name, don’t respond to the spatula of a narcissist. Angry narcissists who whip the egg whites into stiff peaks and then beat them into the batter with a heavy hand. Impatient narcissists who keep opening the oven door to see if the cake is done yet.
What impressed me so much was how pleasant, gentle and caring the lady at Menards was. She could have been angry, bitter and prickly after being raised by a narcissistic mother.
“Ah, I see you also know how to clean, dear,” she observed, scanning my OxiClean™ Stain Remover, Mean Green and Comet® scouring powder.
“I’d much rather clean than cook,” I told her. “Tell you what! You can do my cooking and I’ll do your cleaning. We’d make one heck of a team!”
It’s not very often you meet someone so obviously the daughter of a narcissist. It was so lovely to see that, despite having a narcissistic mother, she had chosen to be a kind, gentle, pleasant, caring, beautiful lady.
Like all children of narcissists who make that same choice, she was a credit to herself.