Ah, Mondays. Mondays, you are the bain of my little existence. Mondays, you are the recurring day-after-Christmas letdown. You are worth all of my sick days and half of my vacation days just so I can avoid you.
In short, I hate Mondays. Like, with a purple passion. Unbridled by a thousand suns. In the gov’t world, Mondays are a day that you dedicate all of your hatred towards, if for no other reason than it’s reliably sucky.
Yesterday, albeit a holiday, was no exception.
Although our office is a government contractor, we don’t get piddly days off (in lieu of our two weeks off at Christmas/New Year’s). This bothered me when I was younger, but I really love my two weeks without work, so I’ve learned to handle it.
I’ve also learned that days WITHOUT the customer in-house make for MUCHO productive days. So, you know, meh. Yesterday had much promise. It had the lure of a ghost town, with a huge to-do list I had been saving to take care of during the lull. Except? Most of my office called in sick. So I had no free time. I was busy juggling balls.
No sweat, I thought. I’ll get out a little earlier than normal. I’ll pick up the kid and we’ll have a GLORIOUS afternoon together before I begin cooking for the family’s dinner. (All of this was INCREDIBLY optimistic; I sincerely hate Mondays so much that I ALWAYS have a crock-pot meal cooking on Mondays so I have one less thing to worry about post-office.)
My plan was foiled when ACK! it was 5:00 and I hadn’t left yet, which had me hauling ass to pick up a VERY grumpy baby. He is always cranky on Monday afternoons; readjusting to his daycare routine is tough on a little body. We made it in the door a little before 5:30, in which time I decided to defrost some chicken tenderloins and begin making Bryan’s favorite dinner EVER (that I’ve never made before ever): Chicken Parmigiana. I had made the tomato sauce — and dude, seriously, I MADE THE SAUCE with like fresh tomatoes and peppers and garlic and whatnot — when something smelled not quite right about it. I have no idea what it was, other than to say it smelled “off”. As in, it turned my stomach, this smell. So I abandoned it, right there and then, leaving a saucepan full of sauce on the stove.
Baby and I went and played for half an hour until Bryan walked in the door. He and I are STILL suffering from this damn cold. He said, “Oh, what smehs so guhd in hewe?” And I was all, sauce that we’re not gonna eat because even mold won’t grow in it, and he was all, “Buwt it smews dewishus!” and I was all, yeah, but you sound like Elmer Fudd because you CAN’T SMELL ANYTHING.
I finally consented to handing the baby off to Bryan and I offered to go fry up the chicken. I knew I had some leftover red new potatoes, so I quartered those, rubbed ’em in kosher salt, and slathered them in olive oil, rosemary, and thyme while the oil heated. They began roasting while I made up an elaborate breading of breadcrumbs, adobo, paprika, flour, and poultry seasoning. Then I beat up an egg, added some milk, and heard the oil sizzling. Ready to go!
I dipped the first “tender” in the egg wash, coated it in the breading, and plopped it into the oil. The explosion was MAGNIFICIENT. And although I’ve made fried chicken a THOUSAND times before, I never even once took pause at the magnitude of the !POP! when that chicken hit the pan. In fact, I just breaded another tender and plopped that one in.
And another one.
And by that time, the first one had caught fire.
So, quick intro to Sarah Lena: SHE HATES FUCKING FIRE. Thank God I was so exhausted and meh that I didn’t flip my shit out like I normally would. I instead, all nonchalantly like, reached over to the flour bag (which THANK GOD I still had out from the breading) and just dumped it on the fire. As if I do this all the time. And then I repeated it when the other two spontaneously combusted as well.
However, this did not save the house. Smoke quickly filled the humongous kitchen and neighboring living room.. but amazingly did NOT set off our smoke detectors. (On one hand, HOORAY for not having false alarms. On the other hand, IMMINENT DEATH.) We learned an interesting fact about our dog, Charlie: he has no survival skills whatsoever. He quickly darted outside (SMART DOG!), but then came back inside and hid, shivering, under an end table. Of course, I mock him, but Mabel is clearly no Darwin hound either; she actually stood under the stove area to lick up some spilled flour.
Again, instead of freaking out or even really breathing heavily, I just quietly cleaned up the mess, dumping what I could into the dishwasher and even wiping down the countertops and making Binja’s bottle. Then I poured myself a glass of wine and directed Bryan to the Fruity Pebbles and said that I was waving my white flag and calling it a night.
.. now, those of you who remembered that I had potatoes in the oven, raise your hand. YOU ALL WIN.