A part of me died today.
It happened at exactly 1:12PM.
I recall glancing at a digital clock in my mother’s apartment before announcing that I was hungry and would make a sandwich.
“Do you want me to make you some tuna fish?” Mom asked.
“Yeah! Would you mash it up good like you did when we were little?” I asked. “And mix it with a ton of mayo?”
“Sure,” she replied.
And then it happened.
We went to the kitchen and she began to prepare the tuna fish.
I went to the fridge to grab the mayo.
‘Mom? What’s this?” I asked.
“What do you mean?” she replied.
“What do you mean what do I mean? What is this?” I asked, holding up a jar of Hellmann’s mayonnaise.
“It is not mayo. It’s the wrong mayo. Where’s the Kraft?”
She gave me a shrug.
A shrug, from the woman who raised me on Kraft. Kraft, the best and only worthy mayo on the planet.
“Mom. Now you hear me and you hear me good. This isn’t mayo and I want to know when you started buying it,” I demanded. The inquisition begins.
“Oh, I don’t know,” she answered.
She scrunched up her nose and rolled her eyes. And then she gave me what she thought would be a conversation-ending Mom wave-off.
We’re not ending this conversation! Oh, no we’re not.
“How can you say that? You bought Kraft forever. You raised me on Kraft. I have Kraft in my bones for crying out loud. I don’t understand how you can do this,” I cried.
I’m sick about this discovery, trying to process it all. Meanwhile, my mother is still mashing away at the tuna, ignoring me completely.
“Mom, really? How can this be? Tracey used to always come over the house for the good sandwiches because we had the good mayo,” I reminded her.
See, my best friend Tracey lived in a Miracle Whip house, poor thing. Not even mayo. She was livin’ the high life at my house with tuna sandwiches made with real mayonnaise for years and secretly wished she lived in The House of Kraft.
“Stick with us. We’ll always have Kraft. We’ll take good care of you,” I assured her.
But evidently we won’t always have Kraft.
We’ll switch and we won’t tell anybody.
I’m still in a tizzy, as I set the Hellish mayo down on the counter, then walk away in utter bewilderment. Mom continues mashing the tuna.
What will people say, Mom?
How can you even look at me?
How can I look at you?
The sad truth was sinking in. Mom was on the other side now. I don’t know what it’s like to be on that side. The world is all wrong and weird and backwards on that side.
I mull over when this could have happened. There was no announcement. No vetting of new mayo. No mayo caucus.
This is the stuff of family meetings. We should have had at least a phone conference about it. A newsletter. Something!
Maybe she’s been buying it for years and I never noticed. Maybe she switched when she had a coupon for ACK, BLEH, I can’t even say it – Hellmmm……..
Whatever the reason and whenever it happened, I know one undeniable fact.
My mother obviously never had a preference because once you have Kraft, you never switch. You just never switch!
Tonight I lick my wounds. My childhood will still be filled with Kraft memories, but I can never make a sandwich at my mother’s house.
Not unless I bring my own mayo.
And don’t think I won’t.