Real* conversation that just happened in my house:

Me: What day is today?

Duke: It’s been 55 days since Trump left office.

Me: That’s not helpful. Is it Tuesday?

Duke: It was a Tuesday when the lying Liberal Rev. Warnock stole the election from Kelly Loeffler and the whole Democratic Party started a coup to take over the White House.

Me: You gotta let that shit go, man.

Winnie: (singing) Let it go, let it go…

Duke: I wish I lived in a house that understood the specific concerns of a French poodle whose belief in American democracy has been shaken to its core.

Winnie: (singing) Can’t hold it back anymore. Let it go, let it go…

Me: Who threw up on the floor?

Winnie: (singing) I don’t care what they’re going to say, let the storm rage…

Duke: I saw on FoxNews that some Biden/Harris supporters were breaking into people’s homes and vomiting on the floor.

Me: The actual fuck, Duke?

Winnie: The cold never bothered me anyway…

*These are my dogs, but still. All true.

Why Are You Wet?

Hurricane Sally did a number on us this week. We are lucky, of course, to be four hours inland, and not near the Gulf Coast (some of our Mississippi and Louisiana friends weren’t so lucky) we’ve just had a ton of rain. So much in fact that I’ve been running around screaming, “Why are you all wet, you assholes?!” To the dogs, naturally.

And in true Duke and Winnie fashion, they refuse to answer me, instead they jump on top of my couch and roll around, or jump in my bed and roll around, or jump on top of me and roll around. Why is there always so much rolling with the wetness?

Then, you know what, go ahead and add the mud to that. They’ve been digging, if you recall the “Remains” story from the other day, and digging in wet dirt is called digging in mud. Which apparently they are both big fans of.

All of this to say, that the dogs are still alive. I haven’t killed them. We are safe from storms. And my whole house reeks of wet dog.

How’s your week?


Dog Farts and Peacocks

I’m surrounded by dog farts and peacocks. To be clear, they aren’t actual peacocks (I’m not a fan) but rather representational peacocks. To be crystal clear, the dogs farts are real, not representational and quite abundant. I’m reading Flannery O’Conner (yes, again, or rather, still) with a highlighter, in bed, under my blanket that mysteriously matches “A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories” (A Harvest Book edition). So mysterious. And my poodle is on the end of the bed farting because, and I think this is the correct answer, he hates me.

It’s midnight on a Saturday, or maybe it’s Sunday and this is my life now, and I wish it were a folly, a joke, a side-splitter, but it’s real life and as we know real life can, at times, be just as ridiculous as art.

That is all.

Good day, Madams and sirs.



Road Trip To-do List

  • Shave the dog
    • But do I really want to shave the dog?
      • Yeah, I need to shave the dog
  • Bathe both dogs
  • Order dog food
  • Why is my whole damn life about dogs?
    • I mean, like, why do we even have two dogs?
      • What happened to me as a child that I need to overcompensate with animals?
  • Laundry
  • Order the dogs waterproof collars
    • I swear to Baby Jesus, I am so tired of getting the dogs new collars for different occasions
  • Pick up that giant llama float I saw in that ad one time from one of the stores that sells large llama floats
    • Wait, I don’t want to go inside one of the stores
      • Did I even look to see if they had a poodle float instead?
  • Tires for truck
    • Already did that
  • Floating cooler?
  • Print out map of trip and circle all bathrooms I suspect might be the “cleanest”
    • Print out directions? What is this 2005? I’m not MapQuesting that shit
      • The dogs would eat the map
  • Wait, we are going through Memphis and Little Rock?!
    • We will need to pee on the side of the road at all times
  • Gloves
  • Maybe we should drive at night so no one will see me pee in the bushes? What if I have to poop?
    • Quik Trip?
  • Fill up the dog’s poop bag satchel
    • Could I poop in a poop bag if I needed to?
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Where will I get coffee?!
    • I can’t get coffee or I will have to poop!
  • Can you ship wine?
  • Books
  • Burn a Road Trip CD
    • What the what?! Burn a CD?!
      • Make a Road Trip Playlist, make sure it has enough Suzy Bogguss
        • “I don’t wanna be standing here, and I don’t want to be talking here, and I don’t really care who’s to blame…”
  • You blame the dogs, even if it was you
    • Oh shit, is that why I have dogs?
  • Swim trunks for Jackson

Well Hello…

I have some new followers! I love new followers, but I hate that word “follower.” I prefer friends! I have some new friends! We shall all welcome them with open arms. Hello, friends! Welcome! Grab a White Claw, or a bottle of wine, or maybe some iced tea (we are in The South after all) and sit a spell while I tell you a bit about myself. My name is Missy. (Really it’s Melissa but when I was a born in the 80s my stone-washed jeans wearing sisters thought Missy sounded radical, so there you have it.) I go by Melissa when I am feeling “formal” or when I don’t know people very well, but I do prefer Missy. I’m not the type of person to offer that up when we first meet, nicknames sometimes scare people, so you’ll usually know me a little while when someone will call me Missy and you’ll be all, Wait, who is Missy? You mean Melissa? And they will be all, Who is Melissa? And that’s pretty much all you need to know about me. Just kidding.

I’m married to a lovely middle-aged, white man whom I often make fun of for being a middle-aged, white man but check this, he is faaaaar from the kinda guy you are thinking of. Sure, on the outside he looks the part, and a lot of old ladies grab his hand to tell them all about his church (like his atheist-ass cares), but he politely listens, nods along, and says, That sounds really nice! Occasionally other middle-aged, white men who do not know him very well will suggest having a beer, and they will end up saying some whacked-out racist shit, or something about how our current president is “fiscally responsible” or maybe throw in a homophobic joke, and my husband will be all, Oh, so you’re an asshole. Then he will pay his tab (but not theirs) and leave. He’s cool like that.

We have an 11-year-old son who is starting sixth grade in the fall. Middle school. I’m not going any further than that because I remember middle school, vividly, and I am terrified for him and for me. He’s supersonic smart though. He’s in the STEM program, robotics team, band, etc, etc. You’ll like him a lot and often remark how mature he is for his age, but that’s just because he doesn’t feel comfortable enough around you to make fart noises under his arm. Just yet. Otherwise he is honest, kind, considerate, and his three favorite television shows are: The Office, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

The dogs, Jesus I forgot about the dogs. Okay listen, we had this amazing dog for nearly 14 years. Her name was Bentley and she was my actual ride-or-die (yeah, I say ride or die and I don’t know if it is hyphenated or not). She was a chocolate lab mix and also the best dog in the whole world. But in 2018 her health problems caught up with her and we had to put her down a couple months shy of her 14th birthday. Then I did what I always do, I had a breakdown and over-compensated by getting not one, but two dogs. Sir Duke Barkington of Charlotte came first. He is a standard poodle and he’s hella fancy and honestly I can’t with him sometimes. He wears bow ties, and prefers to be professionally groomed with a blow out. We just celebrated his second birthday with a surprise celebration on April 30th, because quarantine.

Then there is Lady Winifred Beesly of Atlanta. Winnie came to us at the beginning of quarantine because who didn’t think it was the perfect time to go on Craigslist and adopt a dog that someone had bought and realized they were allergic to and didn’t know what to do with?! She’s part standard poodle and part great pyranees and I know what you are thinking, what does that dog look like? Answer: A hot fucking mess. But we love her.

Okay, so I think that’s the gist of life around here. We live in Metro Atlanta. We are pro-choice (I’ll tell you about my daughter sometime), LGBTQIA+ allies, active members in the Black Lives Matter Movement, and we are Bernie supporters who will be voting for Biden in November because shiiiiiiit. My husband has his MBA and works in finance, I write and piddle around the house yelling about politics and who the hell shit on the floor?! It’s usually a dog.

This blog houses everything from my distorted, meandering thoughts to stories of my childhood, to actual lists of whatever I am thinking at any given moment. I talk a lot about mental health, family, and writing. I made a promise to myself to blog everyday this year, and with the exception of two weeks ago when I took a break to help #MuteTheWhiteNoise and #AmplifyBlackVoices I have written everyday this year. So, there’s a lot to read and digest here. I also have a page with my published writings if you are so inclined. Thanks for reading today and thanks for being on this crazy ride!

Stay safe and sane, y’all.


Not A Real Breed

Listen, there are some things that I do because I am straight-up trash. Like when I subscribed to the Facebook standard poodle sites, I knew I was being an uppity bitch, but I have this adorable standard poodle and I wanted to share him with people who would love him like I do. People who would appreciate him and swoon over him and say things like, “Sir Duke is ADORABLE! The perfect poodle!” And I have. And they did. Then I was wasting a couple of my minutes of Facebook time the other day on one of them there sites and I saw someone post a picture of a doodle. I gave it a heart, and then immediately I was like, “Oh no!” I felt bad for the poster, a common poodle mommy who was just trying to share a cute pic of her babies. Now she has a poodle, but she just got a doodle and she decided to share a picture of both of the dogs together and I knew they were going to jump all over this poor girl. And they did.

Here’s the thing about “breedists” as I have come to call them: They cray. Like Lucious Malfoy cray. Like “There shan’t be any MUDBLOODS in here!” Cray. They started out nice. Someone was all, “Ohh, is the golden one a standard?” She knew the answer, but she wanted the poster to admit to it. The poster was all, “Oh no, that’s our new doodle pup! Isn’t she sweet?” Yes. Yes, she was sweet. Then someone else chimed in, “There are a lot of doodle sites all over.” Like, wow. Really, bitch? Then someone finally said, “I can’t believe these ‘designer’ breeds that just keep popping up. And they will keep popping up as long as there is demand for them…”

Now, did I do the right thing and come to her rescue? No. No I did not. You can’t “fight” with these breedists. They are like Trump supporters. Matter fact, I think most of them are Trump supporters. It’s just not what I do on there. I heart pics of puppies, and ask things like: When did y’all get your boy neutered? Who’s microchipped? Is stomach tacking worth it? I don’t get involved in the “Poodle Politics.” I know this sounds not like me, but the truth is, I always kinda knew I’d own a “designer breed” one day, and IDGAF what these people think about that.

And now here we are. Me feeling guilty that I am still a member of these sites, and an owner of a PyreDoodle, which by the way is not a recognized breed by the ACK or the CKC but I mean, have you seen her? Have you seen her?! Look it:

Guarantee if I were to post this pic to one of those poodle sites the first thing someone would ask me is, “Oh, is this a standard?” And they would already know the damn answer. They could tell by looking at the pads of her feet. See that little bit of white there? Uh huh. Dead giveaway. She actually has a white chest and some of them would actually die upon seeing her white chest, then come back to life to remind me that this is a “poodle site” and that there are several other places where I might feel more comfortable sharing this picture. Le sigh.

Why am I actually telling you this today? I dunno, I guess to make you feel better about your own life? Like, at least you don’t cruise dog sites looking for a fight. At least you aren’t the semi-proud owner of a dog that is “not a real breed.” Or maybe you are. Maybe you “adopt don’t shop” (I support this so very much, and often feel like a piece of shit because we didn’t find a dog that fit well with us when we went to seven damn shelters. But I also support buying puppies from local, reputable breeders who don’t over breed and have like family farms and shit. That’s supporting local business.) But dear dog lord do not cometh to that group with that mantra. They can tell you 187 reasons why your pit-bull mix you adopted from the local shelter is a big pile of anti-Christ dog shit. And they truly believe it. #TrumpShitGoingOnThereYall

So why then Missy do you belong to these sites? I told y’all. I’m trash. Oh, and the puppies are cute.

Have a safe and happy day!


Ps… Here is a pic I’ve been itching to share on one of the poodle sites, but can’t for fear that I’ll wake up with dog shit in a brown paper bag on my doorstep placed there by an 83-year-old retired librarian with three pure white standards.

Sir Duke is a Shithead

My dog woke me up at four this morning. I suspect it was so that he could go poop out the book that he ate yesterday when I left him at home for about three hours. I wondered, for a split second, what it feels like to poop out a book. Which led me to wonder why one would eat a book? Is it like when I was pregnant and I craved coffee grinds? Is it that thing where your body is lacking iron so you desire to eat dirt? Or is it more of that thing where you have a mental problem and you only feel better if you eat little bits of mattress that you purchase in bulk at Sam’s Club, because they can’t be used mattresses, you have standards. I suspect of course, it’s because he is a dog. And dogs eat crazy shit. He likes, for instance, to rifle through our bathroom trash from time to time and get himself a little snack. Used q-tips, leftover floss, or his personal favorite: tissue smeared with excrements from our noses. He doesn’t prefer one of our noses over the other. He likes all snot the same.

But this whole only eating my shit when he is left alone, well that is pointed.

When he was a puppy we kenneled him, much to my dismay. Our overweight, chocolate lab Bentley who was put to sleep last year (you can read about her here: https://missygoodnight.com/2018/10/20/bentley/) was not the kind of dog that we had to kennel. She never wanted to tear our shit up, or make us pay for leaving her alone. She was merely the absolute perfect, best doggo in the whole wide world. No biggie. Sir Duke Barkington of Charlotte, however, is a little shithead.

Sir Duke has anxiety. And believe me, I get that. I too have anxiety. But he has separation anxiety, which is not what I have. In fact, I’m totes okay with spending load of time all alone. All. Alone. Expect for the past year I have not had that opportunity because well, Sir Duke Barkington of Charlotte. He is with me ALL DAY LONG. Everyday. And therein lies the problem.

Make no mistake, I did this to myself. I have always wanted a doggy who loves me so much he waits for me to get home with a wagging tail. He loves to cuddle with me. I am his human. His one and only. Bentley, for as awesome as she was, she wasn’t a cuddle buddy. She slept on my feet for five years or so (until Jackson was born and she had to sleep on the floor in his room for her own peace of mind) but she wasn’t one to hop on the couch with me and watch Netflix. In fact, if you ever accidentally sat down next to her, she’d give you about two minutes to change your mind, then she would get up and walk away. If it weren’t for her size, I’d think she was part cat.

Sir Duke is quite a different story. He seeks you out. Then he hops directly on top of you head. Or your face. Or your uncovered limbs. He licks your eyes, he tries to put his tongue inside your ears. He relentlessly runs to the bathroom whenever he hears me using it. If I have closed the door he whines outside of it. If I have left it open, half-asleep at 6:00 am, he stands in between my legs and waits for me to finish. I just don’t get it.

But, I guess I don’t need to. I guess he’s just that guy. An large, annoying, cuddly, deranged poodle. And well, as much as I bitch and complain about him, he’s mine. And I’m his. And I love that about us. I just wish he’d stop eating my damn books.


Imaginary Poodle Shopping

As Sir Duke Barkington of Charlotte approaches his first birthday (April 30) I’ve found myself taken with puppy fever. With that in mind I’ve been trolling Poodle rescue sites and let me just say, there are a lot of them. People are rather uneducated on the breed. They buy a Poodle then say things like, “I had no idea the Standard Poodle would be 75 pounds”. 🙄 So, this is first and foremost a plug for you to check out some Poodle rescue groups in your area (if you are so inclined) for your next doggo. Duke has been an exceptional puppy and is the smartest, most stubborn dog I have ever met. But I mean, look at this face:

In his Easter Bonnet, he’s very fashion-forward.

This is also a list of possible fancy-ass names for my new (imaginary) Poodle, which will most likely be another boy since we don’t want any pups running amok. Feel free to copy these names for your new bundle of joy as well!

I’ve also added links to various Poodle rescue sites on the bottom of this blog just in case, like me, you want to browse. May I add, there are many breeds, and mixed breeds, that need homes as well, and Poodles really are a bit more work than the average dog, so please educate yourself first. Don’t just fly by the seat of your pants like I did! Because of this fact, I added more doggo and pupper rescue site links as well, for funsies! Happy adopting!

Possible Fancy-Ass Names for My (Imaginary) New Doggo

  • Sir Earl Barnabus of Atlanta (Barney)
  • Viscount Kingsley Augustus of Atlanta (King)
  • Sir Maximus Benedict of Atlanta (Max or Benny)
  • Baron Oliver Charleston of Atlanta (Ollie)
  • Sir Francois Archibald of Atlanta (Frankie)
  • Steve

Rescue Sites That Seem Reputable








As always, have a wonderful day, and remember, all doggies are amazing and wonderful, don’t let breed or size scare you! I have met some of the sweetest Pit Bulls and some of the most stuck-up, fancy-pants German Shepherds out there. I have also met scary Chihuahuas and very, very rude Pugs. It’s more about the environment than anything else! Damn that Pug was scary. #GaveMeNightmares


For the New People

There are probably some things you should know about my family, for those of you who are new here, and maybe for some of you who are old here, but who like to hear my crazy stories. So I took some time to tell you a bit about my husband, Jerimiah, and our son, Jackson. Let me first say there is much more to know about them, but these are some basics. I am actively trying to get Jerimiah to start a podcast with me called Peanut Butter and Petty (in which he is Peanut Butter and I am Petty, duh) and we discuss our lives and regular, everyday things so you could learn more about us because I know you want to know more about us, but you are too afraid to ask. He is in refusal mode, as it sits. I’m close though, y’all. Really close. I think Jerimiah’s hold up is that he thinks he isn’t as “funny” as I am, and that we wouldn’t have anything to talk about. Meanwhile I’m like, two things: 1. No one will listen to that bitch except our friends Dave and Beth, your mom, my mom, and my sisters and 2. You give me too much credit and our “boring” life not enough. I really just want an excuse to drop $100 on one of those really fancy microphones so I can look cool in my videos, but that is neither here nor there.

So here we are. The first video is waaaaay off topic and the second one, though it may seem to be mostly about me (let’s be real, I am selfish and this whole thing is always about me) actually strives to give you a glimpse inside my son’s life. So enjoy! Or don’t, I’m not the boss of you. Ps… the three pictures below will only make sense after you watch the first video. Sorry, Jerimiah, but it had to be addressed. ❤

**UPDATE** Jerimiah replied to this blog post on my Facebook page with the following claims:

  1. The shorts were Levi’s not JNCO, although I was known to sport a pair or two. See attached pic.
*I concede on the shirt being green and red. But that is all.

2. While I was the proselytizing Juggalo trying to get his Juggalette, I never owned a shirt, but did attend one concert.

3. My green on green combo was hard to beat, let’s be honest here.

4. While you might make 50% of the shots you take, you miss 100% of those you don’t take. Remember that. 😂

A “wife beater”. While I do not agree with the term and know that it is offensive, I didn’t create the name. Also, don’t hit your fucking partners, you assholes. And remember, mental and emotional abuse is just as bad.
See, they existed. Still do, in fact. You can buy these bad boys on eBay for $30. No, Jerimiah, they are not your size. Ps… His were actually blue, remember?
This is as close to the actual shirt as I could find. I had to Google: “Vintage Adidas Front-Button Shirt”, but still this one is not exactly right. His was green and I not so, umm, easy on the eyes.
A bit about Jerimiah. And laundry baskets, and some tips on “changing a man”. Also, who wants to buy a used Poodle?
A little bit of soccer, little bit of basketball, a little bit of we are not good at either. Learning about Jackson Riker!

How to Make Eggplant Parm

I made eggplant parmesan the other day. Let me write a really long run-on sentence now so that you have time to truly understand the significance of that previous statement because seriously I made eggplant parmesan the other day for my family and they ate it and they liked it and they said they would eat it again. Whew. Run-ons actually come easy to me which is probably why my gig as a stringer for the paper was short lived. Well, it was either that or that time my editor asked me what the role of a newspaper was and I gave him the standard journalism school response “to inform people” and he said, “Wrong! It’s to make money” (he was Trump before Trump was a thing) and I was all, “Wrong! It’s to inform people. It’s greedy bastards like you that made it into the other.” And then I got less leads.

What was I talking about? Eggplant Parm! Here is the thing. I don’t like to cook. Like, do not like it. I’m sort of like a toddler in the kitchen. I go in there with one thing on my mind: Oreos, and when I walk out there are pots and pans all over the floor, flour all over the counters, grapes stuffed into the garbage disposal, and sometimes there is crying. But, I do get into these weird moods where I have a hankering for something like eggplant parm and I am like, “Welp Missy, let’s try it.”

First I googled “Eggplant Parmesian” because generally speaking I can’t spell. Then I googled “Eggplant Parmasian” because Mrs. Albright (my fourth grade teacher who deserves her own blog post) said that people tend to mix up “a”s and “e”s. Then I just clicked where it said, “Did you mean ‘Eggplant Parmesan’?” Why yes, I did. Thank you Google, you sly fox.

Now usually what happens when I Google a dinner dish, is that I get so lost in all the recipes that I can’t decide on one. Then the multitude of choices forces me to stress-the-fuck-out, and I forgo cooking all together. By the end of the night I am confused, in my bathroom (where I sometimes hide from my family) sliding down the wall while I cry and watch myself in the mirror for added effect. Oh the torment! Do my eyes always look this tired? Jesus, do I need eye cream? I’m almost 40 for fuck’s sake. When did that happen?

But this time was different. I honestly can’t say why, other than I knew it was time for me to master something with red sauce, because the last time I made lasagna it was a NiGhTmArE. Listen. No, nevermind. It is too difficult to talk about. I need more time.

So I closed my eyes and clicked on a link. Lo and behold I was taken to this website that not only had the recipe “Easy Eggplant Parm” but there was also a video! Now, this may not seem too exciting to some of you, but I have come to understand myself as what people refer to as a “visual learner”. I need to be shown how to do something, rather than just told. My husband is the exact opposite and because of that he comes off as the “smarter” of the two of us because you can tell him something and he can go and do it. Whereas I need several attempts at doing it myself first. He is also known as the “less crazy” of the two of us, but that is for different reasons.

Okay, so I saw this video of eggplant parmesan being cooked and I was in heaven! All I had to do was gather the ingredients, start the video, and follow along. Saaaaweeeet!

I decided to try the recipe on a Monday so that we could partake in the ever-not-so-popular “Meatless Monday”. Seems like a snazzy idea. Of course I had eggs for breakfast and a leftover pork chop for lunch, but that is neither here nor there. I ordered my groceries with Walmart online pick-up which has helped me keep my sanity. I can enjoy the low, low prices of a huge box store, without having to go inside a huge box store. Other introverts will understand why this is amazing. Meanwhile some of you may be all, “Why not the ‘Teets’, Missy? The ‘Teets’ real cool.” And I will tell you what my husband tells me. “Stop calling it the ‘Teets’ no one calls it that but you and you aren’t going to suddenly make the ‘Teets’ happen, you aren’t an urban influencer.” And, yeah, he’s the “sane” one.

So I picked the ingredients up the Friday before and stockpiled them all weekend, even though my son saw the sauce (yeah, I buy red sauce I don’t make it, you crazies) and asked for spaghetti all weekend. He also kept asking me what the eggplant was for and whether he liked it, and more than one I used it as a weapon, as it lay sullen and alone on the kitchen counter.

Ahem, so Monday rolls around and I decide to start making it. It is right after school and Jackson and Morgan are running through the house with wands trying to make water turn into rum. If you want more of that story check out: https://mrsgoodnight.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/this-week-isnt-bringing-me-joy/. Totes not worth it.

So I have kids running around and a dog who is driving me nuts and I am hellbent on making this damn eggplant parmesan. So I start with slicing the eggplant (per the video) which is harder to watch than anticipated because I have to keep wiping my hands when I stop and start the video. Not to mention that it is on my phone so people keep calling and texting me and I keep getting distracted, then it takes me from the Safari app to the message and I start sending mean-ass messages back to people like they should know I am making eggplant parmesan right now, you assholes, why are you texting me?!

Once I get all the eggplant sliced I realize I was supposed to skin it too. Here’s a tip for ya, skin a vegetable before you slice it. So after I painstakingly skin the eggplants (yeah, I bought two because I didn’t read the whole ingredient list and didn’t realize I would only need one) then you mix up the egg mixture. So now I am stopping and starting a video on my phone with egg running down my fingers. I stop for a second to consider Salmonella, then I am reminded of that one time I went to Tijuana and shit for three days afterward. I often wondered if I contracted Salmonella, or E.coli, or Hep A, or what have you. But to be honest I saw some shit in Tijuana that like burned itself into my retina, and I was a bit more preoccupied with losing those images than whether or not my gastrointestinal upset was caused by the Camioneta de Burrito. Yeah. A Burrito. Van.

Anyway, I start taking the eggplant pieces one by one and dipping them into the egg mixture, then quickly sticking them into the Panko breading. I bought the gluten-free kind of Panko breading because I don’t read shit when I buy things online. I just click on pictures. Not unlike Karen who is going through a divorce in her early 50s and is drunk-buying purses with interchangeable zippers from QVC at two o’clock in the morning. Look it, we all have our reasons.

I keep going from one bowl to the other, while the egg mixture slings across my counter into the Panko mixture. Meanwhile, the dog is hopping up on his hind legs trying to drink the flying egg particles and I’m screaming at him to “Get down! Damn it, Duke! Get down!” and the kids are running in the room asking if I was calling for them. Eventually I get the first pan of eggplant covered and stick it into the oven that I forgot to preheat. So I turn back around and start on the second pan (of which I do not need, but now am stuck with) while I tell Siri to turn on a 15-minute timer.

I keep working on the second pan. Same shit. Dunk in eggs. Sling egg across counter. Kids scream. Dog hops around. People text. I lose my place in the video, and then have to watch a two minute ad to keep watching, and then the timer goes off. I turn around to see that I never actually turned the fucking oven on, so you know, things are going well.

At some point my husband texts me to tell me that he will be home earlier than expected, so I try to double-time that shit. Like suddenly I am in some sort of televised cooking competition and the judge is that guy from the “Cake Boss” and he is walking behind me taking mental notes of the mess that I am making, whispering things into my ear like, “Do you always let your dog lick your pajama pants while you cook?” and “You husband probably expects this to taste really great.” So I freak out a bit and start just throwing ingredients into the pan. I take out the now-baked eggplant and layer them, not unlike my lasagna (not the flashbacks, please not the flashbacks) with the ricotta cheese and basil and what not. Then I lose track of where I am in the video. Now my hands are all covered in this cheese mixture and I am trying to convince the kids that they succeeded in turning the water into rum as I start pulling dry seasoning from my shelf and just sprinkling shit in there. Oh, was that hot red pepper flakes? No one will notice. Then I stick the assembled pan in the oven and wait.

As I clean up the mess in the kitchen, which now looks like the opening scene of a Law and Order: Special Victims Unit episode (red sauce everywhere) I notice for the first time that the dog has egg splattered on his head and maybe, is that, yeah, red sauce on his paws and he is tracking it through the house. Cool. Cool. Cool.

Le sigh. Listen, y’all. My husband and kid were all, “Ohh, this is yummy!” When they ate it and they ate it, all of it. I was too tired to worry whether or not they actually liked it or just knew that I had a hectic afternoon so they were pretending. Didn’t matter. I had defeated the eggplant parmesan. I am sitting at my kitchen island smiling at my husband and son, content for the first time all evening. Then my husband looks at me with a weird look and asks, “What was that?! Whew, something spicy!”.

Ahh, yeah. The red pepper flakes.