25X: The Snickerdoodle Incident


To my delight (and the delight of my ever-expanding tummy), a package of my mom’s Christmas cookies showed up on our doorstep today.

I don’t usually go crazy for sweets; a piece of candy now and then, perhaps a bag of Haribo Gummy Bears, but I’m a salt man.  Give me tortilla chips and pretzels any day of the week.

…Except Christmas, which is synonymous in my family with M&M cookies, snickerdoodles, Russian tea and peanut butter balls, chocolate brittle.  My mom bakes cookies for what seems like days every holiday season, packing up tupperware containers for teachers, co-workers, and extended family.  There’s even an infamous anecdote she likes to tell whenever she wants to rib me a little:

During Christmastime, probably about 10 years back, my mom was slaving over a hot oven, producing mounds of cookies.  Meanwhile, I’m slouched back on the soda, probably drinking lots of Coke and belching a lot while watching an episode of Real World/Road Rules Challenge.  “Finish those snickerdoodles, wench!” I commanded (as my mom tells it, anyway.)

My mom slid another tray of snickerdoodles into the oven and swung the door closed.  As the oven door snapped into place, the glass pane on the front of the oven popped loose (only held up at one point by what amounted to some glue and a shallow lip).  The weighty pane dropped straight down, with a crunch, right onto my mom’s toes.

There’s a truncated yelp, more of a startled shock before the pain kicked in.  My mom hopped out of the kitchen, the purple and blue stain of bruising slowly blooming.  “Ooohh, the snickerdoodles! If it weren’t for your snickerdoodles, this would’ve never happened!” she cried.

My mom then spent the next few months in a mix of unmatched boots, thermal socks, and sandals.  I don’t know if we ever found out if her toes had been broken, but regardless, the event was the fault of, not the shoddy manufacturing of Maytag, but me.

Merry Christmas, Ma!