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This really is nothing. it’s a nothing post about a nothing annoyance, but maybe it also speaks to the whole. I don’t know. I just wanted to put it down because every time I look in my fridge I think of it.

I live in a family of canners. Both sides. My grandma’s canned corn is like eating corn off the cob, but on a spoon. Her blackberry jam? Holy hell. to die for. My dad does salsa and my anti-mommy freezes and then explodes canning jars in her freezer when she makes her special Grandpa Soup.

Canning jars are part of my existence. there’s always several in the back of my cupboard, taking on the duty of cups and glasses when we’re behind on the dishes (which doesn’t happen now, with no dishwasher. it would make us both insane). When there are too many or I get sick of them I give them back to grandma. Even if the thing that was in them was something from dad, it doesn’t matter. These canning jars circulate our family and whoever needs them has some or can trade for them or whatever…

They don’t always get returned; this past Christmas I made snow globes for my step mom and anti-mommy out of canning jars. And they were awesome. Step mom love snowmen so I found the cutest snowman ornament to put in there. Anti-mommy loves snow, so her snow globe is just full of snow.

But, for the most part, I get irritated with their presence in my cupboards and the next person I see who needs them will receive a box of canning jars with the commandment “Get these out of my house!” even now living in a house with a pear tree, apple tree, rhubarb patch and grape vine in the back yard i’m still giving canning jars back. Because, honestly, i’m gonna eat all those pears. there won’t be any left to can. when I get around to canning stuff i’ll go out and buy my first ever case of canning jars for myself and squee all over about it.

So mom made jam for Christmas. It was strawberry zucchini and apricot zucchini. they were delicious. a little thick, but I put them on my toaster waffles with some flax seed… or maybe pumpkin and sunflower seeds… yum.

But when she gave them to me the first thing she said was “I want the jars back.”

it struck me as odd. because they’re canning jars. They exist in the world the same way (I feel) books do. To be used and reused and passed around. I can’t tell you how many books I’ve “loaned” to people never really expecting to get them back. because it doesn’t matter. they’re meant to be read, and sure they can sit on my shelf until I feel like rereading them, but there are so many books to read that they might as well circulate the globe instead.

who makes a point of asking for their canning jars back before the jar has even been opened?

I don’t get it.

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Today is my birthday. Yay.

Happy my birthday to my mom.

I read that in a book; The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I remember being struck with Charlie’s realization that his mother had been there too, and from then on he would remind himself of that every year and do something nice for her too.

That has always lingered in my mind.

I always thought it was the sweetest thing. And I wished that I could do it.

But I couldn’t do it.

It’s not that, if I did, I feared she would ignore/ridicule/patronize me. I couldn’t do it because the depth of the emotion that I would need to express something like that to her is just not there. It’s too grand a scale expression than what I feel.

How’s that for fucked up?

I can’t make a nice gesture on the day she birthed me because even the smallest thing is “too nice” for how if eel? But no, it’s not nice. It’s not about the emotion, really, is it? I feel that we don’t have the sort of relationship where that kind of closeness lives. i’m not ready yet.

or maybe it’s that i’m worried that she just won’t get it. that sh won’t appreciate what i’m trying to say if I did. Because I feel that a lot. I feel that any emotion I did express would be misunderstood or just simply missed; not noticed at all.

Because I feel that a lot.

She doesn’t “get” my gestures. I feel like my odd little interactiosn with the world are such a part of me that people have learned to expect them. my off-kilter not quite sensible skew on everything is so much of what I am and in interacting with her the same way I do everyone else i’m trying so hard to include her; to teach her me, to let her in.

I don’t think she gets why I wish her a Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day on her birthday instead. It’s the same reason I give my dad a fancy loaf of wheat bread and those candy orange slices every year on his Birthday/Father’s Day Extravaganza (it’s not really an extravaganza, just usually more of a low-key sitting around and talking about books) because that’s what I do.

Dad looks forward to it. I’ve never heard a peep from mom. does she like it? does she hate it? she never told me to stop but there’s not even a wink and a nudge. “Hey, that’s what you said last year, ha-ha,” to it. Silence.

And so I feel that I’ve been out of line. Not that its gonna stop me, being out of line. when has it ever? it’s not going to stop me from doing my brand of reaching-out things; these things, while strange, express the emotions I have without the discomfort of the grander things that I wish I could do… hoping that one day I will feel comfortable with those wished for exchanges…

Because i’m not going to be someone else for her to like me and accept me and finally get to know me. I’m not imaginary.