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Retro Roast Beef?

            I just bought a roasting pan, the black one with white flecks. It is almost identical to the one I grew up with. I’m 54 and this makes me ever so happy.
            I am not sure that a beef roast evokes such strong memories in everyone.
            Growing up, we had roast on many a Sunday at home, or when I was very young, a roast at my grandma’s house on Sunday. That was the best meal of the week.
            The whole process today of searing the meat, cooking the onions, carrots, and mushrooms in a little red wine before they went into the big roasting pan, the whole thing was awesome.
            Right now, it’s all sitting in that fantabulous roasting pan at 325 degrees and I know better than I know my name, that shit will be delicious.
            What was it that made me not go out and buy a twenty-dollar roasting pan about 25 years ago? Why is it so important that it’s taken me my whole life to make that purchase?
            It’s been nothing to spend $100 at a time at Walmart or Target on deodorant, toilet paper, and laundry detergent for the past 30 years. I don’t know why that stupid roasting pan was so hard to buy.
            Now that I know it will provide dividends for years to come, unlike a stick of deodorant or toilet paper, I’m even more curious.
            I just served the roast beef surrounded by potatoes and carrots smothered in gravy. I could not be more proud. Some people carry a legacy filled with business acumen or a really big inheritance. I am completely happy to finally know that I can roast a hank of meat as well as my dad did. I did not fall far from his tree. Or my mom’s tree, for that matter. I can flare my nostrils like it’s nobody’s business and I pity the person who thinks they can prove me wrong. Hell, no.
            Now that I’m 54, I revel in all of this. I see no wrong in the way I react to a situation the way my parents did. I see no conflict between myself and my parents, especially Doris, my mom.
            When I was 18 this was not the case.
            If I said A, she’d say B.
            If I said B, she’d say A.
            We were not on the same page, which is why it’s so ironic so many decades later that I can totally read her page.
            Doris was (is) my idea of the ultimate strong woman. She didn’t shit around, as she’d gladly tell you. She calculated the income taxes of our family and the families of her siblings. She worked for the IRS and the post office, and she had all of a tenth-grade education. I still wish sometimes that those government jobs were easier to get these days. She took it step by step with sheer determination and her own innate intelligence. Like I like to say, you didn’t mess with her.
            So much later I know now that her intensity about saving for a new refrigerator or a dryer really reflected her own ability and desire to make it all work. Back then I just thought she was an idiot who was obsessed with having a brown refrigerator to match the stove.
            More than anything I wish I could have five more minutes with my mom so I could tell her I get it now, so many years later.
            Thankfully, in my heart, I know she already knows that. The best part might be that I hope beyond hope that my own daughter buys a roasting pan when she's 54, or maybe even when she's 34.




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