When I was small, I used to choose cookie cutters very carefully, sitting at our big table in the house in Buchanan. Before cutting each cookie, I chose a cutter and placed it in exactly the right spot, to make the exact cookie I had envisioned in my mind. When it came time for frosting, the same thing occurred. I chose a cookie, determined which frosting and sprinkle colors it should hold and in what design, and meticulously frosted it. By the end, the frosting was ground into the texture of the plastic tablecloth and it tasted like plastic if you swiped at it with a damp finger, trying to get the last of the sugar in a house where for my first birthday I had birthday bread instead of birthday cake.
My mom, on the other hand, made many identical cookies. She cut out an entire batch of stars and then an entire batch of bells. She frosted thirty cookies in a row the same color, sweeping the same kind of sprinkles over all of them. I always watched her a bit nervously. How could she DO that? What if she took one of my special ones and frosted it so boringly?
I made cookies today. Every cookie I cut was a star. I used each color of frosting until it was gone, and then I sprinkled the same nearest sprinkles on all the recently frosted cookies. I was an assembly line of cookies. Individualization of the cookies no longer carries the same appeal. My sister had to take over to ensure that we had some bells and trees and an occasional gingerbread man.
Remember how I was eating healthily to save room for Christmas cookies? I guess this is what I was saving room for, only now I feel sick and hyperactive from all the sugar. I have foiled my very own self.