Brownies are supposed to be fun and easy.

I forgot to stop and buy brownie mix on the way home. I remembered earlier, but not when it counted. In my defense, I will say that I had a lot on my mind, and Kelly and I were talking about some things both serious and light, and I just didn’t think of it in time.

No big deal, I thought, I’ll just make them from scratch. I know how to do that, after all. I did it once and it was fine. Okay, you’re right, technically I did it twice and it was fine the second time. The first time, I misunderstood how many brownies it would make and I used a pan that was too large. I had little tiny crunchy brownies. Mike laughed and took pictures. It was not his most supportive moment.

I got out the butter and the cocoa and I prepared to heat them. Of course I didn’t have baking chocolate (good thing for Paul Anka but not so good for brownies), so I made the conversion, which is three tablespoons of cocoa plus some vegetable oil equals one ounce of baking chocolate. It’s on the cocoa container. Unfortunately, even though we own two open containers of cocoa (no idea how that happened), it wasn’t looking like it was going to be enough. In fact, that was the case. I needed fifteen tablespoons of cocoa, and I only had twelve. For the record, fifteen tablespoons is a lot of cocoa. (Mike: “Can you reduce the recipe by 1/5?” Kari: *evil death glare as she ponders how to take 1/5 of three eggs*) At this point, I felt: 1. Lucky that I hadn’t added the oil (which is why I can’t remember exactly how much) or butter (I had that all ready to go – 2/3 cup) and 2. Beyond pissed that I was going to have to go to the store in the rain.

I got my keys and went to Lowes Foods, feeling very sorry for myself. I paused for just an instant too long on the brownie mix aisle (what, you thought I was just going to buy cocoa? If I had to go to the store, then I’m doing it the easy way), deciding between extra fudgy and triple chocolate. (I got extra fudgy.) This meant that two ladies with full-to-the-brim carts beat me to the two open lanes, which already had people in line. I stood there with my one item feeling very sorry for myself as the cashier chatted it up about coupons and offered extra discounts to the lady in line in front of me. Now, I know that said lady had no obligation to let me go in front of her, but . . . come on. We all know it would have taken less than a minute to do my transaction, and then she wouldn’t have had to put up with me glowering as her entire cart had to be rung up. If our positions had been reversed, I would have let her ahead of me. Unfortunately, she chose not to take that route, and it took a long time. She had a lot of stuff. There was a lot of chatting. Life is all about tradeoffs, I guess. She stood there with those, “I know I should have let you pass me but I refuse to look you in the eye,” shoulders while I glowered. I’m not proud of the glowering, but it was either that or bursting into tears. Maybe the cashier would have sped up if I’d burst into tears.

I got home and continued to feel very sorry for myself as I quickly whipped up the brownies. I even added extra chocolate chips. Take that, triple chocolate! I accused Mike of playing Halo for the 20 minutes I was gone (he didn’t). I refused to let him have brownies. He gave me a hug and ate cookies instead.

It was sad. I haven’t been so unreasonably upset in a long time. If my friends knew how much trouble the brownies had turned out to be, they would have told me to forget it. It was just one of those sad bad nights where nothing was really wrong and everything was wrong. And I acted like an idiot.

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