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It’s unfathomable how it is that The Mom is able to get so much food on her clothes, considering that she eats mere handfuls of bird food to sustain her. I don’t know why she’s always making something that involves a tomato sauce – as her clothes would indicate – because I rarely hear about or see the woman eating tomato sauce based foods. But this is perhaps due in large part to the fact that they are all over her top. The sauce she intended to eat springs out of the pot and onto her clothes. Literally this is the only explanation.

I have never in all my days seen someone who struggles to not make a mess with pizza as The Mom did recently when she was here visiting. Now, once, I accidentally took the wrong medication (as in, I accidentally took too much of one kind of medication though I didn’t know it, and felt kind of funny and a bit high but you know, I’ve felt worse) and went out to eat with my then boyfriend and I remember trying to drink some water and finding that my face was not where I had thought I left it. As in, I missed by a rather staggering amount, leading him to ask if I had spent the afternoon drinking to which I believe I said I felt funny.

Never mind. The Mom vs the pizza went something like this.

We sit down in this pizza shop I’ve specially directed us to because it’s had excellent reviews and I cannot eat fish and chips again unless I want my entire insides to pick up and leave. Seriously, the Crohn’s baby is not happy at this point.

We sit down, the nice waitress lady brings a menu. The Mom asks, “Are you having a drink?”

“I am not having a booze. You drink too much. It’s only noon.”

“It’s past noon,” she retorts. “Fine. Do they have San P?”

“I don’t know. I’m sure they have some kind of fizzy water.”

“It has to be San P. I could possibly do Perrier.”

“Are you seriously saying these words? Are you hearing yourself? It’s fizzy water. You’re lucky I’m not calling it gassy water.”

“What’s wrong with San P?”

“There is nothing wrong with San P. However, you might have to EMBRACE CHANGE whilst on holiday and have something not that.”

The Mom at this point looks miffed and slightly put out. The waitress returns. They have San P but only the flavoured kinds, which I wasn’t going to order but now do just to be a jerk. The Mom manages to lower herself to try another kind of fizzy water.

I wait five minutes and the sky doesn’t even fall.

“What pizza will you have?” I ask.

“I don’t know. We always get salami at our regular place back home.”

“I realise that. You are currently not at home.”

“I usually get the margherita in Australia.”

“You are not currently in Australia.”

She looks up at me with a bit of a glare.

“Shall we share one? I can’t eat the entire thing and I very much doubt you can either,” I say. “Besides, there is ice cream after. If you’re good.”

“Yes, let’s share. Mushroom?” she suggests.

“Good, fine.”

We order. The drinks are brought. The Mom drinks a new and different kind of fizzy water and lives to tell the tale.

The pizza arrives. Before even beginning to eat, The Mom tucks her wafer-thin serviette into her collar like a bib. I make no remarks about this because it is plainly sensible behaviour. The Mom does not make a move to cut the pizza. I cut the pizza. And dish her up her half.

She gets involved and it is excellent pizza and we are very happy. After each bite, I watch The Mom wipe her greasy, cheesy, tomato-sauce covered hands on her serviette which sort of hovers over her blue and white striped top.

“You do realise,” I say. “That that whiff of a napkin is doing nothing to prevent the grease and whatever else from getting on your top? That when you wipe your hands on it, as a small child might, you are essentially wiping your hands on your top? The one you are trying to protect?” I wait for this information to sink in and she tries her best not to blush. “Also, I have nothing as useful as stain remover or non-hippie laundry soap at my apartment.”

It’s at that point that The Mom looks around for more napkins. And I understand why she is constantly covered in food.