Jello – bright colors, see through, but solid, and it would wiggle and jiggle and slip from your spoon, falls and melts on little hands – red, orange, green, yellow or blue – would jiggle when anyone moved.
These hand’s of mine were little once, and I found it hard to lift a spoon filled with Jello while small pieces inside your mouth were melting on your tongue. I never liked it, even if mother covered the colors with whipped cream – I never liked Jello until I became an adult.
Jello reminded me of ginger ale and stretched out on our sofa watching the Lone Ranger, and his pal the Indian. It took until I learned how Jello could be tasty – by then I had every color in the rainbow resting on a shelf. I learned what to do, how to serve Jello to those who were not sick, but wanted something different and all grown up – I added not water but a little Vodka or Gin, so Jello became a before dinner kind of thing. Once I tasted a Jello Cube, slipping from a tray of color – my thoughts of Jello changed, now I was watching, “Mad Men” instead of Lone Ranger.
Everyone left the house, dinner was a success, even playing twister was not bad, but all those dishes sat on top of the counter. I placed an apron, a gift at a bridal shower, over my head, slipped on rubber gloves. Now I scrapped all the leftovers into the garbage, and placed the cleared dishes into soap and water. We never could afford a dishwasher way back then – so I heard my father’s words as if I were home, watch the knifes. My hands swished about the dirty water for the last spoon covered with mashed potatoes, or a fork with pieces of turkey – but I still had to catch any small pieces of food before water emptying from the sink sucked it down the drain; Jello melted in hot water when I was a child.
All this time sweat is pouring from my forehead, and I am wiping it on my sleeve as I checked one last time for a dirty dish, yelled goodbye to a friend, removed the plastic gloves, and pulled out the last tray of Jello from the frig.
The party would not be over until we slugged down cubes of Jello, leftovers not to be melted in hot water. The jiggles of the Jello never bothered me like those dishes filled with Jello when I had to lay on the sofa. Now – just the two of us, sitting side by side listening to Jay Leno. Once more I would tell the story of the ten inch screen, in black and white, an old Navy Blanket keeping me warm as I would lay my head on a feather pillow trying to find a way to throw away the Jello. I always wondered why Lone Ranger never removed his mask or how cave men talked instead of carving stone, but mother’s soap operas were so long and drawn out – as soon as I was off the sofa I never learned who married who, or who killed the neighbor, or all that foolish stuff mothers watched.
Now the guests are gone, time to kick up our feet and celebrate – we laughed while melting cubes of color in our mouths. I wish mother was alive to watch me eat my Jello.