Jello Dessert and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

My family has jello mold with every holiday meal--Rosh Hashana, Passover, Thanksgiving. It's a 1950s recipe: half a pound of sour cream, strawberry gelatin, canned fruits in syrup. My grandmother always made it, or my great Aunt Gertie (that's great, as in generational; she was alright, very hands-off and awfully quiet), or my mother when she was hosting.
Since grandma and Gertie both died, and since my mother has been hosting with less frequency, I've taken it upon myself to be the new molder of jello, the keeper of family culinaria. It's a responsibility I take seriously, in light of my family's formidable cooking skills: my mother's desserts are legendary; my older cousin has an incomparable way with meat.

"It's setting in the fridge," I will eagerly text my father before the meal, without needing to clarify what "it" is. "It looks beautiful."
"Don't tell anyone, but I put in clementines this year," I will tell my aunt. "Let's see if they notice," I text-wink mischievously.

My parents and sister came up to Boston this past Thanksgiving, as that's where I live and where my aunt and uncle (who were hosting) live, and since that is where my cute baby cousin was living at the time (my family was, as so often is the case with cute baby cousins, palpably excited to meet her), though she sadly moved--parents in tow!--to the West Coast this summer.

When they arrived in Boston, my parents and sister came to my apartment and we exchanged Hanukkah gifts and  rolled our eyes and talked like Yiddish men, which is how we communicate. After conversing in our native tongue, I proudly showed my family the finished jello product, and boy were they taken with how I inventively set the mold in muffin tins, creating individual portions as opposed to the Bundt cake shaped delicacy of which we are accustomed. I thought this was a fun, nearly Pinterest-worthy rendition of a classic (between you and me, my Bundt pan was not large enough for the recipe's yield), and considered, for next time, cutting pieces that would resemble the first letter of every guest's name: a J, a P, a D, a B, an A, two Ms, and, depending on whether my cute baby cousin and her parents decided to remain in Boston: an L, a T, and an additional A.

These were my thoughts--the fruit flavors bursting! the creative outlet!--as I walked through my building's foyer, jello mold platter in hand, eager to settle in to my parents' new car for the quick ride over to my aunt and uncle's, a ride in which I planned to ask my sister for the front seat and my father if I could pick a radio station. "I know a good local one," I'd say. "Dad, sometimes they play the Avett Brothers."

THESE WERE THE THOUGHTS, such silly thoughts that I thought, as I carelessly held my jello mold platter at an angle and watched an individual portion slip out from beneath its tin foil quilt and onto the dark green mats that cover the entryway's tile floor.

What happened next was this: I said goddamnit and clicked my tongue and rolled my eyes and probably, if we're to be honest, unfairly blamed my mother and went upstairs to wipe away some red jello that I had only then noticed begin to melt and drip down the side of the platter.

When I returned downstairs, holding my bounty more carefully, my family was all buckled in the car. A piece of jello mold was on the floor, certainly covered in dirt and dust and hair because, in the two years I've lived there--a little more than one at the story's commencement--I've not once seen anyone clean that floor, a fact that frustrates me, out of cleanliness standards, and seems inconsistent with the landlord's claims that this is the house he grew up in and that it means a lot to him (he still lives there, on the first floor).

And so with a waiting car of hungry family members, I decided to forego cleaning up my mess; I said then that that was merely a consequence of running behind schedule and feeling pressed for time. Now, I'd say that it was my way of being in charge, of making heads and tails outta this crazy world. I have Obessive-Compulsive Disorder and while it is very much a disease of fixing things (like blankets!), it's also just as much a disease of making sure things stay exactly as they are (like blankets!), and also in some ways a disease of surprising compromise: like, instead of placing my hand between the closing doors of a metro, which is something I'm biologically obsessed with doing but will never actually do, I'll wash my hands three times in a row, or I'll rip off the tiniest corner of a poster on a community bulletin board. I'll leave food scraps in the front hallway, just to feel like I'm in control, captaining my own sailboat and flying my own spacecraft (I'm a sea-loving alien?). And yet--if someone else cleaned it up, if the piece of jello was gone tomorrow, I wouldn't care. I probably wouldn't even notice.

I know that all sounds like I'm a jerk. Am I just lazy? An entitled brat? Either way, my mess has stayed in the foyer for nearly nine months. The fallen jello piece, which encased either a mandarin orange or a clementine wedge (it was difficult to tell on sight alone) still remains on the green entrance mat, withered, weathered and unrecognizable now as a brown shell of its once great glory. I've no plans to move it.