It’s the plight of all children of parents to constantly draw mental lines between which (good and bad) habits, (logical or baseless) prejudices and (charming or irritating) affectations you will and won’t adopt from the people who gave you life.
It’s a plight not because it’s a strenuous thought exercise, but because it’s one we all fail.
You still fall asleep on the third viewing of The Beguiled with your head back and mouth open, ready to catch flies that may or may not swarm from the muggy Virginia scene playing out on the laptop straight into your 62-degree, dry AF bedroom. You find yourself yelling unbecoming obscenities and fully, irrevocably resigned to an “L” when your football team is down by three-points at the end of…the first quarter.
The holidays, however, can be a welcome opportunity to be reminded of how you’ve successfully distanced yourself from inheriting a few choice behaviors and managed to create The Adult Life You Always Imagined.
In less than two weeks I’ll be turning 25, finally ready to embrace the quarter-life crisis that has apparently plagued my psyche for the past five years.
It’s easy to look back from my postgraduate perch and laugh at the pre-legal drinking age me for fretting about things like internships, guys, GREs and whether or not the twenty-something me would have a disposable budget for pastry consumption.
The things that jolt the almost 25-year old me awake at 3 a.m. some nights include, but are not limited to: work deadlines, how and where to start planning a wedding, whether or not I’ll ever go for that MFA, and determining the perfect dessert to bake for whatever social function looms ahead.
We as individuals may evolve, but we never truly change.
Chocolate is no longer a benign treat. It’s a proxy for global economics, shifting consumer preferences and transatlantic tension.
On an individual level, chocolate can reveal a lot about a person.
The person who “doesn’t really like sweets” is clearly someone who doesn’t really know how to accept love into their lives. The person who likes dessert, just not those of the chocolate variety, are probably painfully dull and/or compulsive liars.
People that like or, if it’s even possible, prefer white chocolate are as F. Scott Fitzgerald might say, beautiful little fools. People that turn their Roman noses up in disgust at the thought of a true blue Hershey’s milk chocolate bar are definitely Communists, steel-hearted and undeserving of your attention.
This is a story about a girl, staring at a million internet browser tabs, wishing for one to present a cheesecake recipe that doesn’t fill her with dread.
It is true that I document and recall historical moments in my own life using the “B.C.” epoch. Before Cheesecake.
My aversion for creamy white condiments is something I still grapple with. Club sandwiches are ordered frequently and always dry. Chipotle creations are expedited due to the absence of sour cream. And while I will always prefer piles of melted butter on my bagels (and convulse at the smell of a nearby knife that’s touched cream cheese), life Before Cheesecake was, admittedly, incomplete.
Luckily, high school brought a number of changes and newly acquired tastes: for coffee. for Dylan. for cheesecake.
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Aside from the fact that Aristotle and most things Philosophy are completely not my speed (swooning over Philosophy professors on the other hand, different issue), this quote has plenty of truth to it. We’ve seen this theory in practice before:
- Bruce Springsteen (wonderful); Lorde (likable). Bruce covering Lorde = Unstoppable.
- Men who play hockey (necessary); The Muppets (also necessary). A hockey player communicating with a Muppet = All of the emotions.
- Kyle MacLachlan (basically babe status); detective dramedies (satisfying enough). Special Agent Dale Cooper = Oof.
I’m not saying we all need to go throw on some elbow-patched blazers or dig up our “gently used” college copies of Meditations on First Philosophy. I’m modestly proposing, however, we examine the merits of Aristotle’s brilliant mind within the context of cookies.
Maybe it hasn’t been made abundantly clear yet, so I’ll put it out there once more: I thoroughly enjoy Jillian Michaels. If it wasn’t for her free On-Demand boot camps that I discovered in high school, all those Brie slices and Gruyere wedges and Caprese sandwiches would’ve more than caught up with me by now.
The thing about Jill’s workouts is that she spends the first 20 minutes barking about wanting to bounce a quarter off your soon-to-be iron ass, and the last 5 cooing monologues about transformation and assuring you that after one more quad stretch, you’re “free to go and have a wonderful day.” It’s an accurate representation of the emotional pendulum most females swing between on an hourly basis (e.g., I feel free and careless because it’s Friday night after a hellish week, but wait, Boyfriend, you brought home unripe avocados and now I can’t make guacamole, my world is OVER.)
Anyways, one of my favorite JM cool-down speeches (the only one I don’t mind when I’m panting like a Bullmastiff and covered in rug burn from doing crunches on the carpet and not on a $30 yoga mat) is all about “showing up.”