Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Is That a Baguette in Your Pocket?

The evolution of Morty. Well, evolution combined with me playing god.
Crusty, crackling, rustic French goodness.
Hey, baby, check out my baguette.
Another happy customer. Now, over 3 people served!
The further evolution of Morty.
And then there was one... We are very good at eating warm bread quickly.
I have to say, this was very good bread. This is probably the most happy I have been with the end results of a baking project... I really don't have an unkind word for how it came out. It smelled and tasted just like the best baguettes I've had at restaurants or bakeries. The crust was thin and crisp, the inside was tender and delicious. It had just the right sort of nutty aroma. Of course, I am not claiming much credit here... I simply followed a good recipe and Morty did all the hard work. In fact, the highest compliment I can give this bread is that when I was eating it I forgot totally that I was the one who made it. It was only after the first two loaves were long gone that I appreciated the craft of what I had done. It was so good that it rose above the din of self-doubt and modesty in my brain... I had to admit, I had made something of undeniable quality. I held my head a little higher that night, the way only a craftsman proud of his day's work can.

Now, this kind of pride is not easy for me to express. Normally I am not one to toot my own horn, or butter my own baguette, as it were. Usually, I like to stay firmly in the realm of humbleness and self-deprecation. The funniest jokes are the ones I have at my own expense. My nature is not to make fun of others, or to be mean. Not to say I don't dislike most people ('cause I think I probably do), but instead of meanness, I hope I usually try to relate to them with empathy and then simply move on. Oh sure, I do make fun of people sometimes. I mean, some people just have it coming and who am I to not give it to them? But, that is not where my mind goes naturally and I am not proud of myself when I do it. The best (and coincidentally, easiest) target will always be myself.

This brings me to a recent conversation I had on the phone with one of my best friends (don't worry, it's not you, because this friend says he never reads the blog.. in fact, he scoffed at the notion as if it were ridiculous.. a whole other point of contention). Have you ever talked to someone who has no room in their conversation (and apparently, their consciousness) for self-doubt? They are just so seemingly sure of themselves, and even take a mocking tone when you express confusion or doubt about your own life. They make it sound as if you are the crazy one for not knowing the answers, or even just not being 100% sure of the answers. Have you ever wanted to reach through the phone and choke the life out of one of these people, ask them if they were so sure of themselves now? Of course, they'd be dead, so I guess they couldn't answer, but the point would have been made, I think.

It comes to this: If you aren't self-aware about your own problems, I can hardly stand to talk to you. You don't have to hate yourself, but you must recognize that you, like every other human being on this planet, is flawed. And you must desire not to be so flawed. If you are perfectly unaware and/or accepting of your own defects, fuck you. First, I don't believe you. Second, if it is true that you genuinely believe you have all the answers without any second-guessing, what a self-righteous and clueless prick you must actually be. 

Is this simply my own neurosis speaking? Am I just jealous of these types that go through life so sure of themselves? I don't think so. Like I said, I believe these people are only pretending to be that confident, anyway. Deep down, they may be even more conflicted than I am. 

But, my capacity for empathy fails me when it comes to people with this attitude. If you can't engage me in a self-deprecate-off, I will lose interest in you, not to mention respect for you. Being so smugly confident is disingenuous and fucking boring. I mean, if we're good friends and we take the time to talk to each other... let's really TALK! Let's talk about real feelings, real doubts, real insecurities.. And good stuff too!

But actually, that stuff is the good stuff. It's good, real-life conversation, and that is the best things friends can do. I can get the weather from a widget, from a real friend I want to hear some of the inner-monologue. So, come on, open up, admit you don't know everything, admit you're not sure about the decisions you're making in your life. And allow me that privilege, too. It'll be OK... or maybe it won't. I don't know! But I know for sure that maybe is more honest than yes, no, always, or never.

Maybe I will make a brioche with Morty this weekend, maybe I won't. Maybe I will get out of bed, maybe I won't. Maybe next time I see my friend I'll strangle him with a piano wire, maybe I won't. Maybe, just maybe.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Joel, i think you blog is so great. actually enjoyable to read and not lame like a lot of blogs out there. i finally figured out how to add it to my homepage and so it pops up when there's a new post. i had a beehive shaped brioche at a honey extraction and it was so good, warm and soft right from the oven with butter and my honey! you gotta try it. The baguettes look amazing!