So I know you have been waiting with bated breath to find out how things went in Denver and I thought I would use this space to fill you in. First, and I’m going to come right out and say this because it’s my blog and I can say what I want to, it seems to me that the right guy won. Second, the whole “birthday away from home” thing went better than expected with lots of people buying me drinks and making quite the fuss but most importantly, reacting with disbelief when I told them the milestone I have reached. I know! I don’t believe it either! And last but certainly not least, I learned some more stuff at the conference. And here’s a tidbit I would like to share with you.
On the last day of the conference I decided to go to a talk on how to make engaging presentations. Having attended numerous other sessions over the first few days I wondered to myself why this particular topic hadn’t been scheduled much earlier in the program however I figured it was better late than never and entered the room. Now please don’t misunderstand. If I have to say so myself (and sometimes I do) I am a pretty awesome presenter but I also know that there is always room for improvement so I listened intently to what our speaker had to say. While there were lots of good tips and tricks provided the one that really stuck with me was her suggestion that in order to create a connection with your audience it is important to share something personal to help people get to know you. In essence, you want to make yourself “real” to those who have taken the time to listen. And as she said that I thought, maybe that’s what I need to do on the blog. Maybe I haven’t become “real” enough to my readers. And so today I want to tell you something about myself that you may not already know. Here it is.
My one and only household responsibility is doing the laundry and I’m really good at it. Every Sunday you will find me and the cat in the basement sorting clothes into neat piles of colours, whites and delicates. I know what goes in the dryer and what needs to be hung up to dry. I know exactly how much clothing I can safely add to a load and how it needs to be distributed in the washing machine to prevent it from sounding like a mild earthquake is taking place in my basement during the spin cycle. I have detergents for regular washes, detergents for delicates and detergents for keeping black clothes black. I have fabric softener. I check pockets carefully to ensure there is no homework left behind. I will admit that very occasionally I discover, after the fact of course, that I missed finding a tissue that lay in some deep recess of someone’s clothing and when it happens it is enough to put me into just a little bit of a funk for the rest of the day. Most often however all goes well and there are no serious incidents to be reported. And that’s all that I do around the house. I don’t clean and I don’t cook because there are other people who do that for me. Which is a good thing. And here’s why.
I’ll start by telling you that the cleaning part is not the real issue. I’m a pretty good cleaner when I have to be but I just don’t like it. So best to let someone else take care of that. It’s the cooking that really becomes problematic because, as a shallow person I have for some time held on to the somewhat admittedly draconian belief that “food is food”. If someone cooks it for me, I’ll eat it. Because I have to. To me the whole concept of eating is rather utilitarian and not something to be fussed over. I mean if a little cheese and crackers will do the trick, well get out the cutting board and make some. If it’s greens you need, chop up a lettuce, add a couple of carrots and you’re done. If it’s a lack of fibre that’s got you down, eat some bread. And in this house that’s how we would all be eating if it was left up to me. And that’s why it isn’t.
I know it’s hard for you to believe that someone like myself, someone who is otherwise so sophisticated and discerning, would feel this way about food so perhaps to alleviate some of your dissonance I should let you know that there are a few things I don’t like. For example, butterscotch always seems to give me a headache, and I have developed a distinct and surprisingly ferocious dislike of coconut which perplexes me a little because it wasn’t always this way. Not to mention that rather deadly MSG allergy I need to contend with. And it’s not like I don’t eat good things. Why just the other night I had an opportunity to sample “duck fat fries” and not long before that a rather pleasant helping of “fish in a bag” which, for those of you who don’t know, consisted of gulf fish, caramelized onions, fennel and crab fat all steamed in a parchment bag creating a rather delicate and delightful sauce. And I eat sushi for lunch at least once a week. And while it’s all good, to me it’s still just food that does one thing. It fills me up when I’m hungry. And no one wants someone who feels this way about food cooking for them.
So that’s why I don’t cook. And that’s why you’ll find me in the basement on Sunday doing what I’m good at. And with any luck, my sharing of this otherwise little known personal tidbit about myself has made me feel just a little bit more “real” to you.