It seems a break from the past is in order. It’s been a weird few weeks, and an even weirder few before that. Here is everything that’s been annoying me in one sentence, so I can get it out and get it done and move on. I feel it washing over me and wanting to be exorcised and the aforementioned (from the previous post) tea is really giving me some amazing blogging energy (closet: still unfixed). Away we go:
I guess it began with the truffle scammer, then with this client who keeps calling me up to be all pallsy and wants so much to be catered to (literally) more than I can do and who is just a generally weak, small sad person and talking to her is so depressing and she is stuck alone in a house with a baby I can tell she shouldn’t have had and it’s not my fault but is still heartbreaking then there’s the local client on my secret activist discount plan who doesn’t understand how the service works and just sent me seven emails ranking all the meals I’d made in two years for her with helpful comments from her and her husband that illustrate nothing useful whatsoever but merely that they don’t understand my food and shouldn’t be eating it and also that what they want is a private chef who will cook everything to their (weird, bland, mainstreamy) tastes and you know what? it’s upstate people—I have to just be a classist pig and admit that I cook fancy meals for fancy people and upstate people have different incomes, different lives, different expectations of what an organic meal delivery service will provide and Manhattan is where my best clients always will be–right now 1/4 of my clients are upstaters and all but two are major pains, like the woman who called me and started crying this week because she hadn’t read the website and thought that $140 would provide her with all her meals for the week for her and her husband—all her meals for the week? 100% organic, from scratch, beautiful tasty meals for two people for $140???—so clearly she was the bonkers one and even though this has never ever happened before I refunded her money and she was completely insane about it and we had literally 10 phone calls to work it all out—right smack dab in the middle of Valentine’s—because she didn’t understand that I couldn’t refund her money that minute because the check was with the delivery person in NYC doing deliveries and wouldn’t return until 10 PM that night and no, crazy lady, I’m not going to bring your check over at 11 PM when I get out of work and lady you are crazy and I’m sorry you misread what I do it hurts my heart in a mega way and I wish you’d at least try the meals for free, on me, but nope, you wanted them out of your house this minute, before your husband saw what you spent $140 on and man what a fucked up relationship you dudes must have because I felt the fear in your voice if he saw what that $140 got you and I understood it, and it broke my heart, but you know, I’m just trying to make it too,
then, let’s see then was the snow storm and valentine’s kicking in for real and it was fine—intensity, intensity, intensity, but I rolled with it and it rolled along (that was a truffle pun—hey-o!) and as it did I was thinking about things like:
so we were raised to work in offices or be college professors but instead we decided we wanted to work with our hands, to reshape this world of ours with our labor and not just our minds and the truth is we had no idea, none whatsoever, just what that would mean—it’s fine to say you want to be an organic farmer, it’s another to be out until midnight harvesting the heirloom beets then up again with the sun like my farmer friends always are, and it’s fine to say you’re making artisanal chocolates and artisanal food and want to stay small, small, small and you have weird nightmares about truffle boxes you made with your hands being a Martha Stewart “Good Thing” and suddenly all these whiteass Martha-ass upper middle class women [full disclosure: I’ve been a loyal subscriber for 10 years] wanting truffles now now now and where are your pretty vegan customers who’ve been ordering since you made truffles once every two months and saved up all the orders until you had enough and cooked out of your house but no one cared because they understood you and you them and you practically know their address by heart at this point and small, small, small is all! but what they don’t tell you is:
small doesn’t buy a new car when you blow yours up, small doesn’t let you build a little dream house on that land (happy two year anniversary, little land (and yeah, February 13 is my day to be exhausted, quel suprise [quelle surprise? quelle suprise? Oh Frenchie minor, see how little good you do me at midnight, mon dieu.), a small house, geothermal and all that, with maybe a commercial kitchen too, is that so much to ask for? small is your thing, but machines could do all your work in 1/4 of the time, you could buy one of those machines and you wouldn’t have to teach people the precise hardness with which to slam the Vulvas tray on the wooden counter so it doesn’t get the air bubbles that makes it look like they have a weird STD or how to garnish the Vandanas with Mexican cinnamon just so, just so, and how for some reason I make the pomegranate truffles just the tiniest, tiniest bit bigger than the other ones who knows why it just feels right, I don’t know why, but do it, it feels right, and that’s what it’s all about—how to make something that feels right, but maybe in America isn’t just not possible anymore because at this bake sale for Haiti I went to tonight, in the gentrifying town I secretly want to come to more now that there are cute shops to poke around in, we were talking about people making things with their hands, using words like “glass-molding” and “foundries,” and stuff like that, and also words like “tendonitis” and “economic crash” and I get scared—businesses close, people physically can’t do it anymore, and back up plans are needed but I don’t want back up plans I want more and more and deeper and wider and I have so many plans and ideas and if I have to email scammy people and annoying people and people who don’t give me the space to accept what I do and I have to be accommodating of those people even though it sort of kills my soul and this is why I can’t have a shop because I just can’t talk to people I don’t like, it physically pains me, like, I get chest pains and need to lie down, and maybe I should just get over it because oh man, my two businesses are just so weird and maybe I should just have simple, simple chocolate shop in a small town, buy a machine or two, sit down and have coffee with my customers or something, gossip and eat crap, instead of always running so hard, running and running and rushing and rushing just to make things special and small and beautiful and PERFECT, always I’m getting scolded at by everything and everyone because of the P word, but I can’t let go of it, we’ve been over this–and also tonight, what’s happening with veganism?
(I know you know, but because of the post below I can’t not tell you that I of course took off my cookin’ scarf for photos)
Because three friends in three days have complained to me about how annoying nonvegans are, and while I’m happy that I don’t interact with many nonvegans of the type who aren’t slightly ashamed not to be vegan I’ve had my own issues with food lately, namely that there is nothing good to eat sometimes anywhere ever and I’m annoyed with all food and want sometimes not to be not vegan, but for the world to be vegan just so there will be a wider pool of shit food from which to choose from and it depresses me and I’m thinking a lot lately about the world and if things generally are becoming more or less vegan with this whole happy meat/slow food/local food thing and yes I have written 50 posts on this topic already but it just keeps snowballing and tonight at aforementioned Haiti bake sale someone was talking about Temple Grandin and yeah I did like parts of that one book but man it took all my self-control not to start yelling and again when this dude was all “are these truffles vegan? chocolate can’t be vegan, is this carob.” and I was all “IT’S NOT A TRUFFLE IT’S A VANDANA SHIVA A TRUFFLE IS A ROUND THINGIE FILLED WITH STUFF YO AND I almost started in on French housewives and mushrooms right then and there ALSO ALL REAL CHOCOLATE IS VEGAN cause I like to be annoying and say that milk chocolate isn’t really chocolate which isn’t really true just like how I like to say that eggs are abortions just to annoy people AND ARGH NO IT’S NOT CAROB DUDE I’VE BEEN VEGAN 16 YEARS AND I MAKE CHOCOLATES FOR A LIVING AND” what is wrong with me? calm down lady! make some friends with fuckin’ agave syrup for once! and before that I drove the car I’m borrowing straight through the EZ Pass lane even though it doesn’t have an EZ Pass sticker and so am I going to get a ticket or what and where is my mind and I have to buy a new car now & it’s making me think about all these class issues, and it’s not that I care what kind of car I drive, I’d prefer a hot pink Prius but it isn’t happening so I think we’re going to get one of those cars everyone in my town drives, one of those nice reliable Outbacky things and ugh, it’s just such a car that fuckin’ Democrats drive, so…something. So what kind of car does an anarchist vegan hot pink miniskirt-wearing chocolatier drive, anyway, and why does your car have to say something about you, but you have to admit: it does.
But veganism: shouldn’t we be happy that people are at least eating non-factory farmed meat? No, we shouldn’t be, because that is a less than perfect solution, in fact in the long view it pretty much stanks, and we strive for perfection and what it comes down to is:
We are wild people.
We want wild things. We want everything all the time, we want it to be amazing, right now, we want it to blow our minds. We’re all working so hard to make this beautiful wildness happen. We try to surround ourselves with people who nourish us in that deep way that good people just fill up our banks of awesomeness so that we can disperse that awesomeness—but it’s inevitable that the ridiculous, ludicrous, heartbreaking world will diminish us every second of every day—even for someone like me who literally never lives in the real world except maybe when I have to duck into the supermarket like I did today to buy peanut butter, or at least look at peanut butter (and how very American–peanut butter is next to bread in the supermarket. I had no idea. I kept looking in the baking aisle, because I was thinking that it was primarily an ingredient in things, things like frosting and peanut butter cups and cakes and things I use peanut butter for, and didn’t think that it would be in the bread aisle–but not the bakery aisle where the decent bread is, in the weird trashy trashy pre-sliced bread aisle that no one ever goes down, but there it was, as a reminder that in America we eat our peanut butter in sandwiches first and foremost. pb & j on presliced bread no crusts all that. cut diagonally, wrap in leaching leaking plastic wrap, stuff it in your backpack, eat at lunch: refined carbs stuffed with “freshness agents” mixed with sugar and fat and high fructose corn syrup and sugarjelly and wash it down with a diet coke. But I do the same thing, just the snobby version: homemade bread, toasted, and good pb [ah, but there’s the rub…] with homemade jam and fancy pants soda. Perfect lunch. We’re all the same deep down, all us ugly Americans, it’s just that you and I, and where did that second parenthesis go, how should this side thought properly close? Oh well, the point is that, dear blogreader, you, and me, me & you, we’re just
than everyone else.
So, we hurt. It happens. We hurt, and it’s hard and complicated and we’ll survive, because we have to. It’s not even sad, it’s joyful and bittersweet and we can’t let things get us down, and you know what?
I feel better already.
I poured it out, there it is, drained all the caffeine out of me, and now it’s time to sleep.
Peanut butter tasting tomorrow!
You know what else? Spring. Sooner than you think.