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Sweet Little Bossy Boots

October 6, 2009

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I love everything about this essay. It is a wonderful, a long and foul rant about a professional chef/ baker preparing a dessert and kinda hating it, then asking herself why she hates it, then baking it again and again and again, each time posing increasingly esoteric, probing, prodding, agonising questions about her dislike not only of the dessert but of herself, of her life, of her frustrations and tendencies to choose comfort over challenge, then moving on to call herself to action, to stop being complacent, to pat herself on the back for pushing herself out of those safe zones, and then to give herself a shake for being prideful and administering that back-pat in the first place. 

I like its bossy tone, the questions posed, the suggestion that now and then, we need to poke ourselves in places we’d rather cover with a protective palm. I like the author’s observation that “very fucking few people are critical about sweet things,” and from this, I can extrapolate a handful of things, some intended by the author, some all my own:

1. if you disappoint people with a batch of poorly made cookies, you weren’t putting your heart into those treats

2. if you dislike something sweet, perhaps it’s not the sweetness that’s giving you the trouble, but something else

3. maybe we ought to be critical of sweetness…after all, as a wise friend once told me while discussing unhealthy and ill-starred love, you can be into ice cream, but you can’t keep shoveling it into your mouth long after your belly cramps up and begs you to quit it

4. there is a time and place for tough questions, and when the time comes for asking them, you should be brave enough to come up with answers

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