I have a confession to make (brace yourself): I am a lousy cook.
It’s hard to admit this. Because I love food. I love thinking about food. I even love thinking about cooking food. I love to read recipes, food blogs, cookbooks. I fantasize about cooking.
But when it comes to actually doing it, I don’t really like to. And I’m terrible at it.
It’s tough for me, because I’d really like to think of myself as a good cook. Once, when we invited some friends over for dinner (which I had made carefully from other people’s recipes), they looked at the table and smiled and said, “I’m so glad you have a pepper grinder. We just knew you guys were the types to be good cooks.”
I just smiled. Because that pepper grinder was a wedding present. Actually, I don’t care for pepper. But I really, really liked this couple, and I really, really liked them thinking I was a good cook.
So I guess I’m the type of person that SHOULD be a good cook. Can that be good enough? Can you just try to think of me as “Darlene who could probably be a good cook, had she been born with the talent?”
And all this applies to the other thing I would like to think of myself as (but I’m not). And that is the author of Angela Hallstrom’s book, Bound on Earth. Now, Angela is my friend and knows that I mean her no malice. She also knows that I don’t mean to imply that I could or should have been the author, particularly IN HER PLACE. I don’t mean that at all. I’m truly, truly ecstatic for her. I’m just saying that I’d really like to be thought as someone who could have produced that book.
Because--well, obviously it’s because it’s a darn good book. Also because she and I could be twins in the kinds of stories we like, the kinds of situations we find interesting to write about. And also because the kind of people who are going to like her book are just the kind of people I want to like ME. I want them to think I’m the type of person who could have produced it.
And don’t even get me started on gardening. Alas to be poetess and actually have no interest in gardening. Sigh.
(Something about this reminds me of Lady Catherine in Pride and Prejudice, who declares something like, “I know I would have been a great pianist if I had taken the time to practice.”)
Anyway, if you don’t mind, please go on thinking of me as a good cook, a good and fascinating writer, and a tasteful and clever gardener. Oh—throw in interior decorator, too. I wouldn’t mind that.
However, I have no interest in being a scrapbooker. You can just skip right over me in your thoughts when it comes to that.
And after all this, I guess I won’t be able to convince you to come to dinner anytime soon, right? Well, come enjoy the hot tub, anyway. I do love to talk. That one I don’t have to fake.