Wednesday, May 9, 2012

345 Days - My Life, The Pie

I guess any person has to be a bit self-centered to have a blog, especially if the blog is centered around said person. I don’t think anyone who knows anything about me would be surprised to find out that I have a fairly high amount of self-confidence. In other words, I kinda dig me. Like, in the “I would want to hang out with me if I were a gal” kind of way, or the “I would definitely date me if I were a dude” way. I think that liking yourself is important to every aspect of your life, but I also think that you have to earn your wings of established self-likeability and that if it happens too soon in your existence, you’re bound to come crashing to the ground, and one doesn’t want to break one’s solid gold (plated) antique hand mirror, now, does one? 
My pie metaphor is about as old as my first tattoo. Don’t ask. And no, it’s not a spider. Oh God, future blog post spoiler alert. Anyway, I’ve always been fairly decent at math, charts, in particular. I truly get off on percentages and graphs and line charts (oh, my!) but pie charts… ohhhhh, man. Oh, yeah. Oh… what I can do with a pie chart. Mmmm, mmm. God damn I’m good at those. And somewhere, some trigonometry student is pitching a tent. Right. Fucking. Now. What was I saying? PIE, yes. Pie. My life is a pie. I said MY LIFE is a PIE. A thirty-nine year old pie. What?? Don’t you dare make that face! Hey, if you haven’t had thirty-nine year old pie, you don’t know what the hell you’ve been missing. Ask around. Ashton Kutcher will tell you. He enjoyed it. Well, for a while anyway. Until that pie got a little, shall we say, flaky? And, a little too old… and started to crumble… and started tasting funny… and then, well, simply fell apart.
Okay, I’m going to go cry now.
(extended pause)
SO, a pie, for those who don’t bake or live in Somalia, cannot be made without patience and great care. It takes time and effort and requires a variety of different skill levels. The Shell can’t be store bought, because people will know – they’ll see right through it – and no one likes a fake pie. It must be handled with delicate hands and shaped in just the right way because it’s the only thing holding everything else in place. The shell is the backbone of the pie. It’s the thing keeping it all together. Without it, you’ve got more of a cobbler. And while a cobbler is really rich, often loved in the South, and can be quite good at the time of consumption, overall, it’s a bit of a mess. Think, the Lindsay Lohan of pies.
On to the The Upper Crust (HAHAHAHAhahahaha). You know what, forget I used that term. (Rich people terminology makes Barbara feel icky.) The “Crust” (yes, the crust – much better) is about as important as the shell but reflects more of the personality of the pie. All backbones are the same. One backbone isn’t fancier than another, so in turn, all pie shells are pretty much the same, but, all outer crusts are not. The outer crust is the beauty of the pie. It’s what you see first. It’s the hair of the pie. Eh, disgusting. Scratch that, we’ll stick with personality. Some crusts are more open than others… we’ll call those crusts “slatted.” Slatted crusts will show you what is inside of them without giving everything away. They allow goodness to seep out, and warmth to soak in, and they exist because pieces of dough worked together in harmony. However, some crusts are thicker and harder to pierce. We’ll call those crusts, “men.” No need to elaborate. And then, there are the pies with no crusts at all. The meringues. The pumpkins. The sweet potatoes. And of course, the Key limes. I usually categorize those in the “burning man” section of my recipe box. You know, they all taste really good and look kind of pretty, but in reality, they let it all hang out, don’t have a ton of substance and really only stick around at certain times of the year.
Which brings us to The Filling. What are you made of? What gives you flavor? What separates you from all of the rest? This is the heart of the pie. The soul of it. It’s the thing that can be had without the shell or the crust and would still be worth every last bite. Your filling is what will either make you successful, or make people turn away. It will either draw someone in, or turn someone off, and it should contain every ounce of giving and determination that you put into it, no matter how long it took to make it the best that you could. It is your inside; your core. And don’t you dare fuck it up.
Recently I used a shortened version of my pie metaphor on a young man who was having trust issues with his girlfriend. I said to him, “Kid, life is a pie. You make it over time, through the blood, sweat and tears that you put into it, and then, you find someone, and you give some away. And then, you have kids, and you give more away. But everyone needs to keep some for themselves. If you want to give all of yours away, that’s on you. But everybody isn’t you, and most people still want a piece of what they made because frankly, they’ve earned it.”
We may have sampled other pies in our lives, gang. We have tasted some of the worst and likely, some of the best. But we have one chance to make our own and earn the blue ribbon at the county fair. Give some to your job, and some to your lover, and some to your kids, but don’t ever neglect yourself, because that pie is just too damned delicious not to savor until the day has to come where you take your very last bite.

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