Not romantically. In that department, I’m a very late-bloomer.
But in terms of the way my mind computes. Speedy.
I think fast, mostly. Often backwards. Usually upside-down. That’s why I’m a cockeyed optimist.
Here’s me at five at a friend’s July 1953 birthday party.
Happy-looking, wasn’t I?
The cute little blonde in the matching smocked dress is my three-year-old sister Elayne. My mother loved to dress us the same ~ like little dolls ~ though we’re as different as night and day.
Sometimes, I don’t listen as fast as I think. That gets me into trouble.
Sudden chaos. Actually, I like it. It adrenalizes me and gives me a natural high. So I don’t need or drink alcohol or use any recreational drugs. Never have. Except nicotine. Broke that nasty habit.
Now, my only vices are food and caffeine.
I need one cup of caffeinated coffee and breakfast in the morning or I’m wobbly all day long. Even half-decaffeinated and half-caffeinated will do.
That’s me. Can’t help it. You’re probably different. Isn’t that great? I love difference. It’s so interesting. It makes me tick-talk.
I sleep fast, too. A neat trick.
It seems I was born this way. Firstborns are a curious breed. Our parents never quite know what to do with us.
We firstborns are always experiments, of sorts. We pave the way for our siblings, if we’re lucky enough to have them. I’m twice blessed with two sisters. Elayne, the darling blonde in the picture above. And here’s my youngest sister, Glorianne. She was born in December 1957. Close to 10 years after me.
She was the spitting-image of Elayne as a child.
I was the only brunette. Now Glorianne and I resemble each other.
Curious how we change…
Bottom-line, I know myself well-enough to self-medicate when I need chemical help without over medicating. Avoiding addiction.
Another neat trick I’ve learned with all my talk therapy ~ my Ph.D in me. Ergo self-awareness.
Self-awareness breeds insight…
Insight never comes in a bottle, ever. You cannot buy it. It has no value on the open market.
Although, ironically, it’s one of those rare commodities you cannot buy because it’s priceless.
You have to work at it. Hard. Earn it. Even though it seems effortless.
Takes time. Years.
Like the classic, eternal power of the greatest cinematic stars. Instantly recognizable by only their last names. Hepburn ~ Katharine and Audrey. Kelly ~ Gene and Grace. Astaire. Tracy. Gable. Chaplin. Garbo. Barrymore. Leigh. de Havilland. Redgrave.
They never lose their allure because they’re the originals. They have the “courage of the their convictions,” as Julia Child always said.
I interviewed Julia Child two days before her 85th birthday…
One-on-one. On the telephone. Just us. On August 13, 1997. The whole world celebrated her birthday that year. She died five years later on August 13, 2004 at the age of 91 ~ the fifth anniversary of our interview.
But in 1997, during our “time together,” we discussed butter. Mainly.
Julia’s trademark was her passion for butter. She told me she wasn’t using as much as she used to because she was trying to keep her weight down. However, she admitted that on her award-winning PBS TV show, Baking with Julia, 573 lbs. of butter were used during the taping of 39 episodes.
Julia was known by her first name alone…
Here’s what she told me…
“I was in a restaurant the other night and they had quenelles, and someone in our party said, ‘Gosh, I haven’t had a quenelle in years.’ But this chef had done them completely diet, and do you know what one of those bouchees tastes like with no cream? It was awful, like chewing a chunk of rubber…
“Make another recipe,” she trilled, her peerless vibrato rising. “Don’t adulterate something that’s supposed to be good and delicious. You have your mouth all set for food the way it’s supposed to be and then you get foam rubber. It’s much better to eat an apple rather than this fake food.”
What I remember most was Julia’s philosophy…
It’s indelibly branded into my mind.
“I learn every moment,” she said. “I’m a journeyman cook. In this new series, I’m working with specialists. It’s a wonderful experience. I think that’s the great thing about cooking. Most of the chefs you talk to say they learn something new everyday. It’s a fascinating hobby.”
Like life. From the mouth of The Master.
To you. From me.
Have a scrumptious weekend.