I’ve never been a big sweets person.
Sure, I’ll indulge in an Almond Joy while standing in line at the grocery store or order creme brûlée for dessert, maybe, but never have I craved Rocky Road ice cream at midnight (I’m not entirely sure what flavor that is) or fantasized over an ooey-gooey glazed donut.
At least until I had the pleasure of reading Sister Mother Husband Dog: Etc. a few weeks ago. In her first memoir (released Sept. 17), Delia Ephron writes a series of autobiographical essays wherein she writes about – well, you know.
I’ve long been a fan of both Ms. Delia Ephron and Ms. Nora Ephron but only recently have I reached the age where I can appreciate their work on a deeper level. I’ve learned what it is to love (ahhh), and lose (ouch) and the feeling of finding the most perfect coat (YES). In her essay, “Blame it on the Movies,” Ephron writes that her twenties “were one big walkabout.”
I appreciate this for two reasons.
ONE: Walkabout is one of my very favorite phrases – I was a huge “Crocodile Dundee” fan as a child and
TWO: This. “…because in your twenties you know, even if you don’t admit this either, even if this is buried deep in your subconscious, that you can waste an entire decade and still have a life.”
That notion, that feeling of whatever I screw up today or this year, there’s another, and a few more after that and it doesn’t matter because hey, I’m still in my twenties. Except now, I’m nearly not. And while I don’t mean to sound obsessed with the idea of turning 30 (I am but not in a bad way) the thought of my “I still have plenty of time” coming to an end struck a chord with me in the most profound way.
But about the sweets.
In her essay, “BAKERIES,” Ephron writes about her love of bakeries and her favorites in Manhattan which takes a turn and suddenly, she’s writing about women, and having it all, and I forget that we’re talking about cookies and brownies until we are again but I understand where she’s going with it because have you read my writing.
It was late one night, a weeknight, when I was reading this essay and became overwhelmed by the desire to sink my teeth into a delicious croissant. I fell asleep thinking about it it’s gooey, airy texture. Not being well versed in pastries, I wasn’t sure what this croissant would taste like but I would know it when I tried it, the way you know you’re in love or the way my cats know I’m leaving town when my suitcase is on the bed.
The very next morning, I set out to visit a new coffee shop near my neighborhood. As I approached the counter I spotted a croissant covered in perfect little almond slivers. It was sitting under a glass dome with the early morning light shining on it like it was sent from the heavens. It was a sign. And I mean to tell you, that almond croissant is one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted.
I know now that I have a finite amount of time on this earth. But if I can, at nearly 30, find so much pleasure in the form of an almond croissant, I’m okay with leaving the walkabout behind. If an Ephron can do it, then so can I.