theonecalledwander ([personal profile] theonecalledwander) wrote2013-03-18 09:24 pm
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Forty-Two

There is an undeniable difference between being truly impressive and merely being a show-off. I know this, my very dear reader, because I have an undeniable talent for showing off.

And therein lies the difference: it’s possible to show off. It’s something you can set out to do and accomplish on your own initiative. What you can’t do is impress someone… at least not anyone who isn’t actively being impressed.

You see, the person who is impressed is the active party in the transaction. If they can’t or won’t give themselves over to whatever it is you’re doing, no power in any world can force them to appreciate your effort.

Some people impress freely and easily. Some people are more judicious. I believe Bel to be more of the latter category than the former, and moreover, I doubt very much that she’ll be impressed by a show-off. Nevertheless, we all must work with the tools we’re given. Birds—flightless varieties excepted—need must fly, and fish—with vanishingly slim exceptions—have little recourse except to swim. And so it is true of all of us, except those for whom it is not.

The most intimidating thing about Bel’s kitchen is that it is hers. This is where she cooks her meals. When she prepares a dish for a friend, this is where she comes. She knows the use of every seasoning and every ingredient. There are no mysteries here to her. Anything that I present her with will be judged against her own years of experience working with the same tools.

The most promising thing is that it’s hers. If I can glean nothing about her tastes and habits from a quick but careful study of it, I can at least be sure that nothing in it is baleful or unpleasant to her.