It’s a sad, sad day here in Whoville for those of us (me) who’ve just finished reading Julie Powell’s Julie & Julia, a remarkable book based solely on the unlikely topics of 1) a so-so cook blogging her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking as she attempts each of the 524 recipes within the span of 365 days, and 2) a so-so college-educated secretary temp who blogs her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking as she attempts each of 524 recipes within the span of 365 days and gets a book deal out of it.
An excellent, excellent read, though, and I’ve been pondering the “why” of this since closing the book for the last time around 11:00 PM last night or, shall we say, sometime after Top Chef and before the end of Will and Grace.
Julie is a good writer and a good cook. Not the world’s best of either. Her days are spiced with expletives, dust, cat hair, and offal, not exactly the elements I usually seek out in reading material. She didn’t accomplish anything earth-shattering. But maybe I need to take that back. Maybe she did. Maybe it just wasn’t the cooking, or even the blogging.
What she did, I suppose, was create a framework that got her off her ass and into her life. Not an accomplishment to sneer at.
A few weeks ago I was at one of my favorite Charlotte spots, NoFo on Liz, a too cool restaurant featuring shrimp and grits, meatloaf, quiche and the like, with an even cooler shop attached selling hip stuff like curtains made from cut-up water bottles, scrumptious pj’s, gourmet dog biscuits and tinsel Christmas trees. I snagged one of those little magnets with a saying on it and promptly marched it up to the cashier in one of those Mom moments that caused my daughter to (again) roll her eyes and ask why I would pay $5.00 for that.
It’s pink, and it says “What Are You Waiting For?”
At 52, these five words have become my mantra.
So I’m 52, married for the third time (albeit happily married for most of the last 27 years, so not really a bad thing), with two kids, three stepkids, all of whom are poster children for the concept of procreation, a beautiful house and garden in a city I love (not as much as I love Hania, Rome, Villefranche, or London, but still), on the verge of a kitchen remodel with a killer French range, and free to do pretty much whatever I please. I have, quite seriously, nothing to complain about, no hurdles, no naysayers, no excuses. I have a hard time remembering how to use Dreamweaver to update my websites, but again, what am I waiting for? It isn’t like I don’t have the book.
So this is a petal in the blossom of my becoming, at the ripe young age of 52, bad metaphors and all. I’m not going to rattle the world, but I will be, and being feels surprisingly good.