WARNING: Contains spoilers regarding Downton Abbey, Season 3.
I think the hardest part about starting any new job is not only learning the ropes of the office and getting down the routine, but also finding a common ground with the people you’re surrounded by and making work not really seem like, well, work.
I thought I had struck that common ground in the interview process – the two girls who interviewed me seemed to really like me. They laughed at my jokes, I laughed at theirs – we bonded over what foods we found enjoyable and the growing influence of social media. I walked out of there thinking it was a hit. Yet, as I made my trip to the city every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I often thought to myself, “What do these people see in me?”
Here’s the thing: I love food. I make a point to know where I can get a good slice of pizza within a five mile radius of any given location in the tristate area, I am an expert chicken finger breader (my Frito crusted chicken fingers are the bomb!…or so I’ve been told), and I am always experimenting with new desserts (my chocolate chip brownie pie has yet to take off but I’m getting there). So, I love food – they love food…I thought it would be as simple as that. But, in life, nothing is really as simple as that.
The catch was that while I enjoy food (never missed an episode of Top Chef and probably never will!), I don’t enjoy food the way these people enjoy food.
When someone asks me how a restaurant was, I usually say it was either awesome or not awesome. When asked about how the food was, well, it depends on the food. I usually use words like: cheesy, orgasmic and “ohmigodsooooooogood”.
But, at Saveur, it was a little different. You see, while I would say that crème fraîche dolloped on top of the strawberries reminded me of sour cream…Saveur would say that the luscious acidity of the crème fraîche added a heightened culinary dimension to the luscious, hand-picked strawberries – perfectly complementing their inherent sweetness with just a touch of sour for a diving afternoon snack.
…not my style, bro.
One of my main duties at Saveur was to write taglines for the recipe of the day and simple weeknight meals. I had to write captions for recipes I hadn’t tasted, incorporating details of ingredients I was not familiar with. I often found myself looking up features of specific ingredients on Wikipedia in an attempt to obtain some sort of grasp on what I was basically pretending to talk about.
The thing is, too often in life we’re let down you discover Santa isn’t real, the guy you’ve been slowly falling in love with tells you he has a girlfriend, and Matthe Crawley gets killed off of Downton Abbey. There’s too many things and people that just aren’t who or what they say they are. And eventually I had to ask myself if I wanted to be the girl who so desperately needs an internship for her resume that she Googles and Wikipedias ingredients, pretending to be someone she isn’t…or do I want to find where I truly belong.
And even though I wound up being the latter and haven’t really found my place yet, I still hope, every day, that it’s out there.
Side Note: I have no idea what crème fraîche is – the only reason I used it as an example was because I hear it all the time on Top Chef and it sounded fancy. I guess I’m still pretending, a little 🙂