If you send The White Trash Gourmet to school, she’s going to squint at the chalkboard. When she squints at the chalkboard, she’ll probably ask you for a pair of glasses. When she gets the glasses, she’ll ask for a mirror. When she looks in the mirror, she might want boys to notice her too. So she will probably ask to have contact lenses. When she gets her contacts, she’ll want to explore her newfound confidence. She’ll start exploring. She might end up in Maui, and try her hand at snorkeling. When her contacts don’t jibe with snorkeling, she’ll probably want to have LASIK eye surgery. Ten years will go by. When entering her forties diminishes the effectiveness of her surgery, chances are she’ll want a new pair of glasses.
Such has been the story of my ocular impairment. It breaks my heart that I—like so many girls—pandered to the fear of “looking” smart. I’ve always been a flirt, but until I lost the spectacles, no boy would reciprocate the advances of what they thought was an egghead. (This was probably a good thing, considering the classy trouble I became afterward.) Granted, I got my first pair in 1980, so it’d be another half-decade before “The Breakfast Club” would blur the lines between the cool kids and whatever it was I thought I looked like. At least my nine-year-old has a better head on her myopic shoulders. She got new glasses with me, but her take on boys is much healthier: They’re all serial killers anyway, so fuck their feelings.
Good, Katie. Good.
Cheesy Polenta Chips & Sun Dried Tomato Tapenade
- 18 oz package prepared polenta
- 2 tbsp olive oil (more or less)
- 1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup oil packed sun dried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
- 1 cup shredded Quatro Formaggio (this is a blend of Parmesan, Asiago, Fontina and Provolone cheeses)
Preheat oven to 350˚. Thinly slice the polenta and place on baking sheet. Rub each side of polenta with olive oil. (You could brush it on, but I used my fingers.) Bake for 10 minutes, flip with spatula and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until polenta starts to brown around the edges. While polenta is baking, place basil, garlic, sun dried tomatoes and olives in food processor and chop until combined into a fine paste. Top polenta with a bit of the shredded cheese and return to the oven for about another minute, or until the cheese is melted. Remove polenta chips to a serving platter and top with a teaspoon of the tapenade. A totally tasty and oh-so-easy appetizer.
Russell asked me if I’ve come to a better place inside—if I thought I looked prettier in glasses today than I did back when. I said I think I’m just prettier altogether. For all my complaining, I really do feel as though I’m aging like fine wine (and it would be smarter if more people my age felt this way, as well). I’ll undoubtedly peak one day, and get sent on my merry decline into vinegary goodness. In the meantime, I have the right mileage, pencil skirts and now glasses to pull off the sexy librarian look—something to which no mortal is impervious.
TWTG says, “It smells like Jesus in here.”