Jenny Famewhore

Confessions of a hater

Posted in New York by Jenny Famewhore on October 2, 2009

While I forget what situation it was in when I encountered this statement that slowly integrated itself into my life philosophy, it redefined my perception of hate and what the word means to me:

“People hate the things and attributes that they can also see in themselves.”

I can’t help but see how it manifests itself as truth in many circumstances. Like, the whole Kanye-Taylor Swift MTV awards drama, everyone rushed to condemn his actions (as I did as well) and it’s so easy to judge and to criticize and to hate. To be honest, what Kanye did, albeit on an epic level, is what I’ve seen plenty of people do here in America, land of rugged individualism. Observe how Americans (and possibly other cultures, but I’m going to stick with what I know here) interrupt each other all the time (of course this became only a more apparent contrast when I had stepped out of this social climate for a bit, and lived in a country where everyone nods and smiles and waits a second to make sure you’ve finished before continuing). There were several times in the past month when I was in the middle of a story, and someone interjects, “OH YEAH, BUT THERE WAS ALSO THE TIME WHEN I…” Hi thurr, did I enter a time warp? I was still talking.

Of course, I’ve fallen back into the habit as well, so I hated what Kanye did. What I do. What everyone does.

And again, it’s so easy to judge and criticize others at a moment’s thought.

I was laying in my bed last night,  trying to get over a wine-induced insomnia, thinking about how much I wanted Eggs Benedict for Sunday brunch, which then segued into thoughts of all the times I’ve eaten eggs benedict. Then I remembered that one crispy fall morning two years ago at Taverna Banfi in the Statler Hotel, Cornell University, where the eggs on the eggs benedict was served to me with a solidified yolk and not poached as it should be. I sent it back, and despite the restaurant being nearly empty of customers, it took another twenty minutes before  another a soggy failure came out in a small ramekin.

People, I was angry because I felt entitled to have the eggs benedict of my dreams. The kind where the egg should be properly poached as exemplified at Momofuku— a yolk that is liquidy and hot suspended in the middle of the perfectly oval, snow-white solid (I’ve asked the Momofuku chef once how such perfection is achieved, and he replied that their poaching is done by a machine, a bit like a centrifuge, that spins the egg in its shell at a specific temperature, specific acceleration, for a specific time.) In retrospect, maybe two years belated, I forgive them.. after all, the Statler is staffed with students in the Hotel school, possibly a pimply freshman poaching for the first time in his culinary career.

(Not to dump on the Banfi. A dinner I had there was fantastic.)

If you’ve never poached eggs before, it is difficult to not mess up. It’s been said that you can tell the skill of a chef by observing their basic skills, and making Really Good Eggs is one of those tell-signs. I remember that later that year, after the Statler Incident, when I endeavored to make eggs benedict at my house one morning, it took an hour to poach 6 eggs– the toasted english muffins were growing cold and the hollandaise sauce started collagulating from sitting too long. I broke down halfway in frustration, threw a hysteric fit, and my boyfriend at the time took pity and finished poaching the rest. I realize then, feeling profoundly humbled, that I can’t jeer at people who can’t poach eggs unless I’ve mastered it myself. I’m only hating on sucky egg poachers because their shortcomings are an extension of mine.

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