The thing about staying in hotels is that somehow, I inevitably end up watching The Food Network with my family. It's something new for us, as we only get a few channels at home. None of this "I have forty-two million channels!" kind of thing.
Now, I'm not a huge cooking person. I'm not really into food all the much. I mean, chocolate is good, and so is Chinese food, but food does not fascinate me like it obviously fascinates some people.
This kind of talk amused me to no end:
"This sauce is so colorful and layered! The cilantro really brings out the taste of the tomato. They compliment each other like two peas in a pod, but the garlic is very overwhelming. It masks all the other wonderful flavors and leaves much to be desired in terms of balance. Overall, though, the taste is very blustery and whimsical."
Before a few days ago, I would've sat there, trying not to crack a smile at this. But this time around, I realized something.
The Food Network people and I are not so different.
Food is to the FN people as writing is to me. Their art is just a bit more...consumable. For them, the food is everything. It's what they are. They create food. They take simple ingredients and stir, bake, and blend them into something spectacular.
A writer is what I am. I take 26 letters and twist, bend, and shape them into something spectacular. It's really not that different at all.
I realized that I shouldn't make fun of the FN people when they say things about food that sound utterly ridiculous to me. Because if they heard me talking about books, they'd probably think I was equally ridiculous.
"The aromas of this soup add wonderful layers to the entire entree!"
"This character development adds a nice amount of tension to the story!"
"This cake is so whimsical!"
"This writing is so rich and effortless!"
"This salad makes me think of home....and hope....and nice warm places."
"After reading this story, all I could do was sit there and think deeply of myself, and humanity, and society's future."
"The grill marks on this steak leave something to be desired."
"I really can't connect to this character. I can't feel for them."
"This cake is just so fabulous and amazing. I will love it forever."
"I love this book. A lot. A lot of a lot. 'Till death do us part."
This is why I can never laugh at the Food Network again. Writers can sound just as ridiculous.
But do any of us care? Of course not.