Having been unemployed for over six weeks now, I'm getting the hang of the daily job search and of walking Lily the Maltipoo and driving the kids all over the place. I've also done much more cooking - achieving a degree of proficiency that surprised even me. In addition, I am doing some midweek grocery shopping on behalf of the wife. While going through the local store's bakery section on one such excursion, I happened to notice all the different kinds of bread and the pleasant aromas coming from the ovens. Years ago, I had a job cleaning a bakery at a grocery store in my hometown, so it wasn't an entirely foreign atmosphere to me.
And then it struck me...
Just because I'm unemployed doesn't mean I have to be lazy! If I can't "make bread" in the metaphorical sense, why not make it in the literal sense? It would be a sort of therapy... salving a psyche left fragile by numerous rejections on the job front. That night, I excitedly passed along this excellent idea to my wife. Besides, I know she likes warm, fresh bread. It would be a win-win situation!
"Baking bread is too difficult for you", she said. "You have to use yeast and the water has to be the exact temperature and you have to wait for it to rise. You won't be able to handle it."
Poor Leanne. She somehow had the naive and mistaken belief that the difficulty of the task would frighten me off. You'd think that after over 20 years of wedded tolerance she would have caught on to my fondness for the Quixotic. The more daunting a task, the more intrigued I become.
"What? You mean it's really involved? So what you're saying is it will be like a challenge! Just the sort of thing I'll need to keep my mind occupied until I find a job. What's wrong with learning something new?"
At that point she gave me the glowering look that usually portends earth-shattering doom.
"You are NOT - repeat NOT! - going to bake bread!!! You're going to make a mess of my kitchen and you're going to screw up the recipe anyway! Besides, you can buy bread at the store for next to nothing. What the hell are you thinking? Just forget all about that stupid idea!!!"
But to me, that's like saying "Why buy a guitar and learn how to play when you can buy a CD of a really good guitar player for cheap?"
So I have resolved to pick up some books on making bread at the local library. I'll see if it's something I might actually be able to do.
(Shhhh... don't tell Leanne!)
I'll keep you posted.