Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Say it with Sugar: The Cookie Trap

I'm in a difficult position in my life right now. Aside from the fact that I have no job and my family is being weird around me because I have no job... the biggest and most heart-aching issue that I am dealing with right now is the topic of friendship. I don't feel like I have any friends to hang out with. I know it sounds like a bold thing to say, but in some ways its true.

I've isolated myself because I feel like my disease and I are a burden to everyone. Its a lot easier for me to deal with conflict if there are no people have have conflict to exist with. And so, slowly but surely I shyed away from almost every social network that I knew. This was a stupid thing to do, but at the time it felt right. I couldn't find a reason why people would want to be around me when:

• I'm too sick to go out
• Too broke to do anything
• Paranoid that I smell like ass
• Stayed home too much and too long that I'd have nothing to talk about
• Being embarrassed about the times when I got sick in public

In hindsight, all of these reasons sound silly, but some of these are a constant worry for people suffering from Ulcerative Colitis. Who would tell me if I smell like ass or not? Who would tell me that they don't want to hang out with me because they know I will say 'no' anyway. Not anyone that I know because those are mean things to say. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me or worry about me. Less conflict makes sense. The only consequence is that it leaves me feeling very lonely and unsure about how to re-connect.

In the spirit of the holidays I'm getting that warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Enough time has passed, the bad blood is gone, and I want to start over. My confidence becomes stronger when I'm feeling healthy, so I have to take advantage of my remission and make connections. Looking for answers, I feel pathetic Googling a topic like How to Make Friends, but hey I have to start somewhere! Its a well-written article with very simple and practical advice.

In a nutshell, the article was about being interesting, engaging, but most importantly about taking initiative! I was thinking about how I can become all of those things. My answer is food.

Food brings people together, and if it is free, there will be a stampede.

I've decided to take on a new hobby with baking. This all started back in October when I was experimenting with the many uses of fresh pumpkin filling. I've baked dozens of SCD cupcakes for myself (I have an expanded waist-line to prove it). And now I'm taking it to the next level by baking for other people. Last week, I went to the library and picked up The All-American Cookie Book by Nancy Baggett (Let me warn you now, gentle viewers, that this is NOT a specific carbohydrate diet book). I'm putting my will-power to the test out of desperation and loneliness to win friendships back! I will triumph through their hearts and through their stomachs and with lots and lots of sugar.

Baking cookies will give me an activity to take my mind off things and have something to offer to start a conversation. Sure it sounds a bit like a gimmick, but this is my approach to a peace offering. Its impossible to have feelings of ill-will in the presence of homemade cookies. You might be wondering why I'm offering "real" cookies instead of SCD cookies? I've had real cookies in my past life and SCD cookies in my new life. To be honest, SCD cookies aren't satisfying enough. Its been years and there are still some food substitutions that I'm trying to get used to. Flavors may come close, but I don't believe there is anything that can ever replace chocolate. Unfortunately for us SCDieters... chocolate is off the list! Because of this sad fact, I don't want to force people to eat food that I have to eat. I'm approaching it from this perspective: A vegetarian can't force other people to become vegetarians, but they can politely offer vegetarian dishes as an alternative. I'm not a vegetarian... but well... you get the idea.

So I'll offer real cookies along with my SCD cookies. I cross my fingers that they'll be open-minded to the SCD flavors. Or maybe I won't tell them and let their palates be the judge.

I'll let you know how my social experiment goes. To be continued...


Nancy Baggett said...

You didn't say what cookies you made or if you liked my book, but I hope they brightened your day. I am making some cookies from my cookie book, too!

Skinny Girl said...

I have the same problem with friends. Part of the problem is a lot of times I go out even when I'm not feeling well but then because of that I'm not very outgoing. But mostly I turn down invites until it seems I don't get invited anymore... I LOVE your cookie idea, I hope it works out! I might have to try that (though I will need to wait until after the craziness of the holidays. Too much stress right now). Good luck! I'm sure you will have tons of friends soon!

fernpixel said...

Miss Nancy Baggett !! I love your book :) Thank you so much for sharing something sweet and wonderful! I baked the soft oatmeal raisin cookies for my Mom and she liked them! I even started a small collection of cookie cutters (hearts, stars, and butterflies).

I'm rookie baker and I will be blogging about my cookie adventures!

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog <3

@Skinny Girl - Thanks so much! The cookie idea is working out so far. I started with my mom. I don't have any ill-will towards her, its just you know, cookies for my mom lol. If you start baking cookies too, let me know how it goes :)

Kat said...

Thanks for posting this. I feel like I didn't really 'hang out' enough with my friends in late high school and early university years. I blamed it on schoolwork but most of the time it was because I wasn't feeling great.

Luckily I have since had a great bf who is a social butterfly, and have kept up good relationships with his friends.

I feel like it's time for me to get back into seeing my own friends more often though. It's hard when my friends want to either go out late (I don't do that) or eat at restaurants (I don't do that either). Maybe I should just cook a big dinner and invite them all over, or bake something to bring to them. Will definitely try it out. Thanks for the motivation :)

fernpixel said...

@kat Yay! I'm always happy to help and hopefully inspire. I think cooking dinner for friends is a great idea!

I've done that sort of thing before and hosted a cheese fondue night! Thank goodness SCD allows cheese! I let my friends help with bringing the ingredients and the cooking. Everyone had a great time! :)

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