Recently, I discovered that someone I thought liked me does not, indeed, like me. I’m stunned to think she ever wished me ill-will, so I am left with little choice but to believe that the destruction she has leveled at me is rooted in the subconscious.
Whatever would give me the idea she doesn’t like me? She gifted me a bag of Amish Friendship Bread batter.
Six or seven years ago, a “friend” gave me a starter. I was dubious, but I tended to the little creature on my counter and made the bread at the end of the 10-day wait. It was good. Very, very good. HG would not let me give all the starters away. He requested, nay implored, nay demanded I keep one to make again. Every time I made the starters up, I had to keep one to make again. This went on for some months until we were fatter and so sick of sugar that we thought we’d die if we ate any more.
In that time, I grew bitter toward this thing on my counter that was effectively a pet, in that I had to tend to it twice a day and feed it at the right time and make it at the right time, and when it produced a litter, I was responsible for finding homes for the babies.
I went from “Oh my God, Friendship Bread, I love you. I will always love you. I will marry you and keep you and buy you a car, I swear to God, because you shouldn’t have to spend every day cooped up in this house, dependent on others to take you out to see the sun when it’s convenient for them. Oh, Friendship Bread, I hope we stay together, forever”
to “Fuck you, Amish Friendship Bread. Fuck you. Nobody here wants you around anymore and I refuse to feel guilty for throwing your last two babies out, effectively killing off your family line. I’m done with you.”
Yeah, it wasn’t one of my better moments.
And then, here I am, minding my own business about three weeks ago when lo and behold, HG tells me the big news: a coworker of his has sent home with him a Friendship Bread bag for me to make.
My reaction was a flood of emotions and questions. Could it be true? Could the Friendship Bread have actually made it back into my life? Would it remember me? Would it, could it taste as good as I remember? Or was I romanticizing all the good times we had together, back when my kitchen smelled chronically of yeasty gas nine out of every ten days?
My other reaction was to yell at HG for letting her give this to us. Didn’t she understand what she was subjecting us to, for the love of stuff?
But, again, it was sooooo good and because I love all of my friends, I could figure no way to get rid of the babies but to assign them the tot’s Food Friend and the tot’s day care caregiver and a woman at my mom’s shop*. I knew, though, that I couldn’t keep one. No, I had to hand them off and move one.
But, Friendship Bread? I’m sorry I said those things before. I was young, I didn’t know what I was doing. I hope we’re cool with each other now.
And of course because I can’t let go, I asked the tot’s caregiver if I could have one back, and verily did she provide, along with a long list of complaints about how she likes the size jeans she’s in, so why did I ever bring this godforsaken chain letter into her life. I know. I should be apologizing to her, not the bread. I will, but first I have to go slice a loaf while it’s still warm and my kitchen smells of cinnamon sugar.
*I’m conviced this woman did not make the bread because when she came in with her own starters, she said she thought her daughter made it up but she didn’t know if the kids had had a chance to eat any yet. Um, no. No one escapes the aroma of Friendship Bread wafting through a house, especially a house with three teenagers.
This stuff is impossibly good, so good, in fact, that the tot’s caregiver met me at the door as I dropped the tot off on the morning she made the bread. She was casting me an evil eye and telling me her ass “thanks” me now that I’ve given it a way to grow larger. (She’s not fat, of course.) She then called it “liquid gold” and asked me how exactly I could do this to her. She was plotting ways to find her own starters so she could make it any time she wanted, or maybe a way to start a bread farm on her counter. This woman? She made the bread.