The girl at my local bakery gave me a nasty attitude yesterday.
I don’t typically wander into bakeries, so when I do I expect them to be full of wonder and delight. Pastries are happy. Always. In fact, when I began to daydream in the middle of the workday about the possibilities in store for me there, I pictured dancing jelly donuts, danishes, and beautiful, pristine cupcakes. I was excited to stare at all the loveliness through the clear glass, all excited with eyes as big as saucers.
I guess I kinda forgot that other people go to the bakery a little more often than I do. None of them really wanted to stop and treasure the special moment with me.
In fact, the girl behind the counter wasn’t having any of it. Unfortunately, it appeared she hated her life, her work, and all beautiful things. I can’t imagine a world where I hate pastries and find no joy in handing them out to others. I mean, I may be a bit of a cynical recluse, but I can still get excited over the prospect of a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies and I might even go out of my way to give them to some people.
Perhaps her anger toward all that is wonderful was fueled slightly by my inability to pronounce the names of the things I wanted, which meant I had to resort to pointing. I’ll bet she hated that. I’ll bet that if I worked in a bakery, I would hate that too. I totally get it. But listen: I’m not Jewish and I live in a neighborhood full of Orthodox Jews. I get newsletters in the mail from the local Jewish Community Center updating me on how they’re working to welcome the community into Sarah and Abraham’s tent. But try as I might, I still sound like an idiot when ordering homentasch. Which, for your reference, is also spelled hamantash, hamentasch, homentash, (h)umentash, and (המן־טאַש). So yeah, I’m not so sure on that one. I’m really sorry. Please excuse the crazy Gentile, making ridiculous demands and pointing at your pastries.
My entire idea of the bakery was shattered. It was no haven, no refuge from reality. Alas it was a shop. A shop that employed people, some of whom I’m sure did not apply because of a deep, harbored passion for pastries. Which meant it was only a matter of time before they became jaded grumplepussses (read: pointer haters).
So I’m sorry, small, pale, grumplepuss girl from my local bakery. I forgot that the pastry world does not hold quite the wonder for you that it did for me. But I memorized the way you said homen/humen/haman/hamentash/tasch, and I promise to not annoy you when I next visit.
Unless I need to order something else. ♣