Inside Lane

Friends, Food, and Fishy Secret Santas

I decided to audition for a cooking show, and one of the questions on the application was, “What type of food describes you, and why?”  I spent a few minutes googling, “Foods that look bland, but are actually spicy,” and then gave up and turned to Facebook, hoping my friends could help me out.  In a matter of minutes, I had all kinds of hilarious suggestions.
My friends who answered range from family members, who have known me all my life, friends I’ve known since 6th grade, friends I’ve made as an adult, eFriends I adore, but have never met, and friends I’ve made through work.  They all tickled me.  They all flattered me.  But most of all, they all reminded me that maybe what I’m best at in life is finding good people.
Dianne Brill wrote about being the cream filling of the social donut.  The idea is that you go into a party/office/classroom, and you find little social donuts there.  Every donut has a center of influence.  What you do, is go and make friends with that COI and carry her/him along with you to the next donut, where you make friends with that donut’s COI, then move on to the next, and the next, until you have tasted all the donuts and carried along the best parts of them with you.  That’s when you find yourself in the center of the best social donut, because it is made out of the best part of every original donut.  You end up with a diverse, lively crowd of interesting, fantastic people, and they make you look interesting and fantastic by proxy.
When all your donut centers of influence start interacting, it looks something like this:
I have to say what type of food describes me. Ideas?
Wonder Bread?
Vanilla Wafers?
Saltine Crackers?
Mashed Potatoes?
Boiled Grits?
  • Suz  Suz Angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream.
  • Lane  Aw! You love me! I also have to say why the food describes me. So I will probably go with Wonder Bread. I’m fluffy, white, and look good in polka dots.
  • Suz  You’re white and fluffy but sassy and sweet at the same time. You’re as comfortable at a tea party as you are at a wild bachelorette bash. Everyone loves you!
  • Lara Smoked Salmon!
  • Suz You can’t be wonder bread. That’s too boring. And YOU my dear, are NOT boring.
  • Lane Lara!!!! HAHAHA!!!!!
  • Lane  Suz, I ❤ you
  • Robyn Thai-spiced butter and honey souflee…that someone else made.
  • Kat Garlic-cheddar potatoes- a spiced up traditional favorite
  • Lara I think it suits you on many levels!
  • McTabby Deviled egg?
  • Woody Something southern and jazzy…just what, escapes me at the moment
  • McTabby Okra: it’s covered in a light colored fuzz and not everyone likes it.
  • Woody No no no. Okra is SLIMY inside!!
  • McTabby So is Lane. We all are.
  • Woody Uh…no.
  • McTabby You haven’t splashed around in guts enough!
  • Woody Now I’m just scared. =-O
  • Jo Rice crispies… Snap, crackle n pop baby!
  • Suzanne  You’re a grits girl.
  • Dreama Oh come on! Nothing short of red peppers describes you.
  • Stephanie kettle corn? salty, sweet and entertaining
    See?  Fun people.  Good times.
    Now I have to explain the smoked salmon.
    Lara and I worked together in an HR department for a major retailer.  Every year at Christmas, we would get massive baskets of goodies, which we would spread out on tables, and share as a department.  One particular Christmas, there were two, tiny, 2oz packages of smoked salmon in the baskets.
    Lara and I asked around, and no one wanted them, and they weren’t items that could be left open to share, so we ate them.
    Apparently, the head of the HR department was really into smoked salmon because he went around to every desk in the department asking who had eaten it.  He was loud.  He was angry.  “Have you seen the salmon?  Did you take the salmon?  Where is the salmon?  Who took the salmon?”  When he came to us, where we sat side-by-side, and all was revealed, he lost his freaking mind.  He went off for minutes about our deplorable manners, and our terrible American-ness, made worse by virtue of his posh, British accent.
    He ended it with a sniffy, “I do not know what you think, but here, we do not smash-and-grab.  We do not simply take what we want and leave.  Here, we share.”
    My response was to go to the store, buy the biggest pack of smoked salmon I could afford, and take it back to him with a letter of apology.  He was horrified, and tried to give it back to me, but I only like smoked salmon at about 2oz a serving, so I thanked him kindly and said no.
    For the next couple of years, someone always anonymously gave that man smoked salmon for Christmas.  It wasn’t me.  It wasn’t Lara.  We never found out for sure who his secret Santa was, but we did laugh.
    Maybe I should have said I was a smoked salmon.  I know I’m not okra.  (I probably am a deviled egg.)

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