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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Be Creme Brulee

There's a scene from a Julia Roberts movie, My Best Friend's Wedding, in which Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz have an interesting conversation. In the movie, Julia is trying to still Cameron's fiance for herself. In her self-assured way, Julia tells a tear-filled Cameron that she's "creme brulee." And all the fiance wants is Jell-O.

Cameron's heartsick character sobs out, "But I can be Jell-O."

The bigger question is, why would you want to be?

I remembered a moment in high school when I really liked a boy who always treated me like a great friend. He moved in a different crowd and was friends with people who participated in all the activities I didn't: drinking, partying, sex, probably other stuff that I don't want to know about.

One time his mom, who was an awesome person, said to me, "He's just not ready for someone like you."

What I heard was, "He doesn't want creme brulee."

And for a moment, the thought that went through me was, "Then why do I want to be creme brulee? It's awfully lonely."

I think, unfortunately, we feel this way often, especially teenagers. Being Jell-O doesn't sound so bad. Why should we take the higher ground? Why can't we just be like everyone else?

Because we're better than that.

Happily, I didn't pull a Sandy from Grease and lower my standards. I didn't make an attempt to join the other crowd and be another smiling gummy bear. However lonely it was in high school, I stuck it out. And I was rewarded for it with a great college education, a wonderful husband, and a peace of mind and spirit that I know I wouldn't have had otherwise.

Don't be afraid to be better. Don't be afraid to take the higher road. Be creme brulee.

10 comments:

DL Hammons said...

Too many kids nowadays don't know what kind of person they want to be and struggle against the quest to be individual, and the expectations of adults. As a result they drift to the easy, the accepted, the short-term satisfaction. Fortunately you knew who you wanted to be and resisted the temptation, refusing to compromise your values. It is a lesson more kids need to learn.

Good for you!! :)

Guinevere said...

Such a cute (and meaningful) post - love the creme brulee connection! I felt this way sometimes as a teenager - especially because boys called me as being too bookish or too smart for my own good, which is pretty special - but I didn't know any other way to be. Gummy bears never felt like an option to me, much as it might have been socially preferable!

Elisa said...

jello, actually. I love that scene. and I totally agree with your application. I definitely felt that way too. Sticking it out, remaining creme brulee (which I actually want to like more than I do--such a culinary disappointment the 3 separate times I've tried it) and waiting for my own creme brulee to come along has definitely paid off!

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

Great post. Greater message. Amen!

Julie Daines said...

I love this. I think there are more kids out there trying to do the right thing then we know. People say it's ok to have sex in a YA book because all teens are having sex these days.

Well, it's not true. Some are. Some aren't but say they are. And lots really don't want to.

That's why I appreciate YA books that don't throw in sex just to please the "crowd." All they're really doing is adding to the pressure of the many, many kids who don't.

Why appeal to the lowest common denominator? Why make everyone look like gummy bears (or Jell-O) when there are lots of kids trying hard to be creme brulee?

Talli Roland said...

Very well said! And personally, I love creme brulée!

Elle Strauss said...

I love this--so well said! I hope more teens and young adults get this message before they forfeit the creme brule.

Melissa J. Cunningham said...

LOVE this post. Thanks for the reminder. You rock!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

@DL--it's a great lesson, DL, and one I hope all kids can learn before they do something they regret for the rest of their lives!

@Elisa--yeah, I haven't seen the movie in awhile. Jello's even worse! Yuck! As for creme brulee, I love it and have had good success making it. Maybe you need a new recipe? Or maybe you're making it right and you just don't like it. :)

@Julie--amen! please, no more gratuitous sex!

@Melissa--thanks girl!

Aaron and Emily said...

I'm hungry.

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