Friday, November 11, 2016

The Lesson of Burnt Toast

Dropping Out of the Conga Line to do the Merengue 
"Being tolerant does not mean that I share another one's belief. But it does mean that I acknowledge another's right to believe, and obey, his own conscience." -Viktor Frank

It's interesting how a memory from childhood suddenly sprung in my mind as I listened to a woman behind me rant about art quilts to her friend. I didn't mean to ease drop but it was impossible not to hear her because she was so loud and passionate. "Quilts can never be art." "People who make art quilts are snobs and disillusional." I so wanted to take her friend, new to quilting, aside. I thought about saying something but from past experience, I knew that there was nothing I could say that would change this woman's mind. And that is when my childhood memory popped into my head. I was 10 or 11 years old and visiting my grandparents in Maryland for first time with just my brother along. My grandfather was never a warm man and even though he had three daughters and no sons, he always seemed awkward around me. Since my brother was also present, the "boys" hung out together as did the "girls." Anyway, my grandfather liked his toast burnt--black and completely lacking in any moisture. When he ate it, you could hear the crunch and watch the crumbs fall.  I liked my toast "warm" as he would call it. He did not think I should be able to have my toast the way I liked it. Thankfully after listening to a long lecture, he left the table and my grandmother gave me "warm" toast. To this day, I do not understand what the big deal was about the way I like my toast. So I turned around and asked the woman, "How do you like your toast?" and then asked anyone that was nearby. As I suspected, no one answered the same way. "Making quilts is a lot like toast," I said. "There is lots of different ways to make them." I got applause from the person behind the cash register. I wish I could tell you that I got through to the woman instructing her friend. I did get a thumb's up from her friend (when her friend wasn't looking) so I am happy. Do you have a burnt toast experience? If so, I would love to hear it.


  1. What a brilliant way to handle the situation!

    1. I have my moments. At least this time I did not think of what to say on my way home in the car. Hugs.


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