Thursday, October 14, 2010

Do I Even Know Myself?

When I'm in New York, I like to stop by Le Pain Quotidien and get their parfait of fruit, yogurt and granola for breakfast. Making myself ill on a fruit parfait is sort of a New York tradition for me, like strolling in Central Park or buying dusty things at establishments that put the "front" in storefront.

Le Pain Quotidien's parfait is either $5.71 or nearly $8.00. The cashier decides for you. The likelihood that it will be $8.00 increases when they have run out of pre-made ones and need to order from the kitchen. It's been explained to me that there are two sizes, but I'm never able to verify a difference between the two.

If I still lived in New York, I would be very aggressive about making sure I get the right size and price. Now that I'm a visitor, my attitude is, what the hell, I'm in New York, and it's a given that I'm going to hemorrhage money. Why not make it $9.00?

Last week the counter staff was so busy getting every other person's order wrong that they forgot to pick up my parfait (did you know that's French for perfect?) from the kitchen. I politely asked after my order and it was apologetically brought to the front. This I liked: The cashier asked if I would like a free pastry for my trouble.

It was an unexpected gesture, because I was not mad about the delay. I was in Le Pain Quotidien and had been conditioned to fully expect the delay.

Yes, I said, I would love a free pastry. We were too far from the pastry area for me to peruse the options. "How about a pumpkin muffin?" she said.

"Ehhhmmm... I'm not really a muffin person." I felt kind of douchey saying this, because she was offering me something free that I hadn't expected, but I may as well be honest, right? Historically, I have not found muffins to be remotely compelling. You might as well give me a free rock.

"How about a chocolate croissant?" I didn't really want that either, but even I know when to move on, so I took it. It was pretty unremarkable, and I threw half of it away, but it was free, and so that made it pretty enjoyable.

Well here's the kicker: Ever since that day last week, I've wanted a damn muffin. Not a pumpkin one, to be sure, but some kind of muffin experience. It's just sort of lingering there in the back of my mind. Like, perhaps I've been unfair to the muffin. Maybe it deserves another shot, you know?

I'll probably get one tomorrow. But it will be at the work cafeteria, not some bougie place, and I will be paying for it. It's likely to be unsatisfying. But there's nothing to be done about that. The muffin is now my destiny.

Music: "Constant Craving"


  1. Make a fresh batch of your own muffins and then consume all 12 before they have a chance to get cold. This is the only way to eat muffins.

  2. Hahaha, love it! Very good idea.

  3. Anonymous11:43 PM

    Aren't muffins and cupcakes related? Isn't the muffin the cupcake's poor cousin?

  4. Yes, a fair point about muffins. Muffins and cupcakes, who cares? I never did have a muffin. Or a cupcake. I'm too busy thinking about candy corn...


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