When Museo Gallery announced “Eat Dessert First” as the theme for January’s show I was not enthused. You may be one of the millions of the happily deaccessioned who, exiled from the office, went home to become the master sourdough bakers you’ve always wanted to be. I however haven’t cooked dinner since March 2020. Since then I have been living on Purell cocktails and roasted cashews. How would I be able to tell which comes “first” when I still have not been able to distinguish the days of the week much less my “meal times”—? For two years it’s been a desert of silent meals spent doom-scrolling with a napkin, a votive candle and my phone, and waiting for the world to stop turning in the wrong direction. Appetite. Hmmm.
Nonetheless, I spent a lifetime as a designer taking assignments I didn’t want to do. My training is to catch whatever stick is tossed out and carry it back to whoever threw it. And so I thought about my resistance to this title and worried it, word by word, into the snow-frozen ground. For my personal holiday hashtag I took #sugarcoma, and looked for every situation in which it might apply. Against all odds, which included an alert from the state that I had been exposed to Covid and an emergency test on the morning of Christmas Eve, I had, astonishingly, a picture-perfect and rhapsodic Christmas surrounded by family, throughout which I ate spritz cookies and chocolate for breakfast. For three days I walked in a happy trance from the Betty Crocker cookbook to the cookie tins with their waxed paper petticoats peeking out. When you are an adult home for Christmas after two years of absence nobody says you can’t eat dessert first, or for that matter all day. There is no more perfect state than sitting in a rocker with a blanket and a book after three salted caramels watching snow fall just on the other side of the Christmas tree.
Mulling over the pleasures of indulgence, the ever-lurking punishments of guilt, and the lucrative self-help industries that promise to lead us not into damnation but into boundless self-love, the riddle of the title became clear. It’s the parable of all time. Eden, Eve, and the Apple: The First Dessert. [Read more…]