Even Toast Has a Purpose

I enjoy writing. Honestly, I do. There is just something a bit cathartic to me about looking at life via my warped perspective and sharing it with the world. Admittedly, I also feel blessed when family, friends, or (on occasion) other bloggers/writers tell me that my writing is funny or that they can somehow relate to what I have written. My mother was an avid reader. She also, in her later years, wrote short essays as a form of pleasure (and perhaps also a bit of catharsis*). If there is anything I regret about my writing, it is that I did not begin doing so while my mother was still here on this Earth. That’s OK, though. I find a lot of my mom’s writing style in my stuff. So, if you find that some of my writing to be poignant** or insightful, the compliment does not belong to me at all. One only needs to give credit where it is due and say “Nice work, Norma Jean”.

Unfortunately, I am often quick to post my essays before properly proofreading them. This results in some overlooked misspellings or incomplete phrases that I have to correct in an essay that has already been posted for the whole world to see. Given that unfortunate trend, I try to have my younger daughter, Brianna, proofread my pieces before I post them. She is typically very accommodating about this. However, there are several comments that I hear from Brianna over and over again:

  • “Dad, why do you always use such big words when you write? I feel like I always have to ask you what something means and you just tell me to ‘Look it up'”.
  • “Dad, your writing is so dry. It’s like toast. You just ramble on and on about whatever random topic pops into your head.”
  • “Dad, why you use so many bulleted lists in your writing?”

Imagine my surprise when, one day, my baby girl approached me with that puppy dog look in her eyes. That is a look that always indicates that she needs something from Daddy. Apparently, she had a writing assignment for a college English class. Even more strangely ironic, she felt that I was an appropriate person to assist her in this task. I could help but feel my mother pointing something out to me as if she were right there in the room. You can go to any greasy spoon diner in the world and order breakfast. As you enjoy your meal, remember this: even toast has a purpose. Also note below are two words that you won’t have to look up their definitions.

* Catharsis -a: purification or purgation of the emotions (as pity and fear) primarily through art b: a purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/catharsis)

** Poignant – a: pleasurably stimulating b: being to the point. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poignant)


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