Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Reality Bites at Reality Chef

I know it's an internet phenomenon, to complain about how un-real our internet personas are.

I hear people complaining about it--how they get depressed because everyone's life seems better than theirs when seen through glowing status updates. I myself am prone to shameful raging fits of envy when I see other people's beautifully decorated houses (and then those people complain about them, ugh!), their seamlessly organized and totally fulfilling lives.

Exhibit A: This used to be the view from my bedroom window.
When I lived in Freiburg, Germany.
It seems to be all the blogosphere rage to insist you and your blog will "keep it real," that you're "all real," but all the while we post a carefully edited presentation of our lives. Even our troubles can be giftwrapped and prettied up to seem artfully tragic.

I hate that.

I mean, I am the Number One Fan of the curated personality presentation. I don't mind people presenting me the Best Bits version of their lives--that's more or less what I'm presenting you. I like a juicy secret and I like to know that your lives really aren't perfect, but people go to the internet for the same reason they go to the movies or watch television or read books: for entertainment.*

And mundanity is anything but entertaining.

That's why no one loves the friend who tweets every day's tiniest event: Woke up, had coffee. Heading off to work, blah. Think I'll get Chipotle for lunch. Stuck in traffic and found some spinach in my teeth.


Somewhere, though, there's a balance. There's a balance between the kind of real that tells you what time I brush my teeth every day (right before bed. Yeah, just once a day, don't tell my dentist) and the kind of editing that makes you think I eat nothing but free-range meat and homegrown produce cooked in my four-star kitchen (I wish) to exacting standards for my Hollister-model husband and my 2.5 kids.

Somewhere in there is the version of life that's entertaining without making you (too terribly) jealous. A version of life that's relateable. A version of life--of self--that is a friend.

I've got a series in mind for this little blog, but I'm starting with Reality Chef, because I named the damn thing with this whole concept in mind yet lately have been only posting recipes and meals that make me look good like a skinny-bitch Paula Deen with a smitten kitchen chaser.

Every day from now until Easter (so basically for Lent), I'm going to post what I had for dinner. Sometimes, and in keeping with my New Year's goals hopefully at least three times a week, this will be a recipe that you might want to try. But maybe more often than I'd like, it's going to be leftovers or fast food or whatever reality meal Americans eat these days.

I won't be posting all of these here, because that could be totally boring. I'll just link to the recipe ones the way I've been doing. But if you're curious, keep an eye on the food blog for a taste of reality. Hopefully, it will encourage you and show you that real food lifestyles are doable, without overwhelming you with the impossibility of living them perfectly.

'Cause heaven knows that I'm not perfect, and Day 1's dinner proves it.

*Ok, so that's drastically oversimplified. REALLY mostly people go to the internet to Google stuff on Wikipedia. Also for porn. And to nurture human relationships or buy stuff on Amazon or whatever. But entertainment is certainly a primary purpose. No, I'm not linking to porn with that link, geez, but to the Avenue Q song.

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