"Y'all still baking bread or are we all just sad now?"
I saw this on a meme recently. It was actually a screenshot of a tweet, but anyhow, the sentiment resonated with me. I spent much of March and April baking — not bread, but cookies, coffee cakes, bundt cakes, brownies, muffins, all from scratch. Food is a major serotonin stimulator for me, and the process of measuring, mixing, following the recipe instructions to a T (should the butter be cold or room-temp?) helped occupy my time and brain space, to quell the ever-present anxiety of current conditions. I guess I got bored with baking. There hasn't been a homemade cake in my house in months. Now I've got a pretty heavy case of the sads. And social media surely doesn't help.
I get it. Everything is terrible. And I'm constantly reminded every time I log on to Facebook. Coronavirus has gotten out of hand. Our "leaders" can't get their shit together and lead. Sex trafficking is a very real problem. Pedophilia is absolutely sick. Black lives do matter. The state of our nation is downright embarrassing. I think we can agree on all of this.
Since we're not baking anymore, can I make a suggestion? Could you post more photos of your dog? Even though I'm not really a cat person, let me see them, too.
- Shara Clark
- Shara Clark
- Shara Clark
At the end of most work days, I settle in — wrapped in soft blankets like a burrito to soothe me from all the insanity of recent months — and scroll through social media. I totally understand that many of you want to bring awareness to all that's wrong with the world: bad people, dumb decisions, morons, and injustices. And that is well within your rights. Keep fighting the good fight!
But for the love of 8-pound, 6-ounce, newborn infant Jesus, can I see more photos of your pets? The fuzzy, cuddly puppers. The feisty little kitties. Hell, show me your guinea pig. And, brace yourselves: (I never thought I'd say this, but) what did you eat for dinner? Let me see that fancy plate of grilled salmon and risotto! I'm actually to the point of missing daily "here's something I ate" pics. Tell me about your meal prepping. Give me the recipe for mawmaw's chocolate pie, dangit!
Share those funny "everything is cake" videos. Or the ones of parrots dancing to MC Hammer. Don't we need a small break from all this gloom and serious stuff? Fight the sadness, Artax! Yes, I saw that Poppy doll has a button on her behind. I saw that employees at retail outlets across the nation have been assaulted by anti-maskers. I've seen protesters being gassed and arrested. I've seen the Epstein flight logs. Things are horrible. It seems we're in a sinking boat on a raging, endless sea. It's enough to drive a person mad. Have you all gone mad yet?
I could disconnect from social media to avoid much of this, to be sure. But I do remember a time when my Facebook feed was mostly good news, family portraits, food, and pets — the more social side of social media. The "snooze" option works well to get the constant dose-of-doomed-reality posters off your page for a while (bless them; they're just standing up for what they believe in), and I've taken advantage of that. My newsfeed without that stuff is still sad, though. There's not enough fluff, literally and metaphorically. And I think we could all use a little more fluff right now.
Start baking bread again. Tell me what you've learned. How's that art project going? Are you making music? Have you had any epiphanies? What are your pets' names, ages, and favorite toys? Lemme see 'em! Show them to me!
The thing about dogs is, for one, they don't have social media, and they can't comprehend pandemics, politics ... they just want to be fed and loved. Me too, little buddies, me too. Now if you'd all be so kind, provide a little soul food and love to your Facebook friends or Instagram followers. Share the bright spots in your world — they're there, even if you don't see them right away. Look harder.
And you can send your dog pics directly to my email inbox.
Shara Clark is managing editor of the Flyer.