Un’Amica Australiana

Next on my list of things not to do when you are restricting yourself to only spending $15 a week on food: reading a book written by an Italian guy who loves food. And with a name like Luca Spaghetti, I should have expected that food would probably be on his list of interests.

I haven’t read Eat, Pray, Love, nor seen the movie, but seeing as I love Italian food and culture, the book appealed to me.

I’m only about halfway through the book at the moment, but I just finished reading a passage and I thought to myself, “This guy is creepy.” Then my next thought was, “I really like him.” He talks about going to see his favourite artist: James Taylor. How he sweet-talked a security guard into letting him backstage during sound check so he could meet him. How he goes to all of his concerts, has all of his albums, loves to introduce people to his music. It sounded obsessive. It sounded like me.

So why did I have such a positive reaction to it?

A couple of weeks ago, I had a bit of a self-identity crisis, when I began to question whether the things I do are creepy or not. I’ve been called creepy / a stalker a lot, but I think it has been in jest. I do feel like I get to edge across the line a bit more because of my gender, and if a guy did some of the things I have done, they’d probably have no friends. I wonder if people have just acclimatised themselves to me, as Special K has said to me, “Don’t worry, D will learn that this is just you being friendly.”

I will admit, that I can be quite obsessive sometimes. When an idea roots itself in my head, it can sometimes be so consuming that it leaks into every spare though that I have. Lately, a lot of the thoughts have been food-related, which is fairly harmless, but sometimes it can involve people, and that’s when it starts to get scary.

There was someone I worked with who frustrated me to no end. Our personalities clashed a lot, and what frustrated me even more is that nobody seemed to be able to see how irritating he was – was there something wrong with me that made me behave in such an unprofessional way when this person was involved? Everyone else seemed to get along with him perfectly fine.

Until this one person, who just completely shut him down. It reminds me of that scene from Mulan where Shan Yu tries to get the Emperor of China to bow down to him, and the Emperor responds, “No matter how the wind howls, the mountain cannot bow to it.” After seeing that, I started to see that other people didn’t get along with him as well as I had thought. I learnt a lot about being professional that day.

It has been 5 years since that event, and the guy has no idea what he has done for me. He’s quite a prickly person, and isn’t very social. I’ve been slowly trying to work my way into his good books, trying to find a way to thank him for what he has done for me. Whenever someone mentions his name, I am all ears. I can easily pick his name out of an email filled with hundreds of names. I seem to have a sixth sense and know when he’s about to walk around the corner. I befriended his boss – though that ended up becoming a genuine friendship.

Writing this makes me sound incredibly creepy, and I’m trying to work out what makes this creepy, and what makes Luca Spaghetti so fascinating, and I think I’ve worked out the answer: passion. People like Gordon Ramsay think about food all the time, and nobody thinks that’s creepy – they just think he’s passionate about food. There are people who are passionate about sports, and know all the players on their team, stats going back years and years, things like that. Nobody thinks that’s creepy.

What do you do when your passion is people? I actually wouldn’t even say it’s people, so much as maybe karma? As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t believe in a cosmic scale. I believe people make their own karma, which is why I try to go out of my way to thank people who I think have made such a positive influence on my life – like with my movies, or baking. However, I think too much of my focus is on element of surprise.

I’ve been thinking a lot about consent, and I think it’s something that I should consider more. Rather than trying to surprise someone with something, I should just tell them, “Hey, it was really nice of you to do ___________ for me. Would you mind if I baked you some cookies in return?” I can explain that I get enjoyment from baking, and it really wouldn’t be any trouble for me. If they say yes, then mission accepted. If not, no harm done, I got to thank them in person, and maybe that’s enough.

I’ve come to accept that I am “weird” / “unusual” / “peculiar”, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I am just passionate about something that isn’t the norm, and as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody, then what is the harm in that?

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