Fake it til you make it

Some of the fruits of my labor today

Overall, I’d say today’s been a good day.  Over the course of the summer, I’ll be doing bulk baking about once a week and this week was a test run for me to make sure everything went smoothly. There were a few bumps here and there, but in the course of about 8 hours I churned out four loaves of bread, three cakes, two pies, and a batch each of muffins, brownies, and cookies, with two more batches of cookies in the fridge to make tomorrow.

As such, I feel like I’ve had a productive and fulfilling day, but I am pretty tired and my feet are sore. I was a little more terse toward one of our guests tonight than I should have been. I’ll be honest, this person seriously grates on my nerves. I don’t know if it’s just a clash of personalities, or because we started off on a horrible foot, but I’m at the point where whenever he walks in the room I fully expect him to be obnoxious – and because I expect that, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Particularly today, as I’ve felt my patience waning, I’ve tried to draw my attention to the positive and specifically tell him thank you and compliment him for a good job, more for my benefit than his. My patience finally ran out this evening though, and even mid-sentence I knew I would regret what I said and would have been embarrassed to have any of the other novices hear me. My words weren’t particularly hurtful, but I know it was clear that I was irritated and not feeling very friendly.

I ended up retreating to my room to cool off and think, and returned a few minutes later to apologize. I admit that a little part of me was hoping he’d be a jerk so that I could feel justified in being angry and crabby. I think he was trying to crack a joke to diffuse the tension, and am going to assume he was trying to accept my apology graciously instead of being unpleasant, but I don’t actually really know.

I’m not wholly sure of what to do from here on out; this is someone I’ll be living and interacting with for awhile, and whose social skills tend to make what might be an attempt at friendliness or humor into something much more similar to whining and annoyance. There has to be something between always assuming the best and always assuming the worst, but that line is tricky to walk.

For now, I guess my strategy is the title of this blog – fake it till I make it. Continue trying to notice the good more than the bad, make a joke when I feel like getting irritated, or even just leaving if it gets too bad. Not for the sake of being fake, but because, from what I’ve seen of his interactions, straight on conflict doesn’t go over particularly well and I’m not great at it either.

The couple staying with us has a phrase for when they’re angry to ease some of the tension, which for them is “you’re silly” said in joking way. I guess that’s kind of my philosophy for this situation as well; if I can break the tension and get myself to laugh or think of something positive it might help keep the situation low key.

And now, gratuitous baking picture from today – how can you be angry while looking at a freshly baked apple pie?


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