I haven’t really been on my soap box lately, too much to do and not enough time to sit and cogitate over other people’s foibles. For some reason, last week’s attacks on Paula Deen irritated me. I don’t know the woman and have never really paid a lot of attention to her. I did eat one time at her buffet at the casino in Tunica, nothing special. I’ve never even bought one of her cookbooks. So I was surprised at the virulence of the attacks on her when she admitted she had diabetes.
First of all, she is a business woman, selling a product – her cooking style. You don’t have to buy it and you certainly don’t have to use her methods. I do admire her get up and go. She overcame a lot in her life: divorce; agoraphobia; and raising children. Her decision to teach the United States about Southern cooking was her way to make a living, nothing more. Southern cooking tastes good. I was raised on it. I certainly don’t use the butter or bacon grease any more and I have never eaten a fried Twinkie (that’s on her menu at her restaurant in Savannah). That was the way my grandmother cooked and I remember fondly how much better her food tasted than mine. But I made the choice to cut the salt, the butter, the bacon grease and, ick, lard. I MADE THE CHOICE. Me, myself and I.
Isn’t that what being an adult means? You make your choices about what you eat, what you do and how you act. You deal with the results of your choices, good or bad. I sat and listened to Dr. Nancy Snyderman say that Paula Deen’s actions were egregious. The doctor pounded Paula about not telling the United States three years ago that she suffered from Type-2 diabetes (mostly this is old-age onset – usually a result of heredity and diet). Okay, since when is something like that anyone’s business? Paula Deen had a product and she sold her product. She owes me no moral responsibility to educate me about how to eat. As a matter of fact, she owes me nothing. Have we become a nation of sheep to be told how to eat, how to sleep, what to wear, what to read and how to act? What happen to our choices? If you are stupid and sit and eat lard all day, you know the result. Dr. Snyderman, who is branding her own business of writing health books (instead of working in the trenches, treating patients and dealing with people), has no business judging someone about making a living doing something that Deen loves – cooking. I just thoughts the attacks were egregious.
Using my “monkey brain,” I can extrapolate such a reaction to everything we do. What I hear the most is the responsibility that romance writers have to be realistic and tell women that there is no fairy tale love. We’ve been told endlessly that we set impressionable women up for failure when it doesn’t happen. I disagree. We, as writers, have a story to tell and we hope that it is entertaining to others. It’s FICTION. I am not here to educate you on the dark side of life; I am here to entertain (and hopefully become the next Linda Howard or Norah Roberts…). Who wants to fail by telling you that Billy is not your knight in shining armor so get over it? Not me. I want to be successful.
Are we responsible for our choices? I think so. We choose what to eat, what to read and everything else because it makes us happy. As with anything, we know that moderation is the key. I cannot sit all day and read, daydreaming about Adrian Paul coming to take me away – it isn’t healthy. Neither is cooking all the time like the recipes in Paula Deen’s cookbooks. I don’t stop at McDonald’s and grab a Big Mac for lunch every day ( I love Big Macs) because I know it isn’t healthy to eat that much fat even if it does taste good. I am an adult and I decide. I am responsible for me; Paula Deen and Ronald McDonald aren’t.
So, do you think that we need people to tell us how to eat, what to read, what to write, and how to act? Do you think that celebrities have a moral responsibility to tell us how to behave? Seriously, do you think that because they are celebrities that they are any smarter than you? That they are experts? Let me know your opinion.
Just thought this was funny...