“I have learned all kinds of things from my many mistakes. The one thing I never learn is to stop making them.”
― Joe Abercrombie, Last Argument of Kings
A year or so ago, I ran into a old friend I hadn’t seen in a while. We were both in a crazed place of wrangling kids and dogs and needing to be someplace else instead of enjoying catching up. Lisa smiled at me as I was struggling to get my hands free to type in her newest phone number, instead Lisa had a brilliant idea for our too busy moment. She said when I get home tonight, to friend her on Facebook, than we can message a time to catch up over coffee. I thought, great, I will.
Though I’m normally prone to let the chaos creep in to forget these types of connections for a few days, I was diligent and hopped on the computer when I got in and typed in her name, Lisa H., for a search. I was proud of myself for being so responsible and sent her a friend request on Facebook. A few days later I still hadn’t had my request accepted so I became slightly annoyed and impatient. I sent her a snarky massage, intermixed with humor, bullying her to accept. I don’t remember the exact wording, but it was something like, are you so living in the moment now you can’t remember running into and old friend and wanting to catch up? Ok be that way…with a smiley face on the end. No sooner had I sent it, she accepted my Facebook friendship, with a small note of apology, claiming she must be super stressed as she couldn’t even remember our meet up.
I felt satisfied about it, until the next weekend when I received a friend request from a Lisa B. Lisa B. who? So I click, and sure enough it’s my old friend remarried now…I then wonder who Lisa H. is. I click on her page versus the little profile picture visible in a search, and though she’s blonde and grew up in my home town, I have absolutely no idea who this poor woman is whom I strong-armed into becoming my virtual friend. I started laughing at the prospect of what I had done but I didn’t have the courage to tell her or de-friend her.
Her stuff started popping up in my feed. She has adorable twin boys, loves boating and has a soft spot for old convertibles. My guilt and nervous laughter crept in just about every time I saw her postings but I just let it be. In my defense, I know so many Lisas. The name’s popularity in the States as a baby name was relatively high throughout the 1960’s and 70’s. Two sister in laws, a bunch of close friends…I’ve constantly had to refer to each of them with either a spouse or last name attached for confusions sake. However, I never got the courage to tell her.
About six months in to this comedy of errors I posted a picture of this yummy man:
How cool is that? I couldn’t resist taking a picture of my nosed eggplant before turning him into some delicious meatless meatballs and posting it! So the next day, I look through the comments and likes on the photo, and my bullied “friend” had liked it! I laughed and laughed, my husband heard me asking what was so funny, and I relayed to him the whole story. I never realized I had kept my forcefulness to myself, it had been a shameful secret in some way, that I had done something inadvertently careless and bullied someone. He thought it was hilarious, and couldn’t believe how much guilt and judgement I had placed on myself. So yeah, I needed to get over it, and by posting my little eggplant man and talking about it, it became humorous instead of my guilt trip. I have liked a few of her posts now too and look forward to the chance run in with her to have a laugh and ask her about her twins;)
Wrong isn’t always so bad. A bittersweet film I saw a few years ago, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, had a great quote, when asked, what would you do differently next time, Jennifer Garner’s character smiles and says, ” We’ll make better mistakes.” So here’s to better mistakes without the side of guilt.
Eggplant mushroom “meatballs”
-1 whole eggplant, cut in half
-8 to 10 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
-8 to 10 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
-1 medium onion, quartered
-2 cloves garlic
1/2 C Parmesan cheese
-1/2 tsp sea salt
-1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
-a few leaves fresh basil or a 1/2 tsp dried
-1 egg, gently whisked
-1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs or your bread crumbs of choice.
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and bake cut side up on a cookie sheet 20 to 30 minutes until soft.
2. In a food processor, blend with chopping blade: mushrooms, the onion, garlic, basil, and cheese until chopped but not mush.
3. Remove eggplant from oven and allow to cool until easy to handle. Scoop the eggplant into the vegetable mixture, chop a few more pulses to blend to mince but not purée.
4. Scrap into a bowl, adding the salt and pepper, egg and bread crumbs. Combine all.
5. Form the mixture into approximately, 1 1/2 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet or glass dish coated with cooking spray or olive oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350F. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.
I usually serve them over polenta that I’ve incorporated with some Parmesan and a light red sauce, but it works as well with spaghetti. Enjoy!