On baked goods

The other day I was in line at a French bakery over in Mountain Brook. As I waited to pick out my cookies the conversation between an older gentleman and the woman waiting on him turned heated; he apparently was disappointed to learn that the bakery did not sell crescent rolls and was not happy with the woman’s attitude about this. There was a bit of shouting. It seemed he would not go quietly without some kind of half-moon baked good in hand, but the croissants on offer were unacceptable.

The woman in line ahead of me, wearing a caftan and jangly gold jewelry, stepped in. “Sir, there’s no need to be rude. This is a bakery. Crescent rolls are a Pillsbury product and come in a tube; you can buy them at Publix.”

This is a fact. Another fact is that I have a deep and abiding love for crescent rolls, so much so that in my youth I used these two words as my screen name for various online portals, such as the paleolithic Myspace. I believe back in the early days of Facebook (when a .edu email address was still required) I listed crescent rolls as one of my Interests. I remain interested in them. They’re consistently delicious, they’re quick and simple to make, and you can get out some agita just by opening the can. Having prepared them for every holiday meal since childhood, I can still hear the thwack of tube against countertop like the opening chords of Handel’s Messiah.

No matter how tiresome it is to hear, life is unsettling these days. It’s hard to believe that one can mark the passage of time through the rise and fall of various online portals, but here we are. Names change, distinctions are made; a croissant is not a crescent roll. Waiting in line for my oatmeal chocolate chip and vegan snickerdoodle, I very much wanted the gentleman to take his silly, unrealistic bakery expectations and leave. (He did.) And then later, in the comfort of my home and with a soaring blood glucose, I could see that on a certain kind of day I would also be very disappointed to find that the comfort I craved was not to be found in the place where I was looking. I hope next time he’ll heed the words of Caftan Lady and be less rude; I hope we all find what we seek; and I hope there’s a tube of dough and a countertop handy if we don’t.

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