I like living with messy people. In fact, I like messy people in general.
That's not to say I'm in love with clothes strewn all over the floor, or dirty dishes under the bed, although those things don't bother me as much as they do some people. What I like is people who are unafraid of the odd impulses, weird tics, and dark holes that live inside them. People who embrace their bizarre habits without too much normalizing commentary and are able to allow their lives to have untucked corners.
Every time a kid starts a question with...'Is this weird...?' my heart breaks a little. Who cares? The only thing that's interesting about anyone is the weird things that they do. There's barely a point to life if all your interesting edges are rubbed off. Sometimes I find that theater people are better at just not caring about small social observances, but sometimes they just find other ones to conform to. We are all so afraid of each other sometimes. It's...weird.
Which is to say, I like to hang out with two and three year olds, who are unabashedly strange. And I have a few strange habits of my own, like obsessive baking. Lately my schedule has been a little thrown off, due to all sorts of business and the arrival of a new person in my life, a person who doesn't even care about sweets. How in the name of all that is holy did I get matched up with a person who can ignore freshly baked cupcakes? At least I know he likes me for me?
Luckily, everyone else in my life is still cupcake-mad, and so after plying my workplace with last week's Praline Tart (made, in my case, with almonds), I whipped up this week's Coconut Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Ganache for one of my sacred weekly institutions, Nacho Friday. These cupcakes are based on one of Rose's coconut cakes, already a huge favorite in my circles, and the only changes I made were to make them gluten free (using Thomas Keller's Cup4Cup flour) for my friend who has celiac disease and, due to my general messiness and failure to retrieve the muffin pan I left at a friend's house three months ago, to minimize them. As I was having dinner with toddlers, mini-cupcakes seemed like a good way to go, although the decision was not without its own fraught moments, as you'll see.
The cupcakes, with a milk chocolate ganache, that Rose-typically was not just made with milk chocolate but with a mix of white and bittersweet, were delicious and a huge hit. Anais, one of the two and a half year olds in question, ate one excitedly and then asked for another. One cupcake for each of us, she was told, whereupon she dissolved into tears and said, 'But I like two cupcakes....'
Everyone has a fold in their smooth surface. Some of us re-use bathwater or teabags with our spouses. Some of us hang out with our exes even though it hurts. Some of us embrace the things that make us broken. Some of us chant weird lines from children's books and love Maurice Sendak and eat odd things at odd times or do whatever it is we need to stay alive. Some of us like two cupcakes.
After Anais went to bed, several of us had a few more cupcakes. Because we're grown-ass women who can do as we please.