In Spanish 101, Mr. Gonzales brought in the most beautiful pastries. He laid one on each of our desks. Mine was yellow and pink with designs on top, and just begging for me to take a bite. Because I have such a craving for sweets, it was everything I could do to not plunge in.
His words were muffled in the company of anticipation as he explained the history of the sweets, and I poked at the top. The “frosting” was not real frosting at all. It was merely the same as the rest of the dough, but risen and colored. Still. It was beautiful, and it was called “pastry”, and pastries are sweet and good. I couldn’t wait.
He gave the okay and I took my first bite. Closing my eyes in expectation of a flavor explosion, my chewing stopped. Ew. This was not good. This was not good at all. Mouth full, I looked around, hoping for evidence of the same reaction from a fellow student. Seeing none, I thought it must just be me. I swallowed the dry hunk of tasteless bread and lifted the remainder to my eyes to examine the insides through the now bite sized incision.
Looks like a pastry. <sniff> Smells like a pastry. I set it down and poke it with my finger. A little hard, a little off, but for the most part, feels like a pastry.
Something must be wrong with me. Everybody else is eating it.
I take another bite.
This is HORRIBLE. I cannot possibly eat any more.
But I did. I ate the whole thing, hoping it would somehow become sweet nearer the center. Hoping the more I ate, the more it would grow on me. I might “develop a taste” for this hard, tasteless, pretty lump of dough.
But I never did, and it sat in my stomach and made me sick.
Yet every single time I pass by a Mexican Bakery, I look longingly inside at the beautiful display. I take in the deceiving smells, and think… I wish it was as it appeared to be.
But the gift of discernment is of little benefit unless accompanied by the strength of character to act upon it. So I keep walking.