My husband, Jeff, came home with an enormous bag of hard pretzels recently; therefore I’ve been eating pretzels more than I normally do. This has led me to do a lot of thinking about pretzels and their parallel to people. I know, I go on some strange tangents and I appreciate it when you stick with me!!!!
It occurred to me that I am a pretzel-buying snob, which made me wonder if I am alone in this….as it turns out, I am NOT alone. You see, when I buy hard pretzels I like them to be whole. I like them to look pretty and perfect and intact. I did a little “research” on the internet and found a lot of complaints from other people who are also disappointed to see so many broken pretzels in the bag and/or people who select the bag that appears to have the least broken pretzels in it.
But the funny thing is, when I eat hard pretzels I ALWAYS break them before I eat them! Maddening, I know. I want them to be whole when I buy them, but not when eat them.
The broken pieces are more manageable, they’re easier to dip (if that’s your thing) and they don’t make as many crumbs when you bite into them! And psychologically it seems like you’re getting more if you have more pieces than if you have a single whole pretzel.
So, yes, I want them to be whole when I buy them, but not when I eat them.
This got me to thinking about how I look at people. At first glance or upon the first meeting, I like people who appear to be pretty and perfect and whole. I seek them out and I know you do too. It’s human nature. It can be difficult to think about starting a friendship/relationship with someone who is what many Christians refer to as EGR (extra grace required). Someone who doesn’t have it all together or who appears not to have it all together.
BUT when I really am invested in relationships with people, I find that I like them better when they’re broken – because let’s face it, we’re all broken. I guess when I say “broken” what I mean is “willing to admit their brokenness.” I’d much rather spend time with someone who’s willing to be real, to show me their flaws and faults, and who’s willing to see mine and like me anyway.
If I’m being honest, I must share with you that I didn’t always embrace authenticity. I used to think showing your flaws was a sign of weakness and I went to great lengths to show myself as “together”; but now I see that a willingness to be genuinely you – warts and all – takes great courage and is a show of strength.
I appreciate those people who have put up with me as I’ve learned and grown – especially my pretzel-buying husband who teaches me lessons in ways he may not even realize.
Over the past few weeks I’ve come to realize the most desirable pretzels, like the most desirable people, are the broken ones!!!