And what’s so special about one burnt toast? Just toss it in the bin and start all over again after all, there’s more bread where that came from. What’s one miserable burnt toast anyway? My sentiment exactly when I picked up a copy of Teri Hatcher’s biography, Burnt Toast on a recent trip. Oh, by the way, for those who are not in the know, Teri Hatcher is the actress who plays Susan Mayer in the hit TV show Desperate Housewives and she has a Golden Globe award to show for her effort. But before Desperate Housewives, Teri played Lois Lane alongside Clark in the TV series Superman.

Still wondering where this is all leading? Patience! Well, I picked up Burnt Toast (Yeah! Yeah!!) not exactly sure of what I would find until a quote jumped right at me “Toast. Are you the kind of person who tries to scrape off the black? Or do you smother it with jam to hide the taste? Do you throw it away, or do you just eat it up? If you shrug and eat the toast, is it because you’re willing to settle for less? Maybe you don’t want to be wasteful, but if you go ahead and eat the blackened square of bread, then what you are really saying to yourself and the world- is that the piece of bread is worth more than your own satisfaction”.

Now tell me that this quote isn’t worth your time! Doesn’t it just twang a familiar string somewhere? Oh believe me, I have eaten so many burnt toasts, metaphorically speaking that is, but the good news is that ‘I ain’t eating no more burnt or charred toast’ either from my own kitchen or from the kitchen of some self-righteous persons whom my job (unfortunately) thrusts in my face now and then. And so should you! It’s never too late to say enough is enough! Teri herself confesses, “I ate the burnt toast then I hit forty”
If you’re still thumbing your nose and thinking, ‘I have never eaten any burnt toast because I only eat packaged French toast’ or because ‘I hate toasts anyway’ then you won’t mind playing catch up with us now, would you? OK here goes; how many times have you waited hand and foot on a jerk whom you should have given the marching orders since the day before yesterday?

Aren’t you the one who offers everybody a fast track invitation into your life so they can trash it to their hearts content? How many times have you refused to fight back even when someone stood on your toes and pinned you down?
Do you remember how many times you could have taken a shot at happiness but thought NAH, I don’t deserve to be happy, someone else deserves it better than I do? Remember how self-depreciating you can be at best of times? What about those times you put yourself down thinking you were being modest and humble? And aren’t you always waiting for the right opportunity instead of creating one? Aren’t you always so self-sacrificial?
And you stand there thinking; so what if I ate one burnt toast? One burnt toast, 10 burnt toasts? Do you have to eat burnt toast at all? Do you have to think yourself a loser that you can’t even accept a well intentioned compliment, manages failure, expects that even your best efforts would be good enough, believes you don’t deserve to take a shot at happiness and have no right to throw your head back and laugh out loud???

There comes a time when we must step outside our comfort zone (which at the best of times is anything but comfortable) and break some rules. We could for a start. “Learn to create the right moment rather than wait for it. Wear your heart on your sleeves instead of feigning cool disinterest. Be a little naughty and reject the goodie-goodie image which has constrained you. Throw off your demure, passive façade and take the last biscuit” (quote taken from the Nine Secrets of Women Who Get What They Want by Kate White, Editor-In –Chief Redbook).
And if anyone serves you burnt toast, ever again, make sure she’s toast.


The book Morning Dew was first published in 2008.

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