Last week I went to a baking class at Book Larder and it was a blast. It’s the sort of thing I wouldn’t have minded doing alone in Denver (in fact, I did do it in Denver just before I left, with the lovely Shauna of The Long I Pie), but for some reason I was a bit nervous about doing it alone in this new city.
Most of the time I still feel like an outsider, and I’m constantly anxious that everyone can tell just by looking at me that I'm new here. Rationally I know that couldn’t possibly be the case, but given that I have to rely on my phone to get pretty much anywhere, it's hard not to think about it. A tiny part of me worried that I'd show up to pie class and not know the local pie secrets and then everyone would be unfriendly and make me wish we'd never left Denver. I'm a grown-up, though, and I'm determined not to let fear keep me from doing the things I want to do.
What happened was that I had a great time. The store was as cool as I imagined it would be, the teacher was a total pro, and the mother and daughter sitting next to me have lived in my neighborhood for decades. They gave me all the insider tips I needed: which dry cleaner to use, which grocery store is the best, which restaurants have been around long enough to stand the test of time and become their favorites. I considered asking them for their phone numbers, but I didn’t want to come on too strong.
I suppose Ponyboy (the original outsider) was onto something when he pointed out that we all see the same sunset. Last week I found a sunset in the form of a place where people come together over pie, surrounded by books, and it made me feel a little bit less like an outsider.