In the interest of staying true to the goal of this page and spreading reality instead of false ideals: I cannot make hard-boiled eggs well.
Now don’t get me wrong I KNOW how to make hard-boiled eggs but it always goes wrong.
Now inevitably when I say I can’t make hard-boiled eggs the person (or people) I’m talking to always start giving me directions or tips. Because I haven’t searched the internet and tried every “recipe” I’ve found to make hard-boiled eggs. (insert childish eyeroll). Like I said, I KNOW how you make hard-boiled eggs. You boil them in water for a length of time which seems to vary between 10-20 minutes. Here’s where some of the variation comes in: some will let them continue to cook as the water temperature comes down, some cover the pot, some put salt or vinegar in the water and some don’t (I told you, I’ve researched and heard this a lot). But then once the particular cooking method is complete you are supposed to shock them with ice cold water to cause the egg to retract from the shell making them easier (and nicer) to peel.
See? I KNOW how to make them, but every.damn.time. I actually try to cook eggs they ultimately come out under-cooked or as shown in Exhibit A, the shell won’t peel. And somehow, as if by magic, if the Mr. helps me the eggs come out beautifully. If I understood what magic touch he had to make my attempt at cooking hard-boiled eggs work it would be a glorious day.
But it got me thinking about everyone who always offers me advice when I say I cannot accomplish this incredibly simple kitchen task. Why are you trying to “fix” it? And thus why are you trying to “fix” something that I am terrible at?
Some days I find it incredibly frustrating that I can do lots of other wonderful kitchen things but this basic task is beyond me but ultimately in the karmic lottery of life, I’ll take not being able to make hard-boiled eggs over not being able to provide dinner for my family.
And then it got me thinking about how this impacts life in general. We are a society of “fixers”, we see a flaw and we want to make it better. I was guilty of this for a very long time, still am on occasion, but I have found that giving unsolicited, well meant advice isn’t necessary and sometimes damaging to relationships. There is nothing wrong with being imperfect or just wanting to complain once and a while.
This attitude can lead to some consequences.
I have often found myself on the advice giving side of things when hearing about people’s problems or issues. Many years ago I realized I was giving lots of unsolicited advice like I had this whole life deal in the bag and really knew what I was talking about. While I feel like I’ve got a good handle on things, I am also keenly aware now that my handle on life comes from my experiences and the path that I’ve taken to get here. My lived experience is not true of everyone else and while research may point to a lot of good ideas, not everyone’s life is the same and not everyone is ready to take whatever steps at a particular time for whatever reason. While there are some “truths” in life there are also a lot of variables and what one person is ready to tackle another person may not be.
I realized specifically while talking to one friend many years ago I was attempting to “fix” her life in an attempt to pat my own ego on the back. As you can imagine, this realization made me question what kind of “friend” I actually was. What must it be like trying to be friends with someone who behaved like she knew it all? It must be pretty difficult especially when looking back on things, I “knew it all” FROM MY PERSPECTIVE which does not necessarily guarantee I understand anything from some one else’s.
So back to the hard-boiled eggs, now when people give me unsolicited advice I often nod and smile because I know many of them are coming from a place of love or helpfulness. But ultimately I have to take it all in, sift through the information before jumping on anyone’s bandwagon and I’ve thought twice about giving advice. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not afraid to state my opinion but I try hard to stay away from “fixing” anyone’s problems and I don’t get upset if they don’t do exactly what I tell them to do.