I love pie. Apple pie, sweet potato pie, mixed berry pie. Chocolate chess pie, pecan pie, banana cream pie. I love baking pie, and I especially love eating pie… a fact that might explain why the best descriptive I have for my current fashion style is "Mumu Chic". I do love a good mumu.
There's a movie called Waitress starring Keri Russell in which she plays a waitress at a diner who makes the most incredible pies, all from scratch and all to reflect her current mood or circumstances. Her greatest hits include "I Don't Want Earl's Baby Pie" (quiche with brie and smoked ham in the middle), "Fallin' In Love Chocolate Mousse Pie" (self explanatory), "Earl Murders Me Because I'm Having an Affair Pie" (smash blackberries and raspberries into a chocolate crust), and "I Can't Have No Affair Because It's Wrong and I Don't Want Earl to Kill Me Pie" (vanilla custard and banana... hold the banana).
I imagine that if I had ample time and Keri Russell's imaginary movie metabolism I would do this too. At the top of my list currently would be "Bitter Beauty Queen Revenge Pie" (bittersweet chocolate pudding pie, gluten free crust made with unsalted butter, no added sweetness whatsoever), "Please Buy My TV Pilot Pie" (the most decadently classic southern pecan pie with extra brown sugar and a caramel drizzle on top), and "Bored Out of My Mind in Conyers, GA Pie" (fresh Georgia peaches with an ornate basket weave topping and whipped cream). I could keep going... I've got nothing but time.
However, seeing as how I do NOT have Keri Russell's movie metabolism (see Mumu Chic), I will instead focus on a more metaphorical pie. A special kind of pie that doesn’t always go down as sweetly as the others, and tends to get served up hot in life when you least expect it.
I'm speaking, of course, about Humble Pie.
The folks who have been with The Displaced Debutante from the beginning have heard enough stories from my childhood to gather that I was a rather precocious little girl. Before school bullies (or as I like to call them in the adult world - casting directors) beat it out of me, I had a pretty high opinion of myself. I had TV credits, 2 My Size Barbie dolls, a closet full of killer spin dresses with hair bows that matched, and parents who told me that even as a chubby snaggle-toothed disaster I could be anything I wanted to be if I believed hard enough. Life was good, and it was no surprise that by the age of seven I was a little big for my polka-dotted britches. My mother began to take notice, and one night at dinner informed me that I was going to get a slice of humble pie for dessert.
Now as I've already established, I LOVE PIE, so even though I had no idea what she meant by "humble pie" I was still very excited. I paid no attention to the fact that we were at a Mexican restaurant where the closest thing to pie is flan (and let's face it, who ACTUALLY likes flan?) or that there was no pie in the fridge at home. I just spent the rest of the evening imagining what sort of pie would soon be in my belly. Chocolate cream? Lemon meringue? The suspense was killing me.
But when we got home there was no pie. My mother told me to go put on my PJs and that she'd be up in a minute. I did as she said but remained confused - where was my pie? Then indignant - I WAS PROMISED PIE! So when mamma came to tuck me in I demanded pie, and boy did I get it. I forget now what it even was I had done or said that triggered it, but she served up my very first lesson in humility in a way that only she could: super crunchy, but still warm and comforting on the inside. Ever since I have kept humility at the top of the list of principles by which I live my life.
That said, we can't be perfect all the time. To this day I still get served humble pie every now and then. I find it happens most when things are going well in life and I give myself all the credit instead of remembering the true source of my many blessings.
*looking in the mirror* "Damn my skin is looking so good lately! The Gospel According to Lancome for the win!"
*next morning without fail* HUGE ZIT ON MY FACE. God be all like, "The Gospel According to Whom? That's right!"
*working my super unglamorous restaurant job in New York* Emmy Award winning actress Doris Roberts, who I've known since I was 15 years old, walks into the restaurant for lunch and asks that I be allowed to sit with her till her guest arrives. I sit there with her talking about life and sipping a diet coke for about 20 minutes because her guest is late. I immediately feel like my more glamorous self and love every minute of my colleagues getting to see me receive this special treatment. I'm thinking, "The Mary Lane they know is just hostess Mary Lane. THIS is my real life. THIS is where I belong."
*the minute her guest arrives* I waltz back to the host stand feeling very pleased with myself and my manager be all like, "Go clean the bathroom. Floors and toilet stalls too."
*currently on set filming a TV movie for NBC* I think to myself, "I'm on top of the world. My career is about to take off. I've worked so hard and I deserve every bit of this success and now everyone who was ever mean to me is going to be pea green with envy." And yes, I am aware that I just quoted Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind.
*day off from filming* Sitting in a barbecue joint with a friend/fellow cast member/drop dead gorgeous specimen of woman when some locals approach our table and ask her if she's a Hollywood star working on one of the films shooting in the area, which is a fair question because she absolutely looks like one. She blushes humbly and nods, generously including me in the conversation by replying, "We're both here working on a movie for NBC". They smile excitedly and I, sitting there with dirty hair and no make up on, add a falsely humble nod of my own before the man looks to me and asks if I'm a production assistant. Trying to save face I casually (read: awkwardly) reply, "No, actually, I'm also an actress." and then watch his face go from shocked to confused to genuinely nervous as he responds, "Oh... well... uh... good for you!" before shuffling his wife off in a hurry.
How's THAT for some humble pie? But hey - I'm the first to admit that in every one of those instances I needed it. ESPECIALLY thinking it was at all acceptable for me to go out in GEORGIA without my hair fixed and my face on. I mean seriously... I can get away with that behavior up north or out west by putting on a pair of yoga pants and pretending I've just come from SoulCycle... but down here that kind of nonsense doesn't fly!
But in all seriousness, if there's one thing we can count on it's that The Lord will keep us on track. I strive to live my life in His image, and I don't know about you, but my God isn't a fan of self-glorification. He keeps me humble, and I love Him all the more for it. A favorite verse of mine:
"Humble yourselves before THE LORD and He will lift you up."
"... And he will life you up." That's my favorite part of the verse. Because we are not called to think less of ourselves in order to think more of God. There's another great quote that speaks to this:
"Humility doesn't mean you think less of yourself. It means you think of yourself less". - Ken Blanchard
Humble yourself before God - think of yourself less before God - and HE will lift you up. In other words it is not our place to exalt ourselves. That's His job... and won't He do it?! It's OUR job, then, to be grateful. And boy am I ever grateful.
I am grateful for my family. I am grateful for my many, many blessings. I am grateful for the opportunities ahead of me. And most of all, I am grateful for Humble Pie. It feeds the spirit, and without all the calories ;)
With Grace and Good Humor,