“Short Story Collections and Bakeries”

When we first moved to Connecticut we visited Mozzicato’s bakery in Hartford pictured above. The left picture shows portions of two of the three filled cases they feature, filled with sweets, savory offerings, candy and gelato. On the right is a selection shown close up to give you an idea of some of the variety they sell. I had grown up knowing only plain or sugared doughnuts, butterhorns and bear claws. Now I was stopped in my tracks, overwhelmed by the assortment with no idea how to choose. I wanted to be handed one that I might savor and not have to deal with so many at once.

Friends from the gym and friends of friends formed a Zoom book club a few months back to meet once a month and discuss a book chosen by one of us. This past Friday we were meeting over a selection of short stories by Amy Bloom called Come to Me. I struggled with the book without exactly knowing why. I appreciated nearly each story, but I didn’t like reading them as a collection. I was having the Mozzicato experience: too much to digest!

It turns out that I like to linger over a story, a novel, a poem, a painting or a piece of music. I shy away from collections of each. Even in an art museum I prefer to focus on one painting for a long time instead of taking in the whole exhibit. And I frequently am ready to walk out of a music performance after I feel full.( I do wait for an intermission!) It’s taken me way too many years to understand that about myself. It took an agreement to read a collection of short stories to finally see what is true: I get overwhelmed by variety. No wonder I always order vanilla ice cream!

27 thoughts on ““Short Story Collections and Bakeries”

  1. That’s an interesting thing to know about yourself.
    But as far as the doughnuts go, one of each would work for me! I could work along their cabinet, over the course of a few days. That would save me making a single difficult choice 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

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  2. I often feel sensory overload when I receive too much. I invest so much of myself in each experience it does not take long to become fully saturated.

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  3. I know exactly what you mean! Small stores instead of giant super stores. The MFA in Boston is too much for me all at once. I could go on and on. I think it was Logan Airport that made me realize I need things in small bites.

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  4. Interesting! I love the look of all those beautiful donuts but in reality I’ll choose the same one or two each time. And my poor husband can’t understand why I take so long with a giant menu in a restaurant! Too many choices!

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  5. I’m a vanilla girl too 😊. I’d be terribly confused trying to decide what pastry to choose from that display – and wonder if the one I chose was as nice as the others
    I finding I’m getting ‘ overwhelmed’ at the library…….all those books on all those shelves start to look the same after a while. And I get a crick in my neck walking down the aisles trying to read the titles

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  6. This is a very interesting personality trait or characteristic, Elizabeth. I have noticed something similar with my younger son. It is good read your post and gain clarity in my mind. It gives me more direction it dealing with his and his preferences. Thank you.

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  7. I remember returning the U.S. after a long trip abroad in an underdeveloped country. I went into the supermarket to get yogurt. After about fifteen minutes I left the store in a daze, without having purchased anything. There were so many choices in the dairy counter that I became completely overwhelmed!

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  8. An interesting observation.
    I can relate to feeling overwhelmed by too many selections in another way. This usually happens to me in drugstores where now my eyes tire from having to scan a whole isle of 100 variations on the one simple thing I’m looking for!

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