new beginnings, and scrambled eggs

I've been wanting to write about scrambled eggs for a few weeks now. They seem to have so much in common with my life these days. I mean, you crack a few eggs into a bowl, beat them with a fork, pour them into a pan and somehow they become a nourishing meal. I know I will come out of this a changed woman. My husband is dead. Half my heart is gone, the other half throbbing out in the open, strewn across these pages.

There is no doubt I will be a changed woman by all of this. The important thing to keep in mind is to try and come out of changed for the better in some way.

Will I be stronger?

Will I be more inclined to love again?

Will I be less inclined to love again?

Will someone want to love me again?

I've always been a glass-half-full sort of gal. I remember back in my Gramery Tavern days a co-worker said I was always cheery, and wondered how I maintained such a sunny outlook. The way I've always figured it is takes a lot more energy to meditate on the bad stuff swirling around the universe. Waking up and deciding to actively seek out happiness, well for me that has always been the more sensible option.

I'll admit, these days though, it's pretty damn easy to want to wallow in the self-pity. I'm pretty sure I'd get a pass if I decided to not shower every day. Surely no one expects me to even take a brush to my hair, let alone make sure my shoes match. Yet these simple acts, these rituals of life are important to me. They offer a sense of control in a very insteady, unsure time of my life.

Right now at this moment in time, it takes a lot more energy to savor the sunshine. It takes a tremendous amount of guts to put myself out there every day. Literally. I step outside my door, and I feel the eyes on me. The looks, that remind me I'm the girl with the dead husband. I know the sad feelings come from a genuine place, but that doesn't make the looks any easier to bear.

But still, I wake, I sometimes even apply mascara, and get dressed. I am deciding to live, not simply exist every morning I wake to a new day.

How does this have anything to do with scrambled eggs? Well, we all have to start somewhere, right? For me, it means learning a new kind of normal, one that doesn't involve my Mikey. For beginner cooks, the ones who say they can't boil water, but at least have the interest to learn, well, I say start by scrambling yourself some eggs.

As I made them for breakfast a few weeks on Cape Cod, I stared down at the pan and felt mesmerized at what those eggs represented. As I poured them into the hot, buttery skillet, I decided scrambled eggs would be the first "recipe" I wrote about since August 7th.

It requires butter, of course. Life is short, use the damn butter. I implore you. Melt some butter in skillet over low heat.

You'll also need patience. Resist the urge to cook your eggs with a quick blast of fire. The proteins will toughen, and you'll end up with rubbery eggs. Low and slow is the key to creamy scrambled eggs.

And take them off the heat when they still look wet. I promise they'll finish cooking up from the residual heat in the pan before you scoop them onto your fork and into your mouth.

I don't have all the answers right now. Heaven knows I never will. All I can say is don't tell me you can't cook—the only thing you need is the "will" to do it. The rest will fall into place with time and practice. You just have to to be patient.


  • elizabeyta

    You touched me again (((hug))). Well said and true. I would feed you tea and homemade toast and jam if you were here.
    Sometimes it is a step forward, pause as you heal and take on that weight. Then another step. Repeat. Eggs are just a first step. Sometimes during the pauses tea and toast are needed.

  • Jen

    And the scrambled eggs are made that much more delicious with the addition of your very own tomato jam. My heart is with you Jennifer.

  • Roz@weightingfor50

    Hi Jennie. LOVE this post (as I love all of your posts) You’re damn right….life is TOO SHORT not to eat butter!!! May you go forward and slather that butter on numerous other dishes in the next little while, enjoying each just a little bit more every day!! 🙂 All the best.

  • Jen S E

    Thanks for this post. I’ve been making eggs wrong and definitely over cooking them for years! Who knew?!

  • Kristin

    I make scrambled eggs for my kids once a week. We put cheese in them, but the kids like them without as well. I’ll admit to using no butter – but I’ll try it. What’s a pat or two of butter between five eggs, right?
    What I also do – to avoid cleaning yet another dish – is crack them into the pan, wait for them to start cooking, then break up the yolks and mix-up the yellow and white. Is that blasphemy for cooks? We like them, but I’ll admit that they aren’t what I’d call creamy. I promise to try them this way the next time they are made. Fingers crossed!
    And the English teacher in me loves the analogy you’ve drawn.

  • IlinaP

    When I talked to an old friend today he remarked that I am happy. I told him happiness is a choice. It’s not always an easy choice, but it’s worth it.
    And I just happened to make my boys scrambled eggs for breakfast today.

  • elizabeth

    What’s kind of amazing about eggs is that they are so resilient when it comes to toppings and mix-ins: ketchup, cheese, green onions, chorizo, maple syrup (just me?), white beans…they can take anything and everything on and be all the more delicious for it.
    Your determination and tenacity is inspiring.

  • Ashlicrowe

    I’m a new reader, but I just wanted to say that I cook scrambled eggs for dinner every night that my husband is away for work. You get to experience the joy of cooking, with simple cleanup, and you don’t have to be sad about leftovers because you can cook just the right amount for you.
    Keeping you in my thoughts.

  • Molly Chester

    I don’t know you, but I can hear within your writing that you are still there. I’m sure you must be strewn in a million pieces, but your essence is there.
    I once heard that if you’ve known love, it is actually easier to find it again. Seems insane to me, as it must to you, because being in love makes you realize just how much synchronicity it requires. However upon second glance, most people don’t even know what they are looking for. You do. You have it there in your heart. You understand it. You’ve been there and still are in a very honest and pure way. You’re actually very unique in this experience, and in my view, you are fertile ground for love in any form it may choose to take – friendships, children, food and yes, maybe even partnership.
    Bless you.

  • Victoria

    “Life is short, use the damn butter.” I want that on an apron. And an injunction to prevent Paula Deen from ever using that phrase.

  • Adrian J.S. Hale

    Somebody asked me to teach a class on eggs. I’ve been trying to decide what kind of class I was going to teach to raise money to help your fund, but I wasn’t sure a class on eggs would fit.
    It fits. I’m sending out the email tonight.
    Isn’t it strange that putting on mascara, at times, can seem a revolutionary act? It’s nice to hear you’re deciding to live your life fully. Thanks for writing it all down…

  • amiee

    happy to hear that i have been making eggs scrambled right all these years. and i am not sure happy is the world, maybe it is, to hear that you are finding that thread towards happiness and holding it and weaving it into your life as often as you can.

  • Jen Yu

    I love you, lady. A great post that gave me a big chuckle. And now I’m wondering if I should have named my blog “use the damn butter” instead? xoxo

  • Maja

    Dear Jennie, nothing to say that hasn’t already been said. You are one of few people, that I don’t personally know, that I think about often and that I wish upon a star for… (((((hugs)))) You are one tough woman! With a sense of humor! Ehhh. I’m writing and deleting, everything seems so…not enough…
    Just wanted to let you know…

  • Elissa

    While I’m a great egg poacher, scrambled eggs have somehow always confounded me…
    The taking them off the heat trick? I’m going to try it!!
    So simple, so smart!! (Well, then again, it is you…)

  • Jessica / Green Skies and Sugar Trips

    Life is short, use the damn butter” can I put that everywhere? Stickers, shirts, aprons, foreheads, NYC SPRING FASHION WEEK!!!!!!
    Love it, love scrambled eggs, and love butter. You are beyond resilient and astounding. Kudos to you Jennie for simply, being you.

  • Michelle W. Flannery

    With all the complexities of the average daily life, and all the unknowns that can suddenly slap us in the face and knock us off our feet, reaching for something simple and uncomplicated, and embracing it, can be genuinely comforting.
    Scrambled eggs has always been that for me Jenny. Not just eating them, but the act of preparing them, just as you described (with lots of butter). It slows down my thoughts, slows down my expectations, and encourages me to take slow deep breaths instead of rapid shallow ones. Thank you for pointing out the parallels. It’s still early, so I think I’ll have scrambled eggs for breakfast this morning. Bless you Jenny!

  • Tracey

    Oh how I remember that stage! “Even though I am empty, I will continue on the fumes!” Good girl! You are in my thoughts and prayers! Glad you are eating and cooking the eggs. Wear yellow today, of course the right shade for you! Sending sunshine,

  • Bettyboop

    I wish you lived on my street so I could cook you scrambled eggs and give you a hug. Life is a test and you will definitely pass. And, I want one of the aprons because we use the damn butter…

  • Stephanie

    Elizabeth, my son loves ketchup and maple syrup together on his eggs. I thought he was the only one on earth that ate that ghastly looking combination. I’m not even brave enough to try that, makes me shudder, but he loves it. Go figure.
    I love creamy scrambled eggs, now I know-turn down the heat! A great place to start over!

  • stephanie

    Lovely. I am reminded of a quote from Abraham Lincoln – “most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”- it’s probably not verbatim, but it’s what I remember and try to remind myself when it’s not so easy. I am thinking of you, and hope that you continue to find your way.

  • Tiffany

    I was listening to a Sonoio album this morning on my way to work and there is a line in one of his songs that says, “I don’t have the answers, only these things called possibilities.”
    You will never have the answers, you are right. But you will always have possibilities; and it looks like you are taking advantage of them wherever you can. Keep it up, and you will be happy again. I promise.

  • Julie

    I lost my husband two years ago and so relate to your comments about feeling the eyes of others upon you. I found, and still find it difficult to receive the attention, that absolutely comes from a place of love. I just remind myself, no one gets out of here alive and the promise of Heaven keeps me going. My children and I look forward with anticipation to the day when we will again be with our beloved.
    Give eternity some thought…… can take away little bits of the sadness. Even today, I can’t believe my David is gone-
    I will add you to my prayers.

  • Elizabeth of AsianinAmericamag

    I love your posts and how you manage to find the most profound lessons in the simplest tasks. Thanks for the insight and the inspiration, Jennie! You are my hero! And especially love the “BUTTER” advice! Yes, indeed…taking the butter dish now and placing real butter on it!

  • Candice

    Scrambled eggs were the first thing I learned how to cook, so this really struck a chord with me. The power of them as a beginning is so right on. The “daily thought” I get in my email was this today:
    “The thing that’s important to know is that you never know. You’re always sort of feeling your way.”
    ― Diane Arbus
    I know your life is beyond simple description right now, but I think you are a real inspiration.

  • Lori C

    You are an amazing woman, and such an inspiration. Making scrambled eggs for dinner tonight… with butter.

  • Louise Cook

    You probably didn’t mean to but you made me laugh about using butter. You are so right. I’m shopping today and butter goes BACK on the list.
    I konw you’re still hurting so badly and you may not recognize it but you are making great strides towards the happy, optimistic woman that you are basically. Each blog shows that you’re heading towards the ‘light’. God Bless you. You are one brave and gutsy woman.

  • Sonya

    We made scrambled eggs last night. Butter and patience are key. We’re grieving right along with you. Grieving also requires patience. Don’t ever forget that. Your pain and grief are so palpable for me. My dad passed away more than 10 years ago. Missing someone who loved you and whom you loved so much… I don’t know if you’re a Bible reader, but I find so much comfort in the hope of the resurrection to life on earth. I relish seeing my dad as a healthy and happy man. I look forward to seeing many loved ones reunited again too. Death is an enemy, for sure, as the Bible itself says, and it will be done away with in due time. Hope you find comfort from the scriptures as I did.

  • afouf

    You will be stronger and surprise your self!! dont ask me how, but you will, after my hubby died i thought the whole world fell on me and all you wonder about i questioned too!! the only difference is that i got ppl around me who drew a path for me and expected me to walk, that i am only and only for my son!!
    take it from me, i didnot do it their way, but took my time, there were times i really didnot want to wake up and the only thing got me hanging to life was my little baby, but but all i could remember i was stronger than ever since the moment he died!! you will feel teh power in you and will wonder how the hell did you get this strenght, but i guess it is a human nature, we thrive, and do whatever to hang on this life and protect our own children…
    one day you will find love, i found mine 4 years later, but i am an exception, since i had my path drawn for me!! it will come,just live your day one at a time, tomorrow will come good or bad, the point is to live it in every way…it is you who sees it and decides upon…
    be happy and i will keep you in my thoughts..

  • Angel

    If I happened to live in your neighborhood and happened to see you walk out your front door, I wouldn’t be thinking “There goes the girl with the dead husband”…I would be thinking “There goes that brave, wonderful Jennie, man, I wish I had half her moxie.” So, even though those knowing looks may remind you of what is never far from your thoughts anyhow…maybe you can see it as the support and love that we all are sending to you and turn it into something that gives you a boost, instead of drags you down. Because we ARE out here pulling for you and wanting to help boost you up.

  • Brooke

    I can tell by the tone in your “voice” you are slowly but surely beginning to heal, if only just a teensy weensy bit…you’re sort of starting to “set up” like your eggs, becoming something and someone more solid and of substance again. My only child and most precious daughter moved out of home this morning, embarking on her adult life. She left in the wee dark, headed off to adventures I’ll learn about via email, chat, and text messages. It’s midafternoon and I’m still weepy. It’s NOTHING, I realize fully, compared to what you’re going through, but it’s something to me and my husband and our now too-quiet house. A light has gone out of our lives. Relish your children and hug them ’til they squirm. And then hug them again.

  • Emily

    Whoa. I just made scrambled eggs using these directions and I was totally blown away. Who would have thought that being patient could really make your eggs taste that much better?

  • Marsha

    You have blessed me with your blog. I have subscribed for over a year and looked forward to your entries. I didn’t understand what was happening when I watch the last dance video clip until I searched for you and found more info.
    I have shared this with several people who have had similar events lately in their lives and it has helped them. One had a brother killed in a motorcycle accident about the same time and really needed the encouragement.
    Thanks for being so transparent. God Bless you and my prayers are with you now and in the future.

  • Carolyn

    Thank you for the recipe and your words. You are stronger than ever, and in time, you will want to love again and you will be loved as much as ever.

  • steph

    I know it was difficult to write this, but I thank you. The past three years have been torture on our family, but we’re still here and I sometimes need reminders to be thankful. Some night all I can muster for dinner is “eggyritos.” I feel like a failure, but my son loves them and my husband raves about my egg cooking ability. I generally ignore him, but now I see the value in his compliment. Love and peace to you!

  • Gayle

    Hi Jennie, I appreciate your honesty, eloquence and your ability to be authentic. You gift of writing touches me. Thank you for sharing your blog with us. Gayle Schlaefli

  • Sandra

    You will have ups and downs, months, weeks, days. I still do after 18 months. Just keep surrounding yourself with friends and family and it will be ok – they are the angels we forget we have by our sides.

  • joanne nixon

    scrambled eggs is a good place to start….
    lots of people do not know how to make scrambled eggs that are nice and creamy…fluffy…without being rubbery…
    you are so right about the butter….life is way too short…
    dear jennie….you will come out of this a changed woman, and oh, what an inspiration you are!

  • Amanda Smith

    Jennie, Your blog is giving me so much perspective, gratitude, humility, empathy – despite the sadness what I get from your blog is hope and I love you for that. I freaking love butter! People need to get back to basics and grab a butter stick more often!

  • Rose

    Buttery scrambled eggs have always been a comfort food to me. Somehow, the hot buttery creamy scrambled goodness, on a buttery piece of toast or crispy buttered English muffin, makes me feel safe and loved. (because of my mom, I guess) She passed away 12 years ago, probably about the time you were becoming a chef in 1999. Every time I eat scrambled eggs, I’m thinking of her.
    I hope that every bite of scrambled eggs is a comfort for you, too, as you mourn.
    From a friend far away in Wyoming,

  • Claudia

    My goodness Jennie, you are amazing! I like people like you, you not only force yourself to move forward and be positive, but you inspire others to do the same. You are setting an amazing example for your girls, with this positive outlook.
    Warm wishes 🙂

  • Deb

    This quote got me through a very hard time in my life. I wish you and your girls all the best!
    “When you have come to the edge of all light that you know and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly”

  • kathy jan

    use the damn butter. Amen.
    All of us are sending you positive thoughts and affirmations. And we admire your amazing strength even if you don’t recognize yet how powerful it is.

  • Laura @ Casa del Hansen

    Jennie – have you read/heard of “A Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion? If not, you might be interested in looking into it… it’s all about Didion’s attempts to re-navigate life after tragedy, and I was amazed by it, as well as how similar some of her thoughts were to yours. I’m sure you’re getting bombarded with advice right now – and forgive me for adding to the list. I just wish I could know what to say, and I’m wondering if maybe hearing from someone who’s been there would be helpful?
    All I know is that we all know you’ll make it through this new journey, and we’re happy to be here for you as you figure out who you’ll be at the end.

  • Ingrid

    Hi there,
    I am writing from Belgium. Nobody has made me feel more confident these days!Even if life is not always on my side, still I’ll keep on moving.
    Thank you for the eggs with butter and salt 😉

  • Margie

    Thank you for the eggs, but more importantly, thank you for the inspiration.
    I’m not a young whipper-snapper in the kitchen, but today at my age, I learned not to cook my eggs over such high heat.
    You have much to give this world. I’ll be here following you. There’s no need for mascara or matched shoes. You’ll learn that as you age. In the meantime, give us your greatest gift, yourself, unapologetically.

  • Christine

    I happened upon your blog by searching for recipes. I was caught by the ‘for Mikey” post and the Creamy Peanut Butter Pie. My husband’s name is Mikey, he loves all things chocolate and peanut butter. But, when I read your post I instantly knew that this was going to be a journey far beyond recipes. My heart goes out to you, Jen. You are touching all of us with your bravery and grace…reminding us that each of us is given the gift of life and each of us must relinquish it. It is so fragile, so random, moments can be exquisitely joyful…and exquisitely painful. It’s crazy and there is no making sense of it sometimes. 🙁 Thank you for sharing your experience in such a visceral way. You are as brilliant as a writer as you are a chef.

  • debra/eatquestnyc

    amidst the scarier things in life are loneliness, firsts and moving forward – without your love. somehow it actually becomes possible, eventually with less pain, less confusion and some kind of forgiveness for being a little happy again. your mikey is never really far away from the new normal, even tho it does suck that he’s not sharing it with you on this plane. it’s just different. and not what you planned for or expected. and it sucks.
    you are incredible. what you share, how articulate you are, how you can’t deny glimmers of hope through the sorrow, how fabulous your kids are because they know and understand and are lucky enough to be learning from you by example. they clearly carry mikey’s spirit and your shared love deep in their souls.
    so boots and mascara and eggs will take you thru tomorrow and friends and dinners and trips will take you thru the next days and work will come easier and whatever grief or joy that is in between – all of it will nourish your own soul and heal most of your heart. less would be crumbs, more is icing. i wish you all….cake.

  • Monica

    A quick tip Jennie.. if you add a bit of cream, they are even creamer still… cream and butter… because yes, life is too damn short.
    Hugs to you!

  • Miranda

    Rooting for you and thankful that you are making the choice to get up and live, without numbing yourself to the pain.
    To be selfish for a moment, any guidance on types of skillets — cast iron, nonstick, what?

  • Gee

    Jennie, I did not know you until “after Mikey”. But I can promise you that you have helped me hug my husband harder every single day. And I am using butter. Lots of butter. Keep baking. Keep writing.

  • Belle

    I am not a scrambled eggs kind of person and probably because I don’t cook them right? But I have never had a poached egg in my life & I became 50 this year. So inspired by your blog, I got out my ole faithful Betty Crocker cookbook and attempted to make a poached egg. The first one the white dispersed into the water looking like an octopus, the second one I poured a closer to the water & it was perfect. I found out I like poached eggs and going to try to make eggs benedict.

  • Lynn Harron

    It sounds to me that you are normal. I, too, was this ravaged a month after my husband died rather unexpectedly. It’s been four years; it gets better but it is never the same. I will pray for your peace.

  • Anne

    When you will be ready, someone will love you. That’s for sure. I have seen pictures of you, you are a beautiful and radiant woman. I have read your blog, you are an intelligent, funny and caring person. You are a great mom. Plus, you are a huge fan club. That says a lot about you!!! On top of it, you are an amazing cook! As far as I am concerned, you are the perfect woman.
    Most of the single men tell me that “all the good women are taken so it is hard to find one…”. When you are ready, you will find love. That’s a certainty.
    PS: I hope that I didn’t say anything inappropriate…

  • Elizabeth A. Summers

    Like most who commented before me, I will never again make scramble eggs without thinking “use the damn butter”!!! and I will smile and think of Jennie and Mikey and their girls who I know only through this blog.
    I LOVE to cook. I LOVE GOOD food. I LOVE life and I recognize that we all need to love and appreciate everything that we have right this very moment.
    Loss, any loss, it is both hard, more often than not not understandable and changes each of us in different ways.
    Sharing loss enlarges us, I am convinced. Thank you for sharing your journey through your loss.

  • J Gottlieb

    Jennie, I share your pain.. I lost my husband to a heart attack 8yrs this November…this poem by Nancy Wood helps me in my darkest moments….
    Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
    Hold on to what you believe even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
    Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
    Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
    Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.

  • Kris

    I wanted to share something with you…..
    I had a new client come in our upholstery/interior design store yesterday.
    She told me she wants to decorate her entire new home. The room she wants to start with is the Master. She kept saying she wanted to make it a happy place. It wasn’t happy right now. Then we talked about guest rooms and bathrooms and her husbands office.
    “He’s not with me anymore, but I still want to make his office nice.” she said.
    I thought that was odd. It wasn’t until she told me he had suddenly passed away that I understood. Her eyes welled with tears, as did mine. I asked her if it would be too hard to do that. She shook her head, “No.” I want to do it.
    She is getting her life back together. But first needs closure on what she and her husband started together.
    We found fabrics and wallpaper she knew he would love. I am so proud and excited to help her.
    I hope you too find closure someday.

  • Kristen

    Jennie, I don’t know you personally, but I think you have the most beautiful soul. I find myself coming back here regularly to “check” on you. I wanted to share this quote with the hope that it gives you some small degree of comfort, some day….
    ‘Your joy can fill you only as deeply as your sorrow has carved you.’
    ~Kahlil Gibran

  • Kim in MD

    Thanks for the scrambled egg recipe and metaphor, Jennie. Although we have never met, I think about you and your girls several times a day. I think this is the perfect recipe to start with since losing your Mikey. And yes- you have to use the damn butter in order to make great scrambled eggs…well said!

  • Vicky

    I just met you too and will continue on.. I lost my husband 7 years ago. I’m not a young age anymore and my girls are all grown up and married with families of their own. I still mourn my loss but have healed from the raw hurt. God Bless You! You will heal in time.

  • Ayla

    I think “yes” will be the answer to all four of your questions , a very loud, a very sure YES, like the ones that kids say when you ask them if they want chocolate pudding.
    You are such a strength to your girls and such an inspiration to them.
    Decades from now your girls will tell their children how strong their mom was and she she made their world “ok” again one day at a time.
    You have love and all it’s courage to move you forward during these difficult days.
    Take great care.

  • April

    I know it’s weird and I don’t even know you but I just have to say, I’m proud of you. Cheers to scrambled eggs made with butter. Cheers to savouring life.

  • Kathleen

    Your posts are so beautiful. I’m so happy to have stumbled upon your blog. You really are an inspiration. I totally can relate to finding the new normal. Ever since my husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at 46 years young our life has changed drastically. Especially when it comes to food and wine. We have started so many new normals with our life that I can’t imagine going back to our old ways. One day at a time is my new motto.

  • Shelley

    I think it’s a bit like the state of the kitchen when cooking…it gets worse and then it gets better. If we stopped in the middle we’d be left with nothing but dirty dishes and raw eggs…
    I would never say it doesn’t still ache but it eases.
    Hang in there.

  • shari brooks

    love this post. it touches on so many key points about loss and moving on and living life no matter how damn impossible that feels. I’ve been following your blog for a while. Actually since a very good friend, Rebecca Levey, encourage me to start my blog My Judy the Foodie to pay tribute to my mother after her early death. Thank you for continuing to be an inspiration….even to kitchen-clueless girls like me.

  • Esther Garcia

    que sera.
    you already know that things will slowly change for you. you don’t know how long it will take, you don’t know what will happen during that time frame. just LIVE! he would want you to be just as lively as you were before he left. you will be with him again. for now, LIVE!
    your daughters need their mommy. the wonderful mother they have always and will always have. i’m not trying to be cold-hearted, please don’t take this the wrong way. i’m just saying this because THEY still need you. and even more! you’re all they have now. stay strong <3 chin up and be happy and healthy for them.
    children need happiness. they need bright smiles, they need all the love they can get. if you don't show them the sad side of you, don't think they don't know.
    once again... i'm sorry if i offend you in any way. i just had a hard childhood and want you to see this from that viewpoint.