Excerpt: 'Burnt Toast' by Teri Hatcher

Despite her successful acting career and the current fame she is enjoying with her starring role on "Desperate Housewives," Teri Hatcher, a single mother, says she can still feel "very fragile and very insecure."

She explores these feelings in "Burnt Toast: And Other Philosophies of Life," in which she speaks frankly about her life -- including her sexless honeymoon and the tabloid headlines that call her anorexic -- in hopes that other women will learn from what she has gone through and become stronger from it.

In fact, the title of her new book, "Burnt Toast," is a metaphor for women who too often take the leftovers for themselves -- something Hatcher says she is trying not to do as much, but still does.

You can visit Hatcher's website at www.myburnttoast.com.

Below is an excerpt from the book.

Toast. Think about it for a moment. It probably has the simplest recipe in the world: one ingredient, one instruction. Still, you know when you're trying to make it and you just can't get it right? It's too light or too soft, then... totally burnt. Charred in a matter of seconds -- now it's more like a brick than a piece of toast. So what do you do? Are you the kind of person who tries to scrape off the black? Or do you smother it with jam to hide the taste? Do you throw it away, or do you just eat it? If you shrug and eat the toast, is it because you're willing to settle for less? Maybe you don't want to be wasteful, but if you go ahead and eat that blackened square of bread, then what you're really saying -- to yourself and to the world -- is that the piece of bread is worth more than your own satisfaction.

Up 'til now, I ate the burnt toast. I learned that from my mother -- metaphorically if not literally. I can't actually remember if she even likes toast or how she eats it. But what I know for sure is that although she was a loving and devoted wife and mother, she always took care of everyone and everything else before herself. This habitual self-sacrifice was well intended, but ultimately it's a mixed message for a child. It taught me that in order for me to succeed, someone else had to suffer. I learned to accept whatever was in front of me without complaint because I didn't think I deserved good things.

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