There’s a saying in Swedish that translates roughly, “gliding through life on a shrimp sandwich”. I know, it doesn’t make much sense – not even in Swedish. But let’s just spend a few words to dissect this weird epigram a little, shall we?
One somewhat logical explanation, honestly, the only one I can think of right now, is that because a shrimp sandwich like the one above is consider by many (myself included) to be the most luxurious and by default any reputable café’s most costly offering, to “glide” on a shrimp sandwich would consequently imply that some folks are able to slide frictionless and extremely comfortably (with their butts placed on the mayo?) through life without so much as a hitch, hiccup or heckle.
As much as I appreciate a really good shrimp sandwich – like the absolutely superb sample above that I ate for lunch today and which was the best I’ve eaten in a long while – the maxim is certainly not how I would describe my life. A wobbly, rickety roller-coaster ride would be a much more fitting metaphor.
This afternoon, I read an interesting interview with Lisa Brennan-Jobs, the daughter of Apple’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs. She’s out and about right now promoting her new book, “Small Fry” which will be available September 4.
Lisa Brennan-Jobs life seems to have been full of ups and downs. Her varying careers alone would probably make for a good read. But according to the interview, her early years as the daughter to one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, were mostly a series of letdowns.
It’s no secret that Steve Jobs wasn’t an easy person to work with. His notorious shit-fits are part of his legacy and of the lore that surrounds it. And you may have had way too much of the Apple Kool-Aid to not extrapolate his erratic behavior, tantrums and cynicism and understand that there was no way in hell the man could of been anything but a terrible, trauma-inducing father.
Having had similar experiences growing up with a mercurial parent, I can only imagine how unpredictably difficult it must of been to be one of Steve Jobs four children. Especially for Lisa Brennan-Jobs, who’s father first denied his paternity (despite a DNA test confirming him being Lisa’s father) and then still only provided emotional attention periodically and financial support sporadically.
I’ve often thought of writing about my own childhood. But aside from a couple of lengthy, mostly blissful visits to Sweden and that the process might turn out to be cathartic, who else would want to read such a gloomy book? A lost leader, for sure.
I think Lisa Brennan-Jobs is courageous. In the New York Times interview, she’s very clear about just how difficult it is to convey childhood experiences and put ones feelings on display for the world to read, interpret and analyze. And in this day and age, where folks are more polarized on all kinds of more or less important issues than ever before, it takes a lot of guts to share your inner feelings about your father (or, mother). Particularly when he’s Steve Jobs, whom millions love for his genius and showmanship. Lisa Brennan-Jobs is no Small Fry, in my opinion. She’s huge.