Food The Rich and Famous UX

Cumulative Layout Shift, Cancel Culture and My Love for Alison Roman

I fell in love with Alison Roman around 6:30am on a November morning in 2019. 

The bright screen on my phone helps me wake up, and I happened to navigate to the Times piece where Alison Roman shows how to cook a Thanksgiving dinner in a tiny Brooklyn apartment. No longer do I live in a closet in a major city, but I often miss those days of trickery to cook dinner in a communal box kitchen. 

Watching the video made me almost nostalgic for the old days of traditional blogging when healthy living bloggers owned the internet, the days when it was actually enjoyable to visit a food blog. Cumulative Layout Shift as a ranking metric is LONG overdue, and Google’s update in 2021 can’t come soon enough in my opinion.

Since the push to monetize every digital action on the web, blogs have become truly unbearable. Rather than sticking around to read the loving words of a food blogger, I rush in to get a recipe and it’s full body combat trying to avoid the ads flying up, down and seemingly out of the browser. 

Alison Roman gets this (also, isn’t her name just cool? I refer to her by her full name because it’s fun.) She recently posted a non-recipe recipe, and I don’t know if she did this because she, too, becomes enraged when visiting food blogs or if she’s busy being fabulous like the rest of us. 

She was recently embroiled in a bit of cancel culture due to some comments she made that were disparaging toward her fellow female celebs. Well, she apologized for it and went above and beyond in her apology, vowing to respond to any email her fans sent her about how she can do better.

I wanted to email her simply to get an email back and tell everyone that Alison Roman emailed me. Years ago, David Sedaris emailed me after meeting my aunt, who told him I could never afford to attend his readings. He asked for my email and invited me to a BBC recording of his latest work!! DAVID SEDARIS EMAILED ME. From like, a personal gmail address. I also got an email from Sam Sifton once because I light-heartedly complained that he’d implied whiskey was a male pursuit. Didn’t matter what the exchange was, SAM SIFTON EMAILED ME. 

Anyway, I didn’t email her. I certainly wasn’t going to comment on her slip of tongue, because everyone makes mistakes and unlike most people, she handled hers with grace. I sat nervously for days, weeks while she stepped back from social media. I feared that she’d be canceled forever, and end up alone and depressed in her apartment like poor Al Franken. Thankfully, she seems to be doing OK. 

And, yes, I made her caramelized shallot pasta because well, it looked amazing (it was) and when Alison Roman says jump I jump.