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The Great Peeta vs. Gale Debate: In Which Erin Shamelessly Lobbies For Votes By Talking About Cake

Erin's turn in Round 2 of the Great Peeta vs. Gale Debate: because the best analogies always involve bacon. 

The Great Peeta vs. Gale Debate: In Which Erin Shamelessly Lobbies For Votes By Talking About Cake

Okay, Henri, you've made some good points, although comparing Peeta to Bryan Adams was a low blow, and also completely untrue. Bryan Adams? Please. First of all, Peeta does not croon in music videos set to scenes from the 1991 movie, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Secondly, Peeta is not a Canadian. I know this, because I have no overwhelming desire to punch him in the face. (Sorry, Canadian readers! I've really quite enjoyed getting to know your rich heritage through the five minutes that the Today Show devotes to you every morning during the Olympics!)

Of course, your comparison of Gale to Jay-Z is just as laughable, because Gale is not, has never been, nor will ever be, a baller like Sean Carter. Can you picture Gale going triple-platinum, making his own vodka, marrying Beyonce and cheating on her with Rihanna? No. It's just never going to happen. He'd end up friend-zoning Beyonce and helping her do the choreography for "Old Cat Ladies (Knit a Sweater for Them)," the follow-up to her smash hit "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)."

But allow me to instead draw another comparison, one steeped in a language which is a native tongue to me. Yeah. I'm talking baked goods.

Peeta is hot, muscled, smart, sweet, and a morally upright guy, and all of that is pretty important to lasting happiness, I guess. But what is MOST important is that he can bake.

Baked goods are currency for the soul. What stressful day is not immediately made better by a cupcake? What lazy morning is complete without croissants or hot cross buns? What birthday celebration is held without a cake, collapsing under the weight of all those candles? What food-related holiday meal is consumed without pie? What is a trip to the mall if you don't hit up Cinnabun??

Baked goods are a celebration for the senses and a balm for the soul. (And extra padding for jeans, but whatever, Katniss could probably stand to gain a few pounds.) They are a gift to give to someone you love: "Here is not something you need. Here is something you want."

And Peeta is capable of delivering on the gospel of baked goods! Peeta knows how to say, "You've had a bad day, fighting people to the death and also leading a revolution. Here, have a soufflé."

And Katniss needs someone like that, for the very reason that Katniss doesn't know how to cheer someone up. Can you imagine being Katniss's friend and coming over to her house in the Tribute Village, sitting down on her couch and sighing, "Oh, Katniss. I just don't know what to do. I think Chrislet* is cheating on me, and also President Snow came by last night and killed my parents." Kat wouldn't know what to do. She can't pat you on the back and say, "It's okay; I'm here for you." She'd get up, storm out, and return with the head of President Snow's aide on a platter. She wouldn't even bother to decorate it with parsley or a reduced balsamic glaze and make it look fancy, either.

Kat's a take charge, no-holds-barred, kind of girl, and I love that about her! But that needs to be tempered, balanced out, or else she'll end up like Claire on Lost, all matted hair and crazy eyes. Peeta provides that balance, that light, that sweetness. Kat takes care of business; Peeta takes care of the soul.

Gale's just too much like Katniss for it to really work. It's why they're great friends! It's also why they're attracted to one another, because everyone is just a little narcissistic. But those two crazy kids should take my advice: never date someone who is just like you. It's a disaster! Instead of an even division of labor and fun, there is just all labor, or all fun, depending on what kind of people you are. And you end up sitting on the couch all day, playing Mario Kart and/or honing your skills with Duck Hunt. Nothing ever actually gets done.

Kat and Peeta, on the other hand, well! There's a match made in post-apocalyptic dystopia heaven! Kat will be in charge of Getting Stuff Done, and Peeta will be in charge of Sitting Back And Enjoying The Little Things. And those are both important aspects of everyday life. Plus, Kat will go kill the food, and Peeta will make it actually appetizing. Kat will lead the revolution, but Peeta will lead the reconstruction.

If Gale and Kat were a food item, they would be the Bacon Explosion:

And don't get me wrong. I really, really want to try the Bacon Explosion. Once. Just to say I did it. But then never, ever again. I mean, look at that thing! Can you imagine a relationship like that? All meat, delicious meat, but no sweetness, no light. Just depressing, artery-clogging protein every day of your life.

Katniss and Peeta, on the other hand, are totally the bacon cupcake:

Rich, delicious, and a little sinful. A perfect balance between indulgent chocolate and earthy bacon. Filling, but not suffocating. Complex and satisfying.

Now, see, if it were me? I probably would choose Gale. Cause I bake all the time anyway, but I often forget to eat meat unless someone puts it in front of me. (Let us avoid jumping to the obvious "That's what she said" reply, just this once.) I'm the Peeta, the dreamer, the impractical one, the one who usually can't remember to pay the bills, or how to drive to the place she works at everyday. Which is why I surround myself with practical, highly functioning people, who will tell me what day it is and whether my shirt is inside out or not. In return, I provide them with cupcakes. It's a pretty good system.

But Katniss is already a practical, highly functional person. She needs someone to give her a cupcake and tell her to take five and daydream for a while. Which is why Peeta is the boy** for her.

And, in conclusion, Croissants.

 

* I was trying to come up with a name ridiculous enough to sound like it belongs in the Hunger Games. This led me to think about developing a "Find Your Hunger Games Name" quiz, so look out for that next week.

** Unless Katniss wants to give lesbianism a try, in which case, it seems that I'm the girl for her.

 

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Erin Callahan's photo About the Author: Erin is loud, foul-mouthed, an unrepentant lover of trashy movies and believes that champagne should be an every day drink. When she isn't drowning in a sea of engineers for whom Dilbert is still uproariously funny, she's writing about books, tv, the cult of VC Andrews and more.
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