Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Dear Martha, Thank you for the free spoon
As I have officially passed the "4 months unemployed" mark, this whole not working thing has developed into a strange mix of annoyance at how these unstructured days blend together and trying to savor the experience since I can't go on like this much longer.
Over the weekend, I was in the elevator at the gym (don't judge me) with two people in their 70s chatting. I couldn't help but listen in. "I was talking with Mayor Mike's girlfriend the other day. He is so involved with Washington. I bet they ask his advice on everything. 'What is going on with the economy?' I asked her. She said 'Mike says the economic situation is unfixable.' Can you imagine? What a mess we're in."
It was disheartening since it was confirmation of my impression that finding a good job in New York will take me awhile and it is heartening since we're all in this boat together. This is still New York so the city is filled with a full spectrum of opportunity.
My running team was asked to help promote Martha Stewart's new cooking show yesterday by dressing in matching running shirts, aprons, and holding wooden spoons while getting our picture taken. I'm not sure about the process that led to this publicity photo shoot, but I'm thankful for my new running shirt, apron, and wooden spoon.
It was an odd event. We were supposed to meet at a running store that had a group run scheduled around the same time. People not in our club got confused and put on shirts and were surprised we didn't go outside to run in the rain like everyone else. We were also confused about the people who were not runners and suspected had responded to a Craigslist posting to make a few dollars.
Throughout this whole experience I was thinking "Hey! Lucky me! I get free stuff to go running with my friends just like I would be doing anyway."
The strangest part was not the confused runners or the young women looking to make a few dollars but a conversation with a new woman in her 40s in the club.
She said the most curious thing. She said the wooden spoon was made out of balsa wood and wouldn't last a week "if you really cook with it."
"How do you know what kind of wood it is?"a teammate asked her.
"I cook a lot. And I know a lot about wood." Her tone was firm and challenging.
I knew she was wrong but didn't say anything. The kind of person who is going to make up something negative to say about a free spoon is not my kind of person. I walked away to talk to other people.
How did I know? I looked at the spoon using my experience with high end millwork. It wasn't balsa. From the grain pattern, it looked like white oak. It wasn't tight enough to be teak and teak is darker. Other hard woods like maple, walnut, cedar or ipe tend to be more expensive and darker. I did a fingernail test to confirm it wasn't older growth pine. The handle and the paddle are two separate pieces, glued together which makes it lower quality then to other wooden spoons in my kitchen but this one is free.
Posted by Diane at 12:27 PM