Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Middle School Bake Sale

So in between lunching and job hunting and spinning in circles, I've been doing a lot of holiday baking (of the "from a mix" or "five ingredients or less" variety), mostly for the various holiday concert bake sales that are an inevitable part of the December schedule for the average North American household with kids between the ages of 3 and 16.

So last night I was working the baking table at the middle school band thingy when a woman came scurrying up, quickly scanned the wares, and then executed a smooth forearm sweep of the table, including most of the stuff I'd brought (ahem! quaintly and festively bagged, tagged, and be-ribboned in single-serving portions) into her open backpack.  Shamelessly, unapologetically said "This is how I'm doing my holiday baking this year" as she handed over about $20.

I had a very brief moment of "hey that's not for YOU to pawn off as the fruit of your own efforts, lady," but then realized we were in a win-win situation here:  I help the school by doing the baking, and other people help the school by buying it.  And, bonus: I get to be all smug about my civic-mindedness and my fine, fine treats; and some other woman gets to tick another item off her already unmanageable to-do list.

And I was impressed as hell by her brazenness in letting someone else do the work for her. All this holiday business is already so overburdened with expectation and obligation, and pre-primed for a generous application of guilt and shame,  I could really learn something from people who refuse to let any of that stick to them.

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