October 8, 2009

It's the little things, really

I think that the ability to effectively wrap something in plastic is a skill, and a skill worth recognizing. It's like wrapping presents, but harder. Saran, Cling, what have you, it's downright impressive when it's done correctly, as I discovered this evening in yet another object lesson in humility.

The Girl brought home a macaroon with dinner the other night, and as you might expect from a take-out place, it was wrapped for safe keeping and to preserve freshness. We didn't eat it that night, and I set it aside without much thought. It's a wrapped-up cookie, the very definition of mundane.

Then, tonight, we decided to sample it, and damn if it didn't take me a solid five minutes to unwrap the stupid thing. It was sealed up like it was going out on the space shuttle. Less Reynold's than Rubik's, but without the shortcut option of moving little stickers around. We could count the pores on King Tut's face if he'd been mummified half as well as this cookie.

You know how most of the time you can find that one seam to start with, and then unravel the rest? Yeah, not this time. Turned it over, looked for edges, a seam, and found exactly bupkis.

And as an adult, with a technical degree no less, you only get about fifteen seconds of poking at something like this before you start to feel like a bit of a schmuck. Which I did. For five more minutes. Or at least, what felt like that long in schmuck-time (which is a longer measurement than conventional time; it's longer than that last minute before your metro train arrives, but not quite as long as the last minute you're stuck on that same train next to the guy with the really bad B.O. Point is, it drags). Ever been angry at a baked good? I have, now.

At least I was until I tasted it. It was very good, fluffier than your average macaroon if that makes any sense. Not too sticky, and not overpoweringly cocounutty. But while we enjoyed it, we didn't eat all of it tonight, deciding to save the rest for later.

I say that plastic-wrapping is a skill, because it is a skill that I, quite clearly, do not have. you would recognize both of these things were I to show you the before/after sequence. Like P90X in reverse. I'm not sure a reasonable person would buy a cookie I wrapped, no matter how good it looked; it's safe to assume there is no impending launch of a career on the bake sale circuit, that's all I'm saying.

Look, I know this probably seems a bit silly, me going on about something like this. But I would argue that it's worth highlighting, to one extent or another, even the small things that people do well. Granted, in this case it's a little begrudging, but it's respect nonetheless. We all come in contact with people who do some of those small things really well, and in the end doing those things well makes life a little better, doesn't it? So when you see it, acknowledge it. Maybe even celebrate it a little.

And if you want to buy them a cookie? I know a place to get a pretty good macaroon. I promise it won't go stale.


Dagny Taggart said...

Laundry folding - most especially, the fitted sheet. I *still* can't get it as neat and small as my grandmother could.

You know what else is a skill? Not eating a macaroon in one sitting.

Brian said...

DT - Ah, the dreaded fitted sheet. I was in my late twenties before I could actually find the corners on those damned things. Good call. :)

It's a big macaroon. Like, take up the palm of your hand big, and about 3/4 of an inch thick. It's like a macaroon-burger. Which might actually tase better than the average turkey burger, but that's neither here nor there.

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