Saturday, March 7, 2009


Home Economics might have been my all time, least favorite class taught by not one, but two of my least favorite teachers. In the '70s all girls were required to take Home Ec. Being a NOT girly girl, I would have much preferred being next door in shop class, using power tools that could sever digits as demonstrated by the three fingered teacher. (As an irrelevant aside, that shop teacher believed that NASA basically faked the entire space program. So I pretty much think about him when I see either O.J. Simpson or that B movie Capricorn One starring O.J. as an astronaut involved in a faked moon landing, a movie made six years after Mr. Three-Fingers told us this in study hall. This was the same year our special ed teacher got busted for drugging the 'special needs' kids. you gotta love the quality experience gained in public schools.)

Meanwhile, I was suffering through the all-girl Home Ec class learning how to buff my nails and make an omelet. Seventh grade was probably the height of my rebellious, smartass adolescence. I completely terrorized my Home Ec teacher, because 1) I didn't think I should be compelled to take a girlie class, and 2) I didn't think I should be compelled to do anything. My reaction was varied and heartfelt. In math class, the amount of homework was based on your grade: higher grade, more homework. I actually asked the teacher to lower my grade so I would have less homework. In English class I hid notes for my friends in the pencil sharpener. Once I stole one of the teacher's shoes from under her desk where she had kicked them off.

In Home Ec, we girls sat four each at square dinette tables that were haphazardly perched on a single center leg in a way that allowed us to spin the top. We developed this elaborate cheating scheme by which we spun the table a quarter turn when the teacher wasn't looking, thus studying each other's test answers. Each time she turned, whoosh, you got a new test. Four turns, and if you were an idiot savant and your table mates were Martha Stewart, you had all the answers. It definitely would have been easier to study, but that wouldn't make a rebellious statement now, would it?

Every day I found a way to annoy poor Mrs. Campbell, who, to my delight, ended up leaving before the end of the year. Enter Mrs. Ball. Worse. I actually had a full throttle shouting match with the woman. The intervening 37 years have garbled my memory of our topic but not the volume. I'm sure she felt vindicated in the finals of the cake contest when my lovely spice cake fell during baking. I ended up with a spectacular two-layer donut will all the icing slowly migrating down into the off-center hole.

Today I was both amused and annoyed to realize that those skills I so grudgingly learned in Home Ec have served me so well. Damn it. I can sew the cutest little apron or placemat. I know the proper way to measure powdered and liquid ingredients. I am an expert at caring for my cuticles. I would challenge anyone to a good grease and flouring or some biscuit-making.

You're probably wondering what this has to do with sailing. Our friend Lawrence just dropped off his nautical sewing machine so I can replace the zipper on our sail cover. No problem. (Well stay tuned on that. The dang zipper is 15 feet long as you can see in the photo.) I actually know how to use the machine, change the needle, change the foot, thread it, wind a bobbin, which got me thinking about how Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Ball got the better of me.

Damn it!

--finished working out the details of our taxes with the accountant. found out why most business owners cheat. being honest is extremely expensive, but maybe one of us can get a cabinet post in the obama administration.
--ended our listing with the business broker and started the details of selling it ourselves.
--ordered some software to make flyers for the boat
--health: went to the doctor this week to get treatment for my stomach problems. paying the price for the stress of shutting down land life.
--signed up for Eating Down the Fridge Challenge meaning we eat all week on what's in the house. More on that as it progresses... Play along if you want.
--if you happen to be paying close attention, you'll note the previous use of this photo

No comments: