Monday, August 3, 2009
Parting is such sweet and savory sorrow.
I got out the sad wig, y'all. And for good reason. I suffered two major losses last week.
In my work life, I lost Greta, a coworker I like and respect for many reasons -- and also consider a friend. It is true that I gained cookies when she left, as they were presented on her last day and meant to be part of a sweet send-off, but I'd rather have the passionate, creative, and funny Greta. Cookies are fleeting. Greta is forever (as are the plastic containers in which the cookies came).
At least I'm losing her for a good cause. She's off to study urban planning in graduate school, which is an exciting and wholly appropriate reason to leave our job behind. If anything, I'm happy that she's found her thrill. But Greta, I beg you, when you are planning urban environments, do not forget the snack procurement locations. Need a consultant? Let's keep in touch.
My second loss was a bit more traumatic, meaning no offense to Greta, as our friends Matthew and Becky packed up a U-Haul and moved to Los Angeles for two years or more (I'd like to believe they'll come back, but who knows what the future holds?).
Dan and I have known Matt since 1995 or 1996, and he is one of those people I kind of took for granted as a permanent fixture in my life. He's lived just a few blocks away for the past 3 or 4 years. Even as he traveled all over the world working on photographic, film, and video projects, I assumed he would always be back for video games and brownies and just plain hanging out (he's one of the few people my cat actually likes). Becky and I met around the same time, or few years later, as we both studied theatre at the same university. I do believe I've known both of them longer than they've known each other (though not as well, obvs.).
Matt and Becky have a darn good reason to move to LA, which I appreciate. Matt was accepted into the cinematography program at AFI out there. I really am proud of him and happy to think he'll be fostering the talented eye he wields. Hopefully, it will be the land of opportunity for Becky, too.
Anyway, I may have done some self-medicating through the oral application of food as part of dealing with this loss. To keep our spirits up in the face of Matthew and Becky's pending flight, we gave them each a delicious send-off (separately, as their schedules clashed) at the fairly new neighborhood restaurant The Brooklyn Star.
Still, I'm sad.
No number of truly amazing fried green tomatoes could dampen my sorrow.
And the best creamed corn I've ever had in my life is comforting, yes, but its melting, wild richness couldn't keep them here (how fitting that creamed corn stands in for "garmonbozia," or "pain and sorrow" in David Lynch's Fire Walk With Me).
I gave cookies to everyone as going away "presents," but they were really more of a "remember me by." I want Greta to think enough of hers to consider attending this year's cookie party. If I can reel her in socially with baked goods, the sky's the limit. Then, too, I hope the batch of peanut butter sandwich cookies I baked for Matt and Becky, dropped off on their last morning in town, lasts at least a few of the states they'll be driving through so that the memory of those cookies and the promise of more might linger. If it turns out to be a subtle, perhaps unconscious, factor in their deciding after a few years whether they want to return to New York, so be it.
At the very least, I would wish that all three of them could consider my feelings as tender as the tenderest crumb; my thoughts of them as sweet as the sweetest, freshest corn; and my hopes for their future as broad and grand as my plans for my next homemade dessert.
Bon voyage, kids! Happy travels, eating, and lives to all of us, wherever we go -- until we meet (and eat) again.