Thursday, September 15, 2011

But How Do You Thank Someone Who Has Taken You from Crayons to Perfume?

If I would've known how good these brownies would come out, I'da got better pictures. Salted bacon caramel brownies. What?! Oh yeah, its all true. Thanks to Kate in Los Angeles, a recipe to die for.
I made them for a coworker's birthday, a nice girl. She turned 22 and yet she is my peer. It doesn't mean I'm a loser. That's a joke. I recall being 17 working as a dispensing optician for Sear's & Roebuck in Fort Wayne, Indiana. My peer at the time, Caroline, was older, like 61. She was cool, had big high white hair like a Gabor sister. She wore Polyester blend suit jackets and dress slacks with heels to work. Usually in a red, white and blue color scheme. Her skin was shiny and her mascara always ran just a little under the bottom lashes. I liked her a lot. She was always giving me advice. She brought cream cheese and green olive sandwiches to work for lunch. I had no idea. They were great. She liked me but you could tell, maybe she was a little bummed that she shared her position with a 17 year old head. She taught me a lot and some to do with my job. Mostly I liked studying 'normal' folks like her because I myself was raised by a pack of wolves. I was already a veteran worker. After being a front counter waitress slash donut maker across from Sears, I fancied a better life. These jobs were right next door to my high school. The one that I was supposed to be attending. I wanted to go to school but couldn't quite ever make it through the door. Sears was as close as I could manage. I imagined myself someday with my own apartment like Caroline, downtown and possibly with a job like this. She seemed happy. We were on commission, which was so cool. At the time, the super large lenses were in vogue as were the Elvis thick temples. Anything over-sized lended more money. Extra pairs, even more money and then the new flexible contact lenses, shade fades, blended bifocals! Boy, you could make a killing with all the extras to sell. I did really well. I liked fitting and choosing frames for women and even the men. I felt I could make them look their best.
My coworker friend A is good at what she does too. She figured the job out quickly and was never intimidated to jump right in. I guess I see something in her that reminds me of myself. I want to warn her and guide her. She always just laughs it off. I'll never forget Caroline at Sears. If nothing else, maybe A will remember that some old bird put bacon in brownies like I remember Caroline putting cream cheese and green olives together, oh and Saltine crackers and butter!

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