Wednesday, December 19, 2001

cookie swap

I must vent here though for a minute... in watching the news coverage on our local NBC affiliate, the stupid talking head doing the story kept referring to Christian church services as "mass." In the Episcopal church, and many others, it's not "mass" that is "celebrated," it's called a "service."

"Mass" is pretty much the Catholic thing. Please make a note of it.

Something that I hate about news coverage in this area is they focus on Catholics. Every Christmas story or Easter story is about Cardinal Law and the Catholic Diocese and what they are doing and celebrating... no one ever goes to a Congregational or Methodist Church to interview the pastors there... video tape the parishioners there. Boston news agencies seem to think that Catholics are the only Christians in the neighborhood.

For the record, most of what Catholics believe/practice is really different from what Protestants do. So it just kinda irks me that they make no effort to look into other sects of Christianity.


I wanted to talk a bit about a cookie swap story, and how appalled I was when I heard this. Just to illustrate how completely whacked rich people are.

One of my coworkers lives in the wealthy, tony and chichi hamlet of Andover (you can smell the snobbery from here), She got invited to her neighbor's house for the annual Christmas Cookie Swap. She baked 50 molasses sugar cookies, 50 as instructed, put them in a Tupperware container, and walked next door to the party.

She was greeted at the door by the caterer, who took her cookie container and was shocked that it was Tupperware. The caterer ran and got the hostess.

The hostess came to see her in .... a cocktail dress, wearing heels, pearls... and holding an elegant champagne glass in her hand. She was greeted and given the visual once over.

Obviously the hostess neglected to tell my coworker that it was a hoity toity dress up affair. All the women there were in evening dresses and gowns, pearls, diamonds, fancy crap that most normal people don't even own.

My friend... jeans and a wool dress jacket and turtleneck.

Who hosts a catered cookie swap with jumbo shrimp, finger sandwiches and champagne?

Who doesn't TELL the first time visitor that there are certain dress up expectations?

Who does this shit? What is wrong with that woman!!!!

Cookie swap is cookie swap. A mess of friends getting together for some eggnog (sometimes spiked) and mulled cider, swapping cookies and joking around.

So anyway, my friend is ushered in, and there is a big assed table with these gorgeous large silver and tin trays of cookies. Elaborate cookies. Luminously glowing in Christmassy goodness.

Cookies that look like ornaments or works of art. Slap some shellac on those suckers and hang them on your tree kinda cookies. Encase them in glass and display them for the ages kinda cookies.

One woman made cookies that were shaped like pairs of ice skates, with little laces strung between them and tied in a bow so they looked as if they were ready to be draped across a tiny shoulder on the way to the pond. The blades were silver. SILVER. She must have melted those little silver topping beaddy things down and dipped the skate blades in.

Beside each tray was a printed index card displayed on a little spear outlining what was in the cookie, and how long they took to make, and who made them.

The cookies were to be judged by the well dressed attendees.

And my friend's molasses cookies were sitting at the end, in their Tupperware. No index card.

She ended up having a drink with the other guests, and then got an emergency phone call and had to run home. She didn't plan the emergency call, it just sort of came upon itself like a gift from God to get her out of the most uncomfortable social situation of her life.

She hasn't told me yet if she went back to retrieve her 50 cookies... and I bet you one million dollars she isn't invited back next year. And if by some fat chance she is, after they've spent the year laughing at her behind her back as the obscenely rich Andover better than everyone else on earth bitches that they are, she won't accept.

I want to have a cookie swap next year. Beer, cookies, bawdy jokes, belching and wedgies. Hiking boots and sneakers required. Big baggy assed sweaters mandatory. No catering -- just my husband whipping up some of his Doug specialities and making everyone smile. That's my plan.

And I'll invite my friend's neighbor. Have her show up at the way out inn in her best Chanel spaghetti strap slip dress with sequins along the seams and her stockings and 700 dollar shoes.

And we will laugh at her.

The day after tomorrow is my sister's birthday. She will be 32, for the record. I'm 35. I plan on writing an entry tomorrow just about her. I have some pictures I want to scan of her, and put them up. I want to make her BAWL LIKE A BABY!!!!! Revisit her emotive self from 1969 when they brought her into the world.

We bought our boss a nice bracelet today at lunchtime. One of my co-workers and I ran out to pick it up. We knew what we kind of wanted and bingo -- there it was sitting in the case, looking at us. 44 bucks, split 4 ways... reaction: priceless. We put it on her desk when she went out for a cigarette -- and when she came back she was THRILLED. Big hugs, surprised reaction. I like that kind of thing...

The bracelet itself is comprised of little silver bobbly things that have simple script written on each one -- love, friendship, happiness, health, wealth, luck -- and then it clasps. The picture here doesn't have the same words on it as the one we bought...

We told her that's our wish for her for next year, to attain each one of those items. She laughed -- love being the first one, that's been kind of hard for her as of late. So she spread the vibe out saying these concepts/goals are for any one of us who touched the bracelet. I thought that was sweet.

Aside from wealth really, all those things are great. Wealth makes you have fancy cookie parties. Obscene wealth is something I honestly don't understand and actually despise.

Managable wealth, so all your debts are clear and you can be generous with friends when they are in need, and living without fear in your old age -- that's the kind of wealth I think I wish for people.

And for you.

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