Saturday, November 26, 2011


I’m still washing dishes from the epic Thanksgiving for 60 Vegans we pulled together for the Occupiers Thursday afternoon. Thank the great unknowable for aluminum pans in bulk from Costco, or I’d never reach the end of pots.

After all that, I thought I would take a break from Occupy today. I played trusty native guide for my sister into the depths of Manhattan, and used that as an excuse to check out the markets at Union Square with Older Son.

He charmed a free stuffed turtle, an artist’s pin and a travel candle from the Christmas Market kiosks, being the adorable kid that he is. It probably helped that the weather was good and the crowds were mostly smiling. Especially when he sang Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer at the beeswax candle shop…

Early in our shopping adventure we stumbled upon a vintage jewelry kiosk, and my eyes caught the shine on a pewter pin in the shape of a soup spoon.

…Apparently, you can take the girl out of the kitchen, but you can’t take the kitchen out of the girl…

I laughed, and before I could stop myself I went into my OWS spiel—how I’d been cooking for the protestors at my house, and so kitchen utensils were on my mind.

The stall holder’s eyes got big and she leaned over her counter, “What, every day?” Oh no, just two or three times a week. “Did you carry it down in a pot?” No, gallon Ziploc bags. Mostly in my backpack…

She showed me the three other kitchen-themed pins she had, and I decided to get them all—M, M, and E need medals for their hard work with the vegetable peelers, too—and then, despite my weak protestations, she gave me a significant discount. “You’re doing important work,” she said.


I do want to be important to the movement, I have an ego as hungry as the next person. But as an adult with non-protest responsibilities and a healthy sense of my own limitations, I don’t know if I can handle being indispensable to the movement.

In order to function, I think I’m going to take her “you” as plural. We are all doing important work:  chop carrots, carry signs, take turns being strong and being important and taking time out with our families to bond over carols and credit cards… If we can do that, maybe we can get through the winter with our spirits rested and well-fed and we can cook up the most delicious revolution ever.

And whatever comes out of the soup pot next spring, I have my medal now.

And so will my occupied kitchen buddies.

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