As my son prepares for college, I’ve read dozens of brochures about career fields and all the great things one can be. While I am a college graduate and do have a good career, I think the university may have failed in truly preparing me for my place in the workforce. I understand the skills required for someone with my degree, but nowhere in the pamphlet about academic choices, did they include a picture of a woman racing into work with a bag of potatoes in one hand and a crock pot in the other. While duty calls, so do the hungry bellies of our families and we have learned to do what we can, where we can and when we can. My friend Kelly has figured out how to work and cook at the same time to meet the demands of the workplace and her family. I’m certain when she chose her career path it didn’t include defrosting roasts in-between assisting clients.
I remember the early nineties when mini-vans first came out and my friend, Hal, bought one that had a built-in refrigerator and a stove top warmer. He was thrilled that you could heat a can of soup while driving down I-40. Being single and unaware why that might have been a selling point to a man with five children, I could not figure out why anyone would ever want or need to cook and drive at the same time. Oh, I was so naive.
Now, as I have gotten older and have children of my own, I fully understand the thinking behind such a wonderful option. Of course, my kids, unlike their mother, would never eat Spaghettios out of a can and I would need a vehicle with a full Viking range and a Scotsman Ice Maker that dispenses nugget ice just like Sonic. In fact, If I could start dinner in my car, on my way to work, I may never actually have to unload groceries again. Everything would be right where we need it. This would require extra space for storage and a prep counter and possibly a separate hand washing sink, so the car would have to be very long. We may, in fact, have to go up and design a double decker, fuel efficient, meals on wheels vehicle that could carry me to and from work. If we could squeeze in a washer and dryer, I might be able to knock out some laundry while I’m working on next year’s business plan. Tell me I wouldn’t be popular walking into the board room smelling of home cooked potatoes and Downy.
Until then, we will continue to thaw meat in our passenger seat, cook in the back rooms of our offices and tote bags of potatoes where they are needed.