A few months ago, I retired a salad bowl I’d used for ever. It’s a pretty old piece of pottery, sort of a beigey pink, with a pear motif on the inside top edge and a crack in the shape of a cross working its way down the side. It is too pretty to throw away and too delicate to use, like the lovely old ladies I used to flirt with at French Club evenings.

I make a simple salad almost every night — greens and onions and tomatoes with a tart garlic vinaigrette — so the vessel is important to me. If I were John Thorne, I’d get a book out of that. But not.

My new bowl is an inverted glass hat of the style worn by Italian members of the Curia in movies about exorcisms. We got it as a wedding present at our surprise nuptials on Thanksgiving a long long time ago. I think it was from our neighbor, Dee thinks it was from the Newspaper Guild local.  Empty, it’s not impressive.  It wants to hold something, like salad.

For a while, I withheld approval of the glass bowl just because I don’t like to take to things too easily.  But it works. In its way, it is pleasing. Which is about all you can hope for from kitchen ware.

So I wash it every day and put it back on the granite island and trust it to hold our vegetable friends in their orgasmic acidic glory. The omelets I made last night, the bean torte tonight, the legs of lamb and the roast chickens and the country pork chops rest easy on the plate knowing they have the full support of the glass hat. Here is how odd I am: it makes me happy.

My cigar store friend Joan Baker asked me today what I was doing, in the WTF sense of what do you do when you are retired. Got me, I said, but I’m always busy, every day, even when I’m just sitting around looking good. Like my former salad bowl.


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