Made For Each Other (1462-1507)

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Zeb was one of my first friends in Boulder.

My very first friend was Jamie Jewett, a tall, blonde dancer studying at Naropa who rode a black Ninja and took me all over town to find a bank. It was the first day I was brave enough to leave my room on The Hill and explore Boulder on my own. I was all of nineteen and had never lived alone. I was terrified.

I came to Boulder on a lark. I was studying at Boston University and knew the second I arrived at Logan airport that I had made a huge mistake. Harkening from Salt Lake City, I couldn’t wait to get the fuck out of Utah. I thought the big city was for me. I was wrong. I am a western girl at heart and I sorely missed the mountains and friendly people. I found a brochure for the University of Colorado at Boulder on the floor of the student union and was enchanted by the centerfold of the red tiled campus roofs flanked by the Flatirons. I declared a leave of absence and came to Boulder. I thought I died and went to heaven.

My surrogate mother drove me to Boulder and settled me into a house with roommates. She bought my first load of groceries and wished me luck before leaving. I hid out in my room for two days, overwhelmed by the enormity of what I had done. It was a gray January day in 1991 when I got up the nerve to leave my room. Somehow found the Trident, one of the original coffee shops in the United States and still a venerable institution. Jamie ambled in, sat at the table next to me and struck up a conversation. He had an extra helmet and took me for a ride on his motorcycle and was a good friend. He set the tone for Boulder: friendly, helpful, eager to get in my pants.

Well that didn’t work out in the long-run but I met Zeb shortly thereafter. I am known for my amazing memory but for some reason I cannot remember where I met him, although it had to have been either at The Trident or dancing at The Marquee (a great dance club in the early 90’s). He, too, was friendly, helpful and eager to get in my pants but I made him wait eleven years.

There are two things that made it clear that we were meant to be together.

  1. We both have copies of The New Joys of Jell-O, although I saved up boxtops in the third grade and sent away for it. Zeb got his at a garage sale, but there is a picture inside of a kid who looks just like he did.
  2. We both have independent cat whisker collections. Fine, you may be grossed out, but it still shows that we think alike. We collect weird things. No cats were harmed in the collecting of these whiskers.
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Fate.

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Totally him as a kid.

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Don’t judge. These are staying.

The whiskers and the Jell-O books are staying but I have a butt-load of cooking magazines and books that need to go. FREE!!!!

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Frumpy Folds. Are you kidding me? It sounds like that flap of skin I had removed when I had a tummy-tuck, or maybe what my boobs did after I breastfed my two kids (I had those fixed, too). Sign me up! It’s actually for folding napkins, but still. FREE.

IMG_1434 Oh yes, I’m definitely going to need my instruction book for a food processor. It has three settings. On. Off. Pulse. TRASH.

IMG_1433 Vintage book in very bad condition. FREE.

IMG_1432 I love Cook’s Illustrated but I do not have the time to pat canned pumpkin dry between four (not three, not five) layers of paper towels to achieve the proper moisture levels for the perfect pumpkin cheesecake. I’ve actually made the pumpkin cheesecake and it is THE BEST but I’m survival cooking these days. FREE.

IMG_1431 Pamphlet cookbooks.

IMG_1430 Specialty cookbooks. Oh look! There’s one dedicated to potatoes! I love potatoes! They are a desert island food, but a whole book? That’s why we have the internet. FREE.

IMG_1429 Classics. FREE.

IMG_1428 Spiral bound and self-published. FREE.

IMG_1427Bitchin’ recipe books from the 70s (i.e. you open a can of this, add a box of that, thaw a bag of the other, and never touch a fresh vegetable). The Sunkist might be valuable, I might eBay that one. It’s gorgeous inside. Otherwise, FREE.

7 thoughts on “Made For Each Other (1462-1507)

  1. This made me laugh out loud. I have a cat whisker collection. From my childhood cat Cuddles, who is long dead, as well as a separate collection of my current cat’s whiskers. I’m also a sucker for vintage anything. Seems like you are my kind of people.

    • Kindred spirit! I wonder how many people have cat whisker collections? Mine is comprised of many cats, at least 5 of my own and three of Zeb’s. Isn’t it wonderful to be understood?

  2. Love your Boulder story. I too was mesmerized by the pamphlet of the University of Colorado at Boulder. In 1990 when I was a senior in high school I found the pamphlet in a box in our “career counseling” room, applied, got in and got the f*** out of southern California. I’ve been here every since for the most part. Loved the Trident…still do. About three years ago my infant son had a huge blowout there and they let me change the mess on an unused table in the hall in the back…the barista guy was clueless about kids and slightly grossed out but still he helped me out – and I was so grateful (why was I there with my infant son? It was one of those miserable January afternoons and I was a lonely mom with a book to edit and yearning for my younger years and a good Chai).

    • Don’t I ever relate to having a baby and feeling lonely. It’s so funny how motherhood puts a new spin on your past. When my kids were little at attached to my hip (literally) I recall thinking, “All those times I went to the store alone, read a book, leisurely shopped, I had no idea what luxury that was.” Fortunately that comes back as kids get older, but still, what an intense and heady time. Thank you so much for sharing.

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