Friday, January 13, 2012

C is for Cookie, that's good enough for me.

It's the little things.  That's what they always tell you.  Falling in love, or out of love for that matter, is almost never about the big things, it is about the smallest things.

I have occasionally flippantly said that I divorced my wasband because he brought home the wrong salad dressing from the grocery store.  This isn't empirically true.  I divorced him because after 11 years together, it became clear that we were no longer in love, no longer a good or smart or fixable match.  We had grown in directions that weren't compatible, and that manifested itself in myriad ways.  All of them little.  We weren't big fighters, there weren't horrible abusive blow-ups.  There wasn't some enormous catalystic event. 

(Catalystic is a word I have just made up, and give to you for your own use.  I'm a professional writer, I can do that.)

Nope, it was just a build-up of many many little things, the last of which happened to be bringing home the wrong salad dressing.  Which wasn't about the salad dressing at all, but rather about recognizing that after all those years, the man I was living with had no clue who I was or what made me happy.  (Or what makes salad delicious, but that is secondary.)

On the flip side, it is also the little things that made me fall in love with Charming Suitor, and make me love him a little bit more every eleven minutes.  The inumerable ways he has shown me every day since we met that I matter, the way he honors my opinions, the way he makes me laugh.  It is the way he will get into my side of the bed in the winter to warm it for me before I get in.  His genuine excitement at spending time out in the woods chopping down trees with my dad.  His tolerance of my (many) quirks and foibles.  The way he makes a perfect Negroni.

One of the things that always makes my heart smile is how he interacts with "my" friends.  (Who are now, blissfully, OUR friends.) 

Case in point, today's e-mail exchange about Amazing Goddaughter's current entreprenaurial endeavor:

From: Rachel
Sent: Friday, January 13, 2012 9:56 AM
To: Kevin; Stacey; Bill; susan; Jeremy; Denise; John
Subject: girl scout cookies, oh yeah it's happening...

 Hello friends...

 It's finally happening, Charlotte is selling girl-scout cookies, anyone interested in being pitched?

From: John
Sent: Friday, January 13, 2012 10:07 AM
To: Rachel; Kevin; Stacey; Bill; susan; Jeremy; Denise
Subject: RE: girl scout cookies, oh yeah it's happening...

 Yes, but I will require a side by side analysis of what makes her cookies better than others, including both qualitative and quantitative analysis. I expect a crisp sales pitch and I can only allow 10 minutes of my time.

 Also, I’d like some thin mints to snack on while I’m being pitched.

Charming Suitor's response?

From: Bill
Sent: Friday, January 13, 2012 10:07 AM
To: Rachel; Kevin; Stacey; John; susan; Jeremy; Denise
Subject: RE: girl scout cookies, oh yeah it's happening...

As this is my business, I concur with John’s analysis.

 First of all, in a commoditized business, first mover advantage is critical. We, for example to date, have purchased 3 boxes of cookies from the breeders in my office who have inundated me with seemingly innocent sign-up sheets. This does not preclude additional purchases, but rather provides a leading indicator for future gains in potential share. I believe we can establish benchmarks for next year’s selling season.

 As per John’s thinly (mintly?) veiled hint alludes, sampling programs are among the most effective trial vehicles to establish both awareness and conversion.  Again, I can provide a sample of one, confirming that the likelihood of purchasing Angry Samoans increases exponentially if one is simultaneously tasting said Samoan. I am sure that this result is transferable to Thin Mint consumers.  Of course, the issue is always scaleability.

 As there are at least two and possibly three Peanut Butter-driven product offerings available, Charlotte might stress the potential for breadth across the product line as opposed to depth of penetration within any given single vertical formulation.

 Don’t overlook the opportunity to initiate an ongoing panel to determine more brand-oriented metrics. We might consider a test versus control approach to benchmarking “softer” metrics like relative happiness of those who purchase Charlotte’s cookies versus the control group of complete slackers and non-nurturers who do not purchase cookies.

 The possibilities are endless. The challenge is establishing solid objectives, employing aligned strategies and flawless tactical execution.

 Remember, people buy from people they like, so I’m sure Charlotte will be wildly successful.  


And that?  Right there?  That is why I married him.  Because this e-mail made me laugh like a hyena in the middle of my day. 

And because he knows what salad dressing I like. 

It's the little things.

I can't guarantee you a CS of your own, but I can tell you that a good Negroni covers a lot of ills:


1 part Campari
1 part Gin
1 part Sweet Vermouth

Mix well and serve over ice with a slice of orange.  More delicious if shared with someone you adore.
Yours in Good Taste,
The Polymath


  1. I thought it was partially because he ate fishsicles! that was a fun read, now I need a cookie and a drink!

  2. I am so glad that you found someone who compliments you and your life so well. Plus he seems to be hilariously intelligent - mega-bonus!

    P.S. Let's spread the word on your new word. Let's all be catalystic converters.

  3. Alicia introducted your CS to us this weekend!!! I held back from calling him CS (knowing that my husband and Jared would not have a clue to what this meant). He is as genuine as you describe him in this blog.

  4. Diane laughed like a Hyena. So did I. John is a funny, funny man...glad he knows your salad dressing.
    --Dave G.