The Joy of Silly, Spontaneous Memories

A few days ago, I spontaneously laughed aloud at the grocery store when I saw an assortment of decorative gourds. In and of themselves, there’s nothing particularly funny about them. They just reminded me of something.

They reminded me of my first job. How many people can say this? As a high schooler, my first job ever was

Gourd Shellacer.

Yep, I worked at a farm where my main task was to spray shellac on decorative gourds to make them SHINE. Shine with all their decorative glory!

And to me, the funniest thing about this is that when I later applied for my second job – a place where I ended up waiting tables throughout high school and college for the next six years – the application asked for my previous employment history. I didn’t know what to write for my previous job title. So I wrote,

Gourd Technician.

What a ridiculous thing to say. I suppose partly this was for my own amusement. But the person interviewing me did actually ask, “So what is a Gourd Technician?” and I had to answer!

I think in the moment, I laughed about it, said I was a Gourd Shellacer, but I didn’t know how to name that precisely on an application.

Thankfully, I got the serving job despite the oddities.

You know, if we pay attention throughout our day, I bet we can all find a bunch of silly, spontaneously memories. And they might just bring us some joy, as strange as they and we might be.

Renee Roederer

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