I Have Been Known to Drink 99-Cent Wine…
…though not in this decade.
Apparently times are tough. If you’re to believe all the belt-tightening, penny-pinching articles showing up lately, that is. I’m not feeling particularly pinched, or maybe things like the price of milk, white bread and gas have next to no obvious effect on my existence. In fact, I’m more financially stable than I’ve ever been in my life, which isn’t to say rich.
My timing has always been horrible. During boom times everyone I knew was doing well and I was destitute. Now, it seems like everyone is unemployed or sporadically employed by choice, oozing free time and mellowing out while I’m tied to a rigid schedule.
I don’t often have moments where I’m like, “hey, that was my idea” mostly because I don’t have that many ideas. I’m horrible with ideas, that’s why I could never survive as a freelance writer, I find pitching extremely painful.
But yesterday I couldn’t ignore mentions of The 99¢ Only Stores Cookbook everywhere (ok, just on Chow and NPR) It made me sick and panicky, er, then I noticed it was blurbed by Jack Black and felt a little better. I’ve had an obsession with 99-cent store food for years. Ages ago when I took a horrible, miserable food writing class, I kept pounding away on this piece about 99-cent store food but it seemed lame, there wasn’t much of a hook and it just didn’t seem relevant to a larger audience (like much of what I have to say).
So, one woman ran with the idea of 99-cent store food and got a book deal. Fine. Then today in the New York Times it’s 99-cent food all over again, “How to Survive in New York on 99 Cents” written by an “investigative humorist” and maybe I missed it but they don’t seem to even reference the book, like it was a spontaneous, simultaneous genius idea.
I have no idea why I would feel defeated and incensed by a book and article about 99-cent store food appearing at the same time, it’s a gimmicky flash in the pan conceit, and one that I never even perused with anything resembling a vengeance.
I wonder if The 99 Cent Chef feels left out.
Pretty bottles photo from Ghetto Wines