Fortune cookie says: There are two clubs -- the people who have figured out how to make money and the people who haven't. Choose the first.

My children and their friends will tell you that if you're in Mrs. Hinckley's kitchen at a certain time of day, you may be lucky enough to get a homemade cookie, but you will almost certainly have your horoscope read to you out of the daily paper.  Just the way it is.  My children are now grown but I do continue to foist my horoscope readings upon whomever happens to be nearby whether they wish to participate or not.  Call it one of my endearing quirks.

Actually, I'd like to take over writing the horoscopes for our paper because I could almost certainly be as accurate and there's a good possibility I could be more entertaining.  Anyway.

I have collected fortune-cookie-fortunes for about 15 years, ever since we lived in Seattle and Chinese cuisine played a major role in our dining-out adventures.  I keep them in an envelope tacked to my bulletin board, and my friends sometimes save them for me as well.  For years I have threatened to create something with them, but that project has yet to be revealed (even to me).  But I love to read and re-read them.

I don't know what it is about the possibility 
of future predictions that so intrigues me.

Will I find love?  Already have.

Will I be wealthy?  Not looking likely, but I have exactly enough. And besides, define wealth.

Fame?  Getting a little late, and who wants it anyway?  All those cameras following you around.  When would I engage in my private donut eating?

But all of this is just a lengthy introduction as to why, when I was beginning the precursory poking through the rubble on my work table as a preparation to actually relocating the stuff to my NEW work table (which we bought this weekend -- it's happening!) I came across this, which my friend Flannery so kindly saved for me:

Not a fortune, exactly, but a helpful hint or creative tip or SOMETHING from Martha Stewart that you find when you unwrap your chocolatey treat to eat it.  So certainly a fortune-cookie cousin.

And Martha is most certainly making one.
A fortune, I mean.  And I spent enough years as the person behind the creations in the magazines to know that she doesn't spend a whole lot of time making the things that are making her rich.

But I'd like to meet several people in this particular scenario:

1) The person who sold this idea to the chocolate manufacturer.

2) The person who wrote the helpful tip, which is exactly as helpful as saying "use a pizza crust to make pizza" or "use a crochet hook to crochet."  Seriously.

3) Martha herself, for whom the planets continue to align in perfect obedience.  She has a bit of a reputation among some of the grunt-workers of the make-it-yourself industry, and I'll let you use your imaginations as to what type of reputation that is.

If I were an actual horoscope writer, 
I'd write one for her that said something like this:

You will have an army of talented people making wonderful things for which you will gladly take credit.  You will amass a fortune second only to that of Oprah.  You will go to prison, but it will only enhance your ability to sell crocheted ponchos to the world.

I know, I'm just jealous.
I wish a major corporation would pay me to do nothing. But to the people at Dove, I have to say, "You got the short end on that Martha Stewart deal."

The chocolate execs may not know what a "flower frog" is, but we do.  Duh.

So here's a little something creative to keep them confused:


Allie said...

I'm splittin' my sides here - oh Martha I'm so glad I'm not your daughter - or employee, for that matter! As soon as I read that Dove blurb, I pictured a frog in a flower, how funny is that!

Remember the tea bags that came with little sayings on them? Salada, maybe. We were so short on books when I was growing up, I'd have a cup of tea just to have something to read. I had the cereal boxes memorized.

susan m hinckley said...

That's pretty funny, Allie -- I still enjoy reading a good cereal box now and then. I wonder why they never decided to put anything more interesting on them (except for kids)? It seems like that might have been a good idea.

After she read this post, Hannah told me she's seen other Dove/Martha tips that are equally silly. One she remembered was, "To create ambiance, use a scented candle." Thanks, Martha.

Karen M said...

LOVE your flower frog! Thanks for the laugh!

Karen S said...

I still read the cereal boxes -- the ones that belong to my kids, that is, because cereal is not in my diet these days.

I was told that fortunes from cookies don't come true if you don't eat the cookie that they came in...hmmmm...

Oh, and for the record, I think Martha was set up!

luanne said...

Well I have to give Martha props, she's certainly taken her lemons and made vats of $$$ lemonade!

Are any of those hugely successful, highly-driven women actually nice too?

So then maybe my own lack of success is due to my inherent niceness...

Okay, that's my new story and I'm sticking to it.

susan m hinckley said...

That's a great story, LuAnne, and in your case it might actually be true!

I would have a hard time making such a claim, I'm afraid (especially since I wrote this snarky little Martha-bash, don't you think?)

But I can tell you that part of Martha's reputation does have something to do with NICENESS. . . draw your own conclusions.

susan m hinckley said...

and Karen S -- I want some clarification on your "set up" theory . . . "set up" to build an empire by a wealthy patron of some kind? "Set up" to go to prison? "Set up" to look kind of dumb on candy wrappers?

luanne said...

Well oops, I didn't actually mean to claim that I'm inherently nice... just looking for a good excuse not to be uber-successful!

Karen S said...

It's my favorite conspiracy theory -- she was set up to make millions after jail, of course!

And I guess I'm just a pessimist, but I think that most rich and famous people didn't get there by being "nice."

-karen s who is not feeling particularly rich, successful, or nice...but it is "humpday."

susan m hinckley said...

There actually was another comment there, Karen, but it was gibberish so I deleted it. Thanks for re-posting it.

And I think you're right in your presumptions, both about Martha and about rich people.

As my sister always says, "If you have nothing nice to say, sit by me."

So I'll see your pessimism, and raise you . . .

Karen S said...

Well it didn't look like gibberish when I pressed "publish." Must have been tired...

I love your sister -- she can sit next to me anytime!

susan m hinckley said...

It wasn't your fault, Karen -- it wasn't even in English! It was a blogger antic for sure.

Carol Maclaskey said...

Years ago I had the occasion to meet Martha Stewart. She was still doing catering (I think it was just as her first book was being published). We're ice sculptors by trade and had done a sculpture for one of her parties. She liked the ice and came to us to say so and shook our hands. I remember thinking about how calloused her hands were. She was obviously doing a lot of the "grunt" work herself. All these years later as her empire has bloomed, I find myself thinking about those callouses. My sense is that she works incredibly hard and she's an extreme perfectionist. Probably not easy to work for, but I think she's definitely paid her dues. If she were a man, her "bitchiness" would be "strength". She'd be described as "commanding". I admire her...but I have to agree. This flower frog thingy is pretty limp advice

susan m hinckley said...

Hi, Carol -- welcome to the blog! I think there's no question that you don't get to be Martha without earning your callouses. It's just that, once you ARE Martha, you don't have time to make things out of crepe paper anymore. Which is a little sad, I'm sure. But sometimes it would be nice to see the actual project designers get a little glory, wouldn't it?

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