Over the past couple months I have posted some joyful pictures of my canning successes. (In true social media fashion, no one will ever see the failures.)
In response to these, I got an unexpected and significant amount of cautious questions and some condescending dismissals, like “well I wouldn’t bother with that because it’s cheap at the store, but if you want to be a prepper, be my guest.” And “why are you doing so much canning?”
Social media is one of those weird places where, if you put it out there, you can’t control reactions, nor should you want to. It’s also one of those places where what you think of as happy gets commented on by people who enjoy spreading misery, or who believe their candles will burn brighter if they throw cold water on your flame.
I’m having fun. I can because I can. I like it. The food is good and I know what’s in it. The jars look pretty on a shelf and have become that kind of functional beauty decoration folklorists loved to talk about in academic terms, back in Grad School when we couldn’t afford any art anyway.
So maybe I’m a little annoyed when others feel a need to shred the joy, but c’est la vie. Prepper is hardly the worst thing I’ve been called in life, and the political goo that sticks to the term washes off easily in my water bath canner. I just spent a week at the beach with friends who are taking herbal medicine classes to enhance their professions, and they’re getting jeered at for being hippie weirdos. Which amuses them. Herbal medicines are about the most capitalistic thing going in America right now. You have NO IDEA how much a tincture based on herbs picked for free from your grandpa’s acre sells for per ounce. Or how good sea rocket tastes, sauteed in olive oil. Laughing all the way to the bank, they are, with their muscles relaxed from the stuff they know how to make cheap and apply in just the right spot.
If everything, from why french fries are soggy to the reasons people like canned milk, has to be politicized, here’s wishing those who do so what joy they can scrape out of such ungracious social media interaction. It doesn’t look like much joy from here, but live and let live; isn’t that the point.
Can’t we just enjoy life and let others do the same? Sometimes people have hobbies that involve learning new things because they enjoy learning new things. As opposed to, say, sitting around watching TV. Not everything has to have a democratic or republican slant. Sometimes we pick violets because they’re pretty, and sometimes because they make great sauce for ice cream. Vanilla. Which one hears republicans prefer. Whatever. I guess democrats like Cherry Garcia?
Cut it out, y’all. Get real lives. Enjoy something because you enjoy it. Remember joy, contentment, peace? We can still do that. Live and let live.
(Note to friends who may be feeling attacked right now: It’s okay; I know you asked because you care. Other people didn’t and I’m talking to them. Let it go.)