One of the things that has come up repeatedly in my conversations about this second job I am going to look for as soon as my car is fixed is the idea that I am overqualified, not only for the jobs I apply for or think about applying for, but also for the job I currently hold. If I would go back to teaching college, people say, I could make more money with one job than I would with two.

Now, when I was at the university, it was not uncommon for me to be called in on a Sunday afternoon to hold some kind of strategy discussion, I traveled one week out of four (and yes, there were fun elements to that, but most business travel time is spent in transit and working, and evenings in a hotel with coworkers are work, I promise you), and far more time went toward Byzantine campus politics than toward research.

My current job, with the exception of Back to School and Christmas, is mostly writing and research, with some teaching (workshops) and computer stuff (links management and SEO). I used to work at a museum where I did writing, research and teaching, and I loved it, except that my colleagues spend more time whining than working. However, it was clear to me then that a job involving writing and research and some teaching is what I would most like.

It is possible that the phone company has jobs like that, or that Proctor and Gamble does, or the local poultry plants, for that matter, and I just don’t know about it.

But I don’t believe that I am overqualified for my current job. I think I do it much better than someone less qualified would. In fact, why would anyone want someone less qualified if they could have someone more qualified, for any job?

It really comes down to snobbery.

Not just the people I am talking with, either. When my husband tells me that if I can sell books, I could sell cars, I look at him as though he has lost his mind. Me? Sell cars? As though there is something more genteel and honorable about selling books than about selling cars. And as though there is something more elegant about working at the university than about working for a poultry plant (there’s a lot of poultry at our local university, let me tell you).

So yesterday I went to the Pampered Chef regional seasonal meeting. I was initially hampered by snobbery, but I saw fairly soon that these were serious businesswomen who made a better hourly wage than I did at the university (not that they calculated their hourly wage any more than we did at the university, but I pinned them down and did the math).

8It was also fun. We had seminars on host coaching and how to plan your income, but we also had a buffet of all the new season’s recipes.

One was this chicken nachos dish which I came home and made for dinner for my family.

They were delighted with it. #2 son even asked what the special spices were, allowing me to inform him about the secret ingredient, a Jamaican seasoning mix which I would never have thought of adding to nachos.

The chocolate cookies in the picture also have a secret ingredient: powdered Earl Grey tea. This sounded as though it would make a wonderfully elegant cookie, but in fact I cannot taste it at all.

8These are the things I baked yesterday for the bridal shower I am co-hosting today. We are going for an autumnal theme, but mine may be too strong an orange. The Empress is doing a salmon mousse, though, and Janalisa (they are my co-hostesses) called me last night asking me to bring white tulle, so I am hoping that my bright-orange stuff will be toned down by the other elements of the decor. Those iced cookies are ginger with a lime glaze, and then there are apricot jam-filled Wedding Bells and Caramel Walnut cakes in flower shapes.

After I baked all that stuff and fed the troops, I settled down with a witty bit of chick lit and listened to the cicadas and watched the darkness fall amid the cedars.

Very nice.

Today, speaking of Christmas, is the first day of the HGP. That is the Holiday Grand Plan, which I do every year. If you do what they tell you, you will calmly find yourself ready for all the holidays. This week we are to clean our front porches thoroughly (and mine really needs it) and make lists. All the gifts we intend to give, all the people we will send Christmas cards to, all the meals we can freeze ahead for our families, all the baking we plan to do for the holidays.

I might make those Wedding Bells be Christmas Bells, but I am not going to waste any more tea by pulverizing it into chocolate cookies.