My Anonymous Career

by Gita M. Smith

In the third year of our marriage, which coincidentally was my third year of trying to finish a novel, Rainy said to me, "Get out there and be a breadwinner, you big galoot."

 I signed on with a large national restaurant chain to write descriptors for menus, and  I was the very first to use the term "farm-fresh" to refer to eggs and "kettle-simmered" to describe soup.

Menu writers toil in anonymity, but my reward came when the National Restaurant Industry awarded me the Golden Napkin Holder for coining the adjective "artisanal" to describe, well, pretty much anything overpriced, from bread to beer to pizza.

Although you'll never see my name on a menu, I can guarantee you've eaten in one of this chain's many outlets and I will bet my descriptors added to your interest in sizzling, creamy, buttery, garden-fresh, succulent, melting, old-timey, home-made goodness and artisanal flavor-bursting dishes.

One day, to supplement my income, I answered an ad in the paper calling for writers to contribute heartwarming sentiments and pithy sayings to a collection that would be called "Chicken Soup for the Soul,"  and we would be paid by the word but get no author's credit.
The book was a huge hit and spawned all kinds of sequels, such as  "Chicken Soup for the Golfer's Soul," to which I (rather proudly but anonymously) contributed, "In life, you've got to bogey before you can birdie."