Monday, February 22, 2010

Rainbow's End

[I’m struck speechless by reading that President Obama’s “new” health care proposal apparently includes (via Neo-neocon) price controls on health insurance premiums. I haven’t looked at the White House posting myself yet and hope that it will turn out to be not really as described. Failing that, I hope voters will be smart enough to realize that this way lies disaster. For now, though, I need to write about something less fraught and figured that if Megan McArdle can write - however dangerously - about makeup, I can certainly write about candles.]

I’m a Yankee Candle junkie. So sue me. It’s a relatively harmless addiction: there’s a limit to how many candles I can burn so I don’t have to mortgage my house to feed my habit and it has the pleasant side-effect of making the house smell good even when it’s, shall we say, not looking its best.

The problem with my addiction is the usual: I’m dependent on my supplier. And Yankee Candle shows a distressing tendency to discontinue candles I really like. The most heart-breaking of these discontinuations is Rainbow’s End (tm). This is a lovely candle. It’s a watery almost aqua color described as having:

A fresh, clean and cool scent like the country air after a storm

To me it smells nice, definite, but not specific. That is, it doesn’t smell like anything. Not fruit or flower or food or wood or Christmas or autumn. When I found Rainbow’s End years ago, it was a revelation because so many of the Yankee Candle scents classified as “Fresh” (i.e., not found in nature) smelled like dryer fabric softener sheets. That’s changed now although YC still sells the scent Clean Cotton and as far as I’m concerned you get the same effect by draping a piece of Bounce over a lampshade. And since I hate the smell of dryer fabric softeners, finding a non-specific candle that didn’t make me think of laundromats was wonderful.

Rainbow’s End has been discontinued for years now. It’s been so long that the last time I was in a Yankee Candle store the two women who worked there had never even heard of it. I check from time to time but I’ve never seen it among the “temporarily revived” scents YC makes from time to time.

I have one lone Rainbow’s End votive candle left, stored away safely. I hate to burn it: it’s the last of its kind. And yet if a candle never burns, is it really a candle?


If you’re interested in reading the Roy Edroso article that prompted McArdle’s “feminine” response, it’s here. I can’t decide if it’s incredibly stupid or incredibly funny. Probably stupid since this level of arrogance is too frightening to ever be truly funny. Althouse considers pity the appropriate response.

1 comment:

Grim said...

Re: Ms. McArdle, the issue is "What standards to I have to adhere to in order to be taken seriously as a thinker?" The right way to judge the answer to that question is probably not to look to the work of a character assassin from the Village Voice, who is actively trying to make you look stupid (and evil!); or his minions, who invade your comment section to try and reinforce his position.

Ms. McArdle is someone I take seriously because she plainly knows a lot more about finance than I do. I don't find the subject very interesting, but I do recognize its importance; so I'm interested in reading the thoughts of those who know more, and can illuminate the chief problems for consideration. As a citizen, I have a duty to try to understand these matters to a certain degree in order to advise the government properly through elections, letter-writing, etc.

Since her expertise on this matter is in no way undermined by her interest in other matters, nothing she says on the subject of makeup (or candles) will cause me to take her less seriously as a thinker.

However, I wasn't approaching her from the perspective of a problem to be destroyed, or an enemy to be beaten down. Someone who was approaching her in those terms will look for any weakness at all. If that's the worst one he can find, it's an admission that her financial writing is solid enough that he can't find anywhere to attack it -- either because he isn't competent to do so (as I probably am not either), or because it's not particularly weak anywhere.