Viral Smiles


‘Making the world a better place, one grin at a time’

A couple of nights ago, The Dude poked his head into the kitchen and asked, “What are we doing for dinner tonight?” Well. Ordinarily I wouldn’t find this hilarious. But ordinarily we are not cooped up together 24/7 in state-suggested social isolation.

The Dude asking what we were “doing” for dinner reminded me of my Old Days in the Ad Biz when we Ogilvy Peeps would fly Midwest Express out to Appleton, Wisconsin, to call on our client Kimberly-Clark. (You can read about that wackiness in “HooHah Time is Story Time.”) Bless their hearts, the stewardesses (yup, “stewardesses”) would put a cloth napkin on your tray table and ask sweetly, “Will you be joining us for dinner tonight?” I always wanted to reply, “Oh, I don’t know. I was thinking of going out.”

Well, it’s Day 32. (Only Day 32?) And our dining options, at least out here in Amagansett, are limited to A) eating in our kitchen or B) eating at the counter in our kitchen.

Where we eat: A) the kitchen B) the kitchen counter

Oh, one night we tried getting take-out from the Mexican Place That’s So Good We Can Never Get In. But after driving there and meeting this masked and gloved guy in a parking lot and having him pass bags through our car window and then drive home and sanitize the packaging and dump all the food out on fresh plates, it was cold — and we were sad. And, by the time we added in an extravagant tip, the whole transaction not only felt like a drug deal, it was just about as expensive.

My new God is Sam Sifton of NY Times Cooking. That’s one of the recipes behind that bottle of wine

So. Make that one sort-of dinner out — out of 32. The rest have been all in — and all me, all the time. (Nope, His Dudeness does not cook. Not unless you count the time when he was in medical school and sharing a house and it was his turn and he stuck a knife into the peanut butter jar and put a cracker at each place. Something, actually, that one of my brothers did once, too.)

But enough about me and my cooking. This story is about my sister — and her cooking. One day, as she was preparing the umpteenth dinner chez Schneed, she noticed something, well, funny about the onion she was chopping.

Is that a smile on that onion’s face, or is he just glad to see that spoon?

Next thing you know, that onion gets famous on Instagram. And I wasn’t the only one who thought he was smiling:

Well, in case you hadn’t figured this out already, I am not the only creative and/or funny person in the Henry Family. After the smash debut of Mr. Onion, my Favorite Sister (yes, she is my only sister; my mom used to call her only sister, my Aunt Marilyn, her “Favorite” Sister too) started posting smiling food every day.

And guess what? I smiled every time I saw one of those delicious grins. She posted smiley smoothies, friendly fruits and all sorts of toothy treats.

Pretty soon, my sister was seeing smiles just about everywhere: in her house while she was stuck at home — and all around her when she ventured out for a (gasp) walk.


Now, if these goofy grins didn’t make you smile you’ve been watching waaaaay too much Trump. And, gosh, isn’t it nice to know that there’s something happily going viral in this crazy corona world? Follow uneedtheschneed on Instagram; all the nice people do. I’ll be seeing you seven smiles from now, Favorite Sister and Friends. Until then — hold this thought:

Amagansett, New York. April 2020

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16 thoughts on “Viral Smiles

  1. Colleen Bentley

    I am cracking up with what you two sisters do! I’ve had so many other Zooms, texts, emails from friends that has made me laugh all day — Such a fab thing! PS I may be in NY in August – stay tuned!

  2. Sharon McGavin

    just absolutely wonderful. I used to put smiley tomatoes in ‘omelets’ when the girls were little.

    • Oh! What a fun thing to do! Now I remember when my mom put sliced hot dogs in pancakes. She made the little doggie discs look like eyes and a smile, but she only did it once — none of us would EAT them. (Hot dogs in pancakes — even smiley hot dogs — ugh!)

  3. Nancy V

    I do needtheschneed (just requested to follow her. hope she accepts me) and I also need all your blogs. They really lift my spirits. Stay well all of you!!! xoxo p.s. Did you see my “sad banana face” on IG?

    • If my sister doesn’t accept you, by gum I’ll divorce her! Seriously (or funnily?) she’s a riot. Thank you for liking both our attempts at social non-distancing. And yes, I saw — and loved — that sad little banana. I hope he made it to Banana Bread Heaven xoxo

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