Toasters and Sheets
I had a long time crush on Kat Kinkade. Our time at Twin Oaks overlapped for the first couple years of my membership and we were involved in several projects together and generally appreciated each other. In a configuration that would be impossible today, Kat, Keenan, Pam, and i were in a group which meet weekly that i called “the shadow planners” (Twin Oaks highest executive office is the plannership and all 4 of us had served as planners, though i had not been selected when this group started). We talked about the different problems the community faced and what we thought were clever solutions to them.
Kat had been married in her younger life, but had definitely moved on from romance being a focus; she was doing other things and happy with them. So i was not surprised at her hesitancy around my proposal.
“We should get married.” I proposed one day while visiting her.
“Why on earth would we do that?” Kat asked, more curious than surprised.
“Because we could throw a large party …”
“And we both know a lot of people who care for us and the commune …”
“…yes…” Kat was waiting
“And we could ask them all to give us only sheets and toasters.” I concluded.
Kat cracked up laughing and never seriously responded to my offer. We had spoken several times about the ephemeral nature of both sheets and toasters in the commune context. These are two of the things the commune burns through at a pretty stunning rate. We are hard on toasters and they don’t last long in our busy kitchens. And apparently we have some combination of sheet flight/hoarding or rough sleepers because we are regularly in need of sheets.
Kat cofounded Twin Oaks, East Wind and Acorn communities. She also wrote the books Walden Two Experiment and Is it Utopia, yet?
Kat was interviewed by Tamara Jones of the Washington Post Magazine in 1999.