Verb of the Week - Fluff
By Donna Ambler on 23 May 2014
I've stumbled on a word this week that doesn't seem to have a definition in any dictionary I can find that matches the meaning I was looking for. So I am going to have to do my own editing.
Earlier this year when a girlfriend came to stay, I was playing the gracious host and had opened the bubbly and filled the cheese platter, but I was still in the kitchen. She scolded me to "Stop fluffing" and enjoy her company. Great advice indeed! I thought the use of the word fluff a bit odd at the time - but it perfectly describes how I spend so many hours of my week.
The Cambridge, the Macquarie and the Miriam Webster dictionaries all have definitions for fluff as a verb that look like this:
- to shake or move (something, such as a pillow) so that it is fuller, lighter, or softer
- to do (something) badly.
I guess the meaning I am looking for is derived from pillow fluffing. It goes a little like this: to move about busily, completing insignificant tasks that have little or no consequence.
I spend most of my time fluffing in the kitchen. It might be that I'm tidying up, wiping down the bench, stacking dishes, rearranging the cookbooks, or whatever. At the time, my focus is on making things tidy. But what I am really doing is just fluffling the cushions - my actions don't really matter. There would be little or no consequence if I didn't do them - other than the kitchen wouldn't be in its usual immaculate state.
During my lunchbreak today, I mixed up a chocolate cake as a welcome home treat for our son, who has been away on school camp all week. Not usually one to bake at that time of day, I was a little bit taken aback by my own actions and stopped to think about the time I probably spend fluffing each day when I could be more productive. And I have to admit that some of that time is probably spent on social media - something else insignificant that is of little or no consequence!
Baking that cake felt good - I had something to show for it and I hope my sons will both appreciate the effort when they taste it later this afternoon. So perhaps my lesson today is to spend less time on the fluff, bake more cakes and tick the tasks of my list each day. As for today - that's Verb of the Week complete!
My magic bean chocolate cake recipe is here - moist and delicious!