Last Christmas, I needed boots. Did I ever need boots. My Paul bought me three entirely distinct pairs–and a pair of slippers–and much to my surprise, I ended up wearing them all equally often–and I do mean often. Last birthday, my Paul bought me a Nexus 7 tablet, which is not only a pretty fun toy, but has also helped reduce the cost of textbooks for seminary considerably, since many of them I can buy digitally. Not only is it easier on my wallet, but it’s easier on my back, since I don’t have to lug around so many enormous theology books. I guess what I’m saying is, my Paul is pretty good with the presents.
So I might have been a little surprised when, a about a month ago, we were lounging about on the Pontoon in the middle of the Pond and he asked, “What do you want for your birthday? I’m having a little trouble coming up with anything.”
“Just take me out for dinner,” I said. “I don’t need anything currently, and you know I’m not really a ‘stuff’ girl. I prefer experiences.” This is true. It’s also probably a good thing, because our Cottage definitely does not have room for any more stuff. And I like going out for dinner. He didn’t seem particularly convinced by this, though, until maybe a week later when, the day after we had taken Cousin Elizabeth out for a really nice hike and then she had gone away again, I got home from work and said, “I want to go somewhere. I wish this were fair season. I want to go to a fair.”
Last Friday, he said, “Hey! The Brimfield Fair is this weekend!”
The next day we went to the Brimfield Fair. We’ve been having an incredibly intense and soggy heatwave for a couple of weeks, so walking through the fair was a little like slogging through soup (first it rained, and then it was so muggy we couldn’t dry out), but it was really fun! He told me to pick something out for him to buy me, and I suppose he thought I’d go for something a little pricier than what I chose. I saw lots of things I liked–like retro typewriters (is that redundant? aren’t all typewriters retro?) and some fancy old inkwells, but nothing I could really countenance dropping the cash on at this point in my life. I mean, if we ever buy a farm in New Hampshire like we talk about sometimes, and there’s enough room for me to have my own writing studio, and even more if I’m actually writing stuff that lots of people are reading, maybe I’ll decorate my studio with those things, but for now they seem a little superfluous.
What I ended up choosing was a small 60’s or 70’s era American Tourister suitcase.
First of all, I have a thing for non-traditional handbags. Last year I bought a leather purse at this fair. I love it and use it every single day even though it doesn’t match every single outfit. Because I’m rebellious in that way. (Also because I would totally forget my wallet half the time if I had to keep switching bags like that.)
What I really wanted this for, however, was to sell things out of the trunk of my car. Specifically, Trees in the Pavement. Here’s the deal, guys. I want this book to sell somehow, but I haven’t seen a royalty from it since the year of publication, and I’ve discovered it’s more cost-effective for me to purchase my own copies at my author discount, and then sell it full price. (What’s been happening lately is that I’ve been consigning it to local businesses who then forget to give me my cut.) So you can buy it from me here at the Jenn Store, or, if you see me in person, you can buy one out of the trunk of my car. The trouble was, I had been unable to store it in the trunk of my car for a while, because the box the books were in was self destructing. Now I can carry them around in this cute little suitcase much more soundly.
I think you should buy one.
Even without books in it, that little suitcase got pretty heavy by the time we “finished” the fair (which is kind of like “finishing” the Internet, if you’re wondering how extensive this fair is), but I was pretty delighted with my purchase and my birthday outing and with the brief stop we made in a local pub on the way home.
This would have been a fully sufficient birthday celebration for me, even three days before my birthday, but I had already planned a party for the beginning of the following week. But I’ll tell you that story next Friday.