Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The [Most] Perfect Gift Ever


I’m back in Madison, after a few days in Mount Horeb at Michael’s parents’ house. Remember that a few days ago I was talking about how I wish I had a calligraphy set and parchment paper? Well, I got none of that, but here’s what’s surprising: I got a journal for Christmas.

I’ll try to better explain: I have a wish list on Amazon, and that list has the many little things I wish I had, including a few Italian leather journals I’ve been courting for about a year. You know -- that is, if you know me well -- that I’m a journal and pen geek. I love journals, I have 23 finished journals and am these days working on my 24th; also, I love pens. I absolutely love and adore pens, particularly fountain pens. But really nice journals and pens aren’t cheap; and, unfortunately, cheap things are the only ones I can afford.

Michael’s brother and sister-in-law didn’t know me well. In fact, they didn’t know me at all. In the past, they probably heard a thing or two about me, but other than that I am a complete stranger. Imagine, then, how surprised I looked when I unwrapped the Christmas gift they gave to me on Saturday. It was an Italian leather journal, and a box of chocolate. Guess what. . . I love chocolate, too!

Surprisingly, also, Michael’s brother said he was actually planning on adding a calligraphy set, or just a quill, to my gift. Yes, I’d have died if I had seen this awesome combo. So, just on the verge of dying, I managed to ask how they came up with the idea of giving me a journal.

“You’re a writer,” Waz said. Waz is Michael’s sister-in-law, and she is particularly good -- actually, she is pretty awesome -- at playing Apples to Apples. My theory, in fact, is that she knows how to read people’s minds with the precision of an expert on soul reading.

I kept thinking: Am I that predictable? Are all writers out there absolutely crazy about journals and pens?

They didn’t know about my attraction to writing supplies, so predictability has to be the answer. They were, though, as surprised as yours truly when I unwrapped my gift. They, of course, hoped I would really like it, but they didn’t know I’d actually worship it. It truly felt as if they’d known me for 23 years. . . Well, whatever system they used, or whatever spell or magic dance they applied to coming up with the most perfect gift ever, I shouldn’t care. It was the most perfect gift, and that’s all that matters. Thank you, John and Waz.

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