Two or three years ago for Christmas, I asked for a particular kind of pencil. I was writing my first manuscript at the time, and my friend, a writer herself, had gone crazy for this pencil and told everyone she knew that it was the best writer’s tool ever.
And I wanted to be like her, so I asked for it, since my family is always asking me what I want for holidays and I never know what to tell them, since I have everything I could ever need. (Except a popcorn popper. But that’s on my birthday list this year.)
I am here to announce I barely use this pencil.
Tonight I’m writing a chapter that’s due Friday and I’m deep into it, sitting at my desk, the sirens and music of Hoboken leaking through my open window. It is warm out, y’all. Warm and the kind of sticky that makes me kick off the sheets in bed and wake up with a damp hairline. (Or perhaps I am just sensitive to heat, as I’ve been told.) And I’m alternating between writing in Scrivener and reading this synopsis I have and I went to grab a highlighter and noticed the pencil, the infamous Christmas pencil, instead. And here I am, clicking it to lengthen the lead, and drawing a tentative line with it, and realizing the truth of it all is that I just don’t use a lot of writing utenstils of any kind, let alone the lead kind.
The other truth of it all is that I have the most incredible mother, who asks me what I want for Christmas and then listens to my answers, and keeps a meticulous list of what she spends on each of her four children and one son-in-law and evens it all out to the penny because she is so concerned with equal distribution of presents.
I went down to my parents’ house this past weekend for Mother’s Day, and on Saturday night I finally had dinner with my mom alone, just the two of us, which we never get to do anymore. I admitted to her that I still hadn’t gotten her her Mother’s Day gift yet. The clock was ticking — literally, there were mere hours until the day itself, and if you know my hometown, you know there’s not much in the way of boutiques there. I hadn’t even gotten her a card.
And my mom, the champ she is, pulled into the Walgreens on our way back to her house, laughing the whole time, where I ran in and joined the dozen other slackers in the card aisle, and picked out the best card I could find. It played music and had a fairy with wings that really flapped on the inside, which made it a winner.
She’s a winner, too. She’s the biggest winner I know.
This pencil, however, is not. (Sorry, Sarah. I know you love it.)