I create books. Not of the written word, but of the stuff pasted in.
Every room in our house has a dedicated folder, which I’ve filled with pictures I’ve torn from magazines that inspire me. A paint color here, a wall treatment there, a chair I covet, shelves I’ll consider begging Fearless Leader to construct. Folders. Many, many folders.
I was working on one just yesterday, sort of a prairie reclamation thing I’m into, and was pasting in a photo of a chippy blue, wooden chair that made my heart sing. I positioned the picture in the center of the page, flipped it over, and then slathered the back with glue. I am very generous with glue because I don’t like curled edges on my handiwork. I turned the picture face up and smoothed it down. As I was putting the cap back on the glue stick, all four corners of the blue chair rolled up. Maybe this glue is getting old, I thought as I smeared more on the back of the picture and smoothed it back on the page.The corners curled again. Now I was mad. How can they call a thing a “permanent” glue stick when it won’t do the job for even 30 seconds?
Well. The third time was the charm — but only after I realized I’d been gluing away with my tube of Burt’s Bees lip balm. What is it about me and things that come in tubes? Interestingly, a year ago I had the same problem in reverse. I lubed up my chapped lips with a glue stick before I realized what was up.
There ought to be law against packaging products in containers that are associated with particular body parts, and when I say to you that my lips are sealed, count on it. But never mind. We’re talking about notes.
This morning, after someone on a television sitcom said, “I’ll write you a note,” I’m reminded of one my boss wrote after begging a favor. (This happened decades ago; ain’t nobody the boss of me now.)
His teenage daughter was in the hospital for a reason I’ve since forgotten, and she had asked him to please buy her some underwear because she wasn’t into walking the halls in a gown that gapped in the back. “Babs,” he said (I have no idea why he always called me Babs), “do me a favor. I need you to go to Liberty House and get Gayle some underwear. I’ll give you my card and write a note so they’ll let you charge them to my account.”
“You’re going to owe me,” I said, because Women’s Lib may have been a fledgling movement at the time, but it was in gear and I was all over the harassment thing.
On my way to lunch, I swung by Liberty House, hit the lingerie department and grabbed a half-dozen pairs of panties. I went straight to the credit department because this would be a third-party purchase and I thought to spare the saleswoman the hassle and me the grief. I handed the note and my boss’s card over to the woman behind the counter and pointed to the underwear. She opened the thrice-folded note, read it, and looked at me like she’d seen the ghost of Christmas Future. “Is something wrong?” I asked, because this did not look promising. Her eyes were going to roll out of her head. “Did you read this?” she finally asked, sliding the note in my direction. “No,” I said, and took a look at my boss’s scrawl. What he wrote was this: “I am authorizing my assistant, Babs, to use my credit card to purchase six pairs of underwear. I’m sick to death of seeing her traipse around in those holey, dingy things she wears to work every day.”
I didn’t kill him. The credit manager and I, once we got our wits about us, had a good laugh when we realized it was April 1 and I was the fool. I don’t mess with notes, anymore. Lynne Horner is a freelance writer who lives in Springfield. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.