A few months ago I got the opportunity to go and hear one of my favorite author's read.
Myself, along with a married couple that I am friends with, went on a short road trip to North Carolina to hear him read (which is the best way to enjoy David Sedaris).
|Leaving on a road trip stock photo!|
|Waiting at the gas station stock photo!|
While at a gas station, a Uhaul truck pulled up next to us and this was on the side of their truck:
This made me laugh for HOURS. I wish that I could have been in on that marketing meeting to see how this got to see the light of day.
I think that next year I should tell my students that they need to do their research at Uhaul.com EXCLUSIVELY.
***Note: Of course I went o Uhaul.com later to learn more about glaciers....so maybe they are the ones with the last laugh here.
Anyway, the reading was fantastic and we even got to meet and talk to him afterwards.
I was going to type up a story about the whole trip, but I decided that I would instead share the letter that I wrote to him afterwards (I couldn't find the file on my computer to I retyped it from a hard copy. If there are a plethora of typos, don't be TOO bothered):
I’ve always been quite the introverted person. I've been such an introvert for so long that my face has decided to follow suit with my personality. People are constantly asking me, “What’s wrong with you?” “Why do you hate me?” “Does your face not know how to smile?” I always have to respond, “It’s just my face!” My thoughts, witty comebacks, and (I’m sure) winning personality are all rattling around in my head, they just rarely come out to play well with others.
This quirk of my personality never really bothered me until 9 years after I became an 8th grade English teacher. I chose to switch teaching districts and took a job in an extremely southern town (which you can relate to!). I have taught English in some pretty rough places. My hardened personality and face that once were such an asset to me in my former setting, became a detriment to me in my new setting. In the new district they believe that you will go to the fiery depths of Hell if you miss waving, smiling, or shouting out “Thank you too!” to each person that you encounter. Not a week went by that I was not (and I kid you not) called to the principal’s office because of someone’s complaint about my personality and/or face (depending on how much time they had on their hands that week). In one instance, I got reamed out because I didn’t say “Good morning!" to him or her. I instead dared to respond, “You too!” with what was deemed a lackluster smile. Another time, I was told that my body language in a meeting made a certain teacher feel as if I was "going to go against" him or her. In semi short, in each meeting I wanted so desperately to just swear at my accuser and head butt them in their perky little face with my unpleasant one. Rather than do this, I would just nod and wait for it to be over.
While on a long car trip one day with my friend and her husband, the husband put on one of your books on tape (Whether it was to compensate for my lack of talking or to override his wife's talking is an unsolved mystery). I had never encountered anything like it before and it actually made me laugh out loud. I went home that night and ordered all of your books. I had always wanted to write (especially being an English teacher) but I could never get the hang of conventional novel writing. It never occurred to me that an entire book could be broken in essays that take on a conversational/diary like tone.
I started keeping a list of ridiculous things that I observed around me and began turning those into my own short little vignettes. In no time I amassed a long collection of short stories (around 137). Rather than ending up on the news for a mass killing spree (they always say it’s the quiet ones), I was able to release my frustrations in another, much more society pleasing manner. I believe that I have you to partially thank for that. If you don’t want to look at it on the small scale of helping one individual keep their sanity, think of it in the larger picture of saving others from the mass casualties I would have, no doubt, brought upon an entire community with my pent up rage.
I recently got the chance to meet you after one of your readings. I was, of course, quite and reserved. However, but the end of the conversation you have told me to go *eff* myself (in a much kinder manner than any of my former students/colleges I might add) and drew a picture of a giraffe in my book because my friend let you know a giraffe once got to second base with me at a zoo (That’s a whole other story unto itself). You made some sort of quip about that Australian nickname you gave to yourself that I didn’t catch, but being so shy I couldn’t bring myself to ask you to repeat it so I just pulled the ole’ smile and nod. I was beyond impressed an thankful that you took the time with each person in line, including my quite self, to engage, or in my case, swear at, each one of us. I don’t’ think that I could ever had the courage to be that forward and congenial with 15 people, much less, a 100+ each night. I think that for right now, I will just stick to being forward in writing!
|Collage of my signed books|
|Emalee's signed book|