I think I’m usually a pretty difficult person to buy for… unless you’re a close girlfriend and know how much I’m in dire need of a book on dirty French phrases, or you’re my mother and I just send you links to things on amazon (like this king-size down alternative comforter, please and thank you).
(Side note: apparently amazon wish lists tell you if someone’s bought something for you? Freaking genius. Thanks, Mom.)
The things I truly want, like $700 rings or kindles, I buy for myself. I get more joy out of giving presents, and I think birthdays are awkward to begin with (it’s like half a holiday? no one else is celebrating), so I’m kind of awkward.
But I’ve noticed people always get me journals. I’m a writer, I like to talk about myself, I need to chronicle events as they happen so some day I can slander every person I know in my memoir—it’s a reasonable conclusion to come to. There’s only one problem: I suck at journaling.
I have about half a dozen unfinished journals lying around in some unlabeled, unorganized box, and they all have more or less the same contents: The first ten pages, I spend debating whether I ought to write in print or cursive (it’s always a hot debate) and talking about how terrible I am at journaling, and how I hope I can do better this time around and blahblahblah. The next bit talks about whatever boy is featured most prominently in my life (actually that one kind of goes on throughout). The rest is made up of sporadic entries, in which I try to summarize a month’s worth of events in less than 6 pages. I sum almost every entry up with what I call my “Gs and Ts,” an assortment of things I’m grateful for (Gratitudes) and then any random bits I might have forgotten to share (Thoughts). But when I hit a long enough dry spell, I just stop. Womp.
This past birthday, I got two journals: one from aforementioned friend that came with a dirty French book (Cet ecule m’a donne les morphions = That asshole gave me crabs. Just toss that one in there when you’re buying a baguette), and one from—surprise, surprise—a boy.
We’ll call him AB (not his initials, but you can try stalking if you want). AB didn’t just buy me a Moleskin; he hodge-podged the French flag on the jacket of it, and paired it with a English-French dictionary, another hodge-podged book with maps and info on Paris, and the world’s most awesome super skinny pens, and then stuck it all in a French egg crate. My own kit.
If that’s not the coolest thing ever, then… you’re wrong. This journal’s been my constant companion for the past 5 months. It’s beloved and beat up; I duct-taped the spine after it started to bust because I taped post cards to the pages, and there was an unfortunate run-in with a pulp-y, ripe pear in the depths of my Longchamp somewhere in Bruges, but it survived.
And today, ladies and gentlemen, Marian finished her first journal. Cue applause.
I’m moving onto the next one (also with a French theme. Y’all know me so well), but I just wanted to mark the occasion. Voila!