There was a large carton on my porch yesterday noon, which was much too big for books (unless there were lots and lots of them!) and so I was quite curious to see what was inside. I dutifully brought in my grocery sacks (but didn’t unpack them – after all I’m not that good!) and went round to the front porch to claim my package. My excitement mounted when I caught sight of the return address label…Levenger’s.
I’ve never ordered anything from Levenger’s although there is much to be coveted in their catalog, which I peruse longingly every time it comes in my mailbox. Someone, however, had ordered something for me, because there was my name clear as day on the label.
I slid a sharp knife underneath the packing tape and opened the flaps on the carton. The lovely, rich smell of real wood came drifting out…oh, could this be what I think?
Immediately, I knew my dear husband had ordered this for me…he’s been worrying over my habit of sitting curled up in the chair, my tiny notebook computer balanced precariously between the chair arm and bended knees. I lifted the lovely carved wooden platform from it’s styrofoam nest and caressed it’s soft leather cushioned bottom. Grabbing up my computer, I plopped down, noticing there was plenty of room to manuever the mouse.
As much as I love the fact of my new lap desk, which hearkens back to those days of the portable writing desk, the kind the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen used to such advanage, it’s most special quality is in the giver. Sometimes, just when I think my husband takes no notice of me or my interests, he’ll pull a trick like this which demostrates that I’m very wrong ideed.
Once, years ago when I was a college student, he gave me the newly published Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath. I was quite Plath-obsessed at that time, but the only way he would have known that was to notice the pile of books and clippings I kept related to her. I never discussed poetry with my husband in those days…goodness, he was too busy working all hours, and I was too busy going to school, keeping house, and raising a boy. Nevertheless, he took notice, and that book remains one of the most cherished on my shelves for just that reason.
Once again, he has surprised me with his quiet regard for me and my interests and obsessions. Each time I settle into my chair with my lap desk tucked neatly against my waist, I offer a silent nod to the gods of love, who gifted me with such a rare specimen for my own.
Now tell me, what’s the most thoughtful bookish gift you’ve every received? And from whom?