Here are a list of things not to get me for Christmas or any other gift-giving occasion:
1) My Own Star with a map showing me where to find it and a certificate telling me there’s a star out there named “Jennifer.” I don’t have time and I don’t have a telescope. (This is not a hint to get me a telescope)
2) Sweaters. I live in Texas. I would maybe use it as a dust rag or something to let the cat sleep on. And unless it’s made out of Target gift cards, I’m not wearin’ it.
3) A Monogramed Anything: It was hard enough for me to change my middle name to my maiden name and then tack on my husband’s name at the end. Don’t rub it in.
4) Shrink wrapped Salmon. I don’t care if it was 30 bucks and came straight from Alaska. It’s fish in a box.
5) Items that say I’m a #1 anything… unless you can prove it, I’m not.
6) Pictures of yourself. Please.
7) Books and CDs that you think I’ll like. Just because I teared up that one time when Josh Groban was on “Touched by an Angel” does not mean I want any of his records. I was sick that week. Check out my wish list on Amazon.com before you get any lofty ideas that you really know me. You probably don’t.
8) Items that actually say “Makes a Great Gift” right on the box.
9) A donation to my favorite charity in my name. Look, during the holidays “I” am my favorite charity. The end.
10) Your kids’ craft project. I know you told her that “it’s the thought that counts and we have so many lovely crocheted things. Let’s give some away as gifts this year!” That’s a straight up pussy move. Don’t do it.
JK Rowling: Hello?
Me: Hey JK– its JH
JK: Why hello, Jennifer! How’ve you been?
Me: Actually, I’ve had a bad throat infection the last few days and I’ve been coughing up the grossest stuff.
JK: Sounds awful.
Me: Yep… sorry my voice is so hoarse. It’s sexy, though, don’t you think?
JK: Definitely. You’re getting enough tea, then? Just hot herbal tea and lemon and a splash of honey. Does wonders.
Me: Oh yeah. I’ve been doing that since last week.
JK: Good girl. Right, so I got Benjamin’s birthday party invitation in the post just yesterday. It was adorable! Little animals with party hats. Brilliant.
Me: Yep– I printed them out myself. But, of course, you have people to do that sort of thing for you right?
JK: You’re mad.
Me: OK, OK, Sorry. I won’t start. (pause) So how’s the castle?
JK: It’s NOT a castle!
Me: I’m just KIDDING, geez. So, anyway, can you come? I have an opening for a storyteller for the kids and you’d be the obvious choice.
JK: No, I can’t make it. I’ll be in Japan and…
Me: Oh, sure, that’s OK.
JK: No, really, I want to be there it’s just that…
Me: You don’t have to explain.
JK: OK… sorry.
Me: Look. I’ve been meaning to tell you something for the longest time and now is as good a time as any.
JK: What is it?
Me: I just don’t even know how to say it.
JK: C’mon, then. Just spit it out.
Me: Promise you won’t get mad.
Me: Well… OK… here goes. I’ve never actually read any of your books. There I said it.
Me: I mean, I have them all. Well, most of them. And I saw the first two movies, but I never actually got around to reading the books.
JK: I am absolutely gobsmacked. May I ask why?
Me: Um… the thing is is that there was just SO much hype, it really rubbed me the wrong way.
JK: Uh huh.
Me: Then I started noticing that all my friends on Livejournal and at the office were huge fans, and I was impressed. These are smart people.
JK: Well, they have compared me to Lewis and Tolkien, Jennifer. That might not mean anything to you, but…
Me: See. Now you’re mad.
JK: No, I’m not mad. I’m just a little confused. I mean, you’ve read all the classics, and those were wildly popular. How do you explain that?
Me: I don’t know. I just started to seeing all the marketing and the hoopla and it just made me angry. I rebelled.
JK: That’s so juvenile.
Me: I know. I know. I’ll just say it outright. I’m jealous.
JK: Of course you’re jealous. You wouldn’t be a human being if you weren’t a little jealous of my success.
Me: OK, now you’re just being arrogant.
JK: No I’m not. Let me ask you this. How is your young adult trilogy coming along? Are you EVER going to send me pages?
Me: Yeah, right.
JK: Well, have you written anything?
Me: Yes… I mean when I can make the time I…
JK: You’re pathetic.
Me: I know. Listen, you know what I’m going to do?
Me: I’m going to give Benjamin a Harry Potter birthday party. And I’ll even read, like, the first two books if I have time and then I’ll send you my pages next month. Oh, and you do NOT have to feel guilty about Japan. We’ll just call it even, OK?
JK: Deal. That all sounds lovely.
Me: Yes, quite. Well, have fun storming the castle…
JK: Very funny.