So my job is great, but my job is hard. I typically just talk about the fun stuff, but that's not to say that it isn't work. Running a show is physically hard--setting up and tearing down a 200-square-foot booth from scratch, being on your feet all day, running around getting other stuff done; it's emotionally hard, being "on" (think Price Is Right Showgirl, but I'm expected to have intimate familiarity with your personal state and district struggles and mandates, and how our books dovetail into them--actual comment today: "So you haven't actually used this in a classroom yourself?!") all day, managing customer and author crises, and keeping up on regular work email to boot. I don't say that to earn pity or anything--on the whole, I'm very blessed with my job. But I'm mostly setting the stage before this list, so you see it in context.
But all that said, things I loved about today:
- I loved that first customer. I was a little overeager and scared her off a little, but it's been a long six months since I've run a booth, and I loved hearing my cadence come back so easily, inescapably tinged with a trace of adopted Southern accent: "C'n I help you find something in pa-ticular, or are you just browsing? ... Nope, browse away, totally fine! Let me know if y'need anything."
- I loved the one burst of true busy-ness we had today, a rush of customers surrounding my popular author (dressed up as Doctor Who, complete with sonic screwdriver and shouts of "I suspect you are a dalek!"), that feeling of being the prettiest girl at the ball as other vendors glare from their peaceful corners.
- I loved the quiet chunks of the day while teachers were busy in their sessions, laughing over private jokes with Rebecca, sustaining ourselves with coffee and potato chips.
- I loved catching up with my author-friend, checking in and trading jokes and laughing at my typo and--most importantly--receiving a pound of O'Henry's Pumpkin Spice coffee fresh from Birmingham.
- I loved counting down the minutes in the last hour, the frustration as the organizers waited until five past the hour to close the hall, the frenzy of packing up and escape.
- I loved today's fellas--Oscar at the hotel bar, Paul at the restaurant--being friendly, funny, attentive, chatty, borderline flirty. Makes an exhausted girl feel pretty and worthwhile. Tips for everyone.
- I loved the crazy-good water pressure in this shower. Standing with eyes screnched shut, letting it pound away the ache and tired and wash it all down the drain.
- I loved dinner, hunching over our table in this restaurant we discovered three years ago, sighing over fried green tomatoes, wedge salads, shrimp & grits, apple bread pudding. Comfort food being its much-needed comfort at the end of this day, laughing and people-watching and taking a breather.
- I loved getting lost on our way home, barreling down 40 East, mesmerized by food fullness and a quiet jazz piano on the radio, corrected at last by the ever-helpful iPhone.
- I loved flopping out on the bed to write instead of turning on the TV, a near-automatic impulse now.
- I love knowing that this whole routine will unroll again tomorrow. My feet ache and I am a little more tired just thinking about it--tired but happy, too.