If you've seen "Back to the Future" you might remember the scene at the end of the movie where George McFly receives a box that contains the first copies of the book he wrote. The scene was intended to help solidify the moral of the story, as George says, "Like I've always told you, you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything." But for me, it was always a moment of wistful envy. I really, really wanted to open a box of books with my name on the covers. Really, really.
So the day FINALLY came when the UPS truck slowed and then actually stopped at my house. I just happened to be getting into my car when I saw it approach, and instead of calmly waiting for the driver to bring the box to me, I literally ran to his open door, pretty much scaring the bejeebers out of him. I then squealed (loudly, shrilly) when he produced the large box from the publisher. I started babbling, "It's my book! My book!" as I tried to sign for it while still holding the box. Yep, I should have put the box down, but I didn't wanna. It was MY BOOK!
The driver didn't say a word as he looked at me sideways. I'd say he may have driven off as fast as he could, but that's hard to say with UPS. And if he glanced back in his rear-view mirror, he would have really given me an odd look as he watched a grown woman awkwardly trying to skip into the house with a heavy box.
I tore the box open as fast as I could. (A cautionary note: cardboard paper cuts are very unpleasant. I suggest the use of scissors.) There, in all its paperback glory, sat the culmination of all my hopes and dreams and energies: STUD MUFFINS: LUSCIOUS, DELECTABLE, YUMMY (AND GOOD MUFFIN RECIPES, TOO!) I picked up a copy, which turned out to be a hefty 200 pages, and I just stared at it for the longest time. I didn't know if I should laugh or cry, so I did both. Then I danced around with it, hugged it, and kissed it. Maybe it was a good thing I was home alone. I didn't need my family looking at me sidways, too.
I finally took a look inside. My reaction? It was a real book! I know that sounds stupid, but up until this moment all the writing, photos and recipes were just loose leaf parts and pieces. Here it all was, nicely bound, shiny, typeset and beautiful. And the photos were fabulous. I couldn't be happier without exploding.
So here's to you, George McFly and writers everywhere. May you often experience the unbelievable joy a box of books can bring. Sans cardboard paper cuts.
WINTER OLYMPICS UPDATE FROM 1998 - Twenty years ago in Nagano, I attempted curling. Incredibly, I did not medal.
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