Well, I’ve been on Ebay again. And look what I found…this is a tee-ninsy woman’s address book – just 1 3/4″ by 2 1/2″. It literally fits in the palm of my hand and is so shiny/classy I almost feel like a dimestore starlet. The button beside the letters slides up and down, and when I push the little cigarette case-like button on the bottom the book opens up to just that page. This little address-keeper has no scribbling in it whatsover, and a 1955 calendar on the back of each page. An unwanted gift, maybe, from a beau she didn’t love. Or the one who couldn’t buy her something better.
Typewriter Glamour or How I’m Staying Off of Ebay This MorningFresh Ribbon
Alabama Girls Do All RightFresh Ribbon
Occasionally, I get a little Ebay-happy and bid on a typewriter I’m completely unsure of. The machine usually has a bad picture or a lackluster description. Sometimes I email the seller and get back either useless information or no email at all. This has happened to me three times and every single time I’ve lucked into a prize.
This one is prize number three. I’m always a fraidy-cat when it comes to opening The Box on the Porch when a new typewriter arrives. It’s the moment of truth, especially when the machine inside is a gamble. I paid almost nothing for this Royal Futura 800 – even less than the low shipping cost. Sometimes, though, you’ve got to put it in perspective: I’ve spent more on a dinner out at a mediocre restaurant. I’ve bought earrings more expensive than this. Just cruising past the Estee Lauder counter sets me back twice the cost of the shipping alone.
In the end, it was sent to the wrong address, poorly packed, and the case…well. I spent the better part of an hour just trying to get the rusted latch to open, when it might have been easier just to start ripping the leather away by hand.
But look what was inside. Aside from Tallulah’s obvious beauty, all I had to do was put in a fresh ribbon and start typing. Just like that. I took her to my office the very next day and kept her on my desk as an everyday typer. The color is interesting – something between blush and band-aid, but it has an angelic, effortless touch. Ed at Acme Business Machines said that of all the typewriters I’ve ever brought him, this was his favorite. She’s such a coquette. Just look at her up there, posing in the gardenias.
She’s also a sassy Alabama girl with (literally) untapped ambition. Possibly a graduation gift to a young girl who’d rather marry her high school sweetheart than go to college, and so the gift languished, unused, and stored carefully away. Then uncarefully away as the kids and her life began to fill out. It’s possible this typewriter represented a regrettable decision and finally went to live with the shed spiders. Who knows.
So I named her Tallulah Bankhead, because sometimes good Alabama girls didn’t marry the sweetheart, sometimes they left home and became famous bad girls.
A Ramble on Vintage PaperFresh Ribbon
The (Rebate) Check is in the Mail…Uncategorized
There Needs to be a Twelve-Step ProgramUncategorized
I whined, but I wroteUncategorized
I’m really awfully busy, what with the spring semester starting and reading Jack Cafferty’s It’s Getting Ugly Out There and Ebay and scribbling terrible drafts of Chesaleen and all. It takes more effort than you think to write badly and then go back at it again.
As soon as I get my instructional land-legs back, finish Jack’s book, win that typewriter on Ebay, and do a little more justice to poor Chesaleen, I’ll write about every last bit of it. Especially Jack (note the familiarity), who I’m now a little in love with.
I also have something to say about birthdays and my new decision to lie about them. If you recognized the picture above, then you should probably be lying about your age, too. Those who don’t get it will probably be seeing me in class on Monday.