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You’ve Got To Be Kidding

I bought them at a large box store that begins with the letter C.  They were by the men's socks — the kind my husband likes — near the motor oil and the big book table, which was directly across from the towering cans of tuna fish.  I didn't need them, I didn't even know things like this existed, but the minute I saw them we bonded. So I bought them, this long string of purple grape lights, and I put them up in my office.  Actually, I draped them over my grandmother's old secretary desk, plugged them in, and laughed.  My husband said, what are those?  My dog crawled out of my office.  My friend came over and said, you've got to be kidding, Joan.  So I took them down and forgot about them until I was attempting to clean the basement — note the word, attempting — and I found my grape lights in a box.  Right then, I heard the voice of a professional organizer I know say, if you haven't used something in a year, toss it.  Well, I hadn't used these in three years, I didn't even know if they still worked, but I wasn't tossing them.  I brought them back to my office, arranged them over my grandmother's desk, plugged them in, the lights beamed on, and I laughed.   

I'm not sure why these grapes speak to me the way they do.  Perhaps it's because they are just so deeply weird and wonderful.  Perhaps it's because I'm starting a new book and I want it to be bold and a little crazy.  Perhaps it's because grapes have always reminded me of a fruitful harvest.  No matter.  I think everyone needs something equivalent to grape lights that no one will understand but you. So here they are, world.  Love me, love my grape lights. Get something bold and stick it up.  I'm not kidding.



3 responses to “You’ve Got To Be Kidding

  1. Ms. Bauer,
    I have loved you books since I was in my early teens. I recently found your blog and am so grateful for the gently humor and encouragement it offers. Thanks for what you do. Oh, and I’m sure your grape lights are awesome.

  2. Ok… so I have to comment. I found my green grape lights at a posh kitchen store in Boulder. Way cool. Had to have. Mine splay out from the doorway into my studio.
    Now on to Rules of the Road. It’s fabulous. The characters, the pace, the shoes! I read YA books while riding the elliptical and ROTR has definitely been the most fun yet. Good stuff!

  3. Joan — I’m SO JEALOUS! My string of grapes DON’t light up! I’m still partial to them, though because they’re covered in sparkled crystals, and because of the person who gave them to me. Hung them out for Christmas, here in Ohio! 🙂
    Rita Z

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