So the dishwasher broke in the morning and that meant the whole time I was working I knew I would come home to the pile-up. I spent much of the day in a long meeting, convincing a client that, in order to create a marketing plan, it might good to first create a brand story--you know-- something to market. After that my red blood cell count was down to nil.
On the ferry home I thought thoughts about the book manuscript I owe that is not done. And as I walked home, clad in too many layers for the weather, I felt a pang about Upstairs Pete's pet rat and my role in its demise. See yesterday.
After bumbling in with my large bag of things, I looked at the dish pile-up, decided against it, and went to read a little email. There it was:
Would I be so kind, the email from an unknown party read, as to share an interesting personal anecdote about Tobias Frere-Jones that can be included in the book and exhibition for the Tobias Frere-Jones, Gerrit Noordzij Prize exhibit/event which is coming right up? Immediately if not sooner? No time at all until the deadline!
Now. I am a woman with a broken dishwasher, a book manuscript that is not in, and a rat on my conscience. Is this a time to be asking me to contribute to a laudatory document about one of the foremost type designers of our era? If said type designer had a broken dishwasher and an unfinished manuscript and a rat on his conscience, how would he feel if, say, he browsed his email to find, "We're just putting the finishing touches on a book and exhibit about Natalia Ilyin, to go along with her being awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and, well, she mentioned you and so we're trying to squeeze you in at the last moment, though we have no idea who you are."
I'll tell you how he'd feel. He'd be pleased as punch. He'd send a lovely note to them about student days and about how I did something or other that endangered life and limb and he'd write it in twenty seconds with no rewrites and charmingly, too. He is the kind of person for whom rats do not die and dishwashers do not break. Or maybe he's just quieter about it.