Look, it’s me (in the pink denim shirt) on the first day of second grade. My sister is about the start the fourth grade. My mother, if memory serves, is 27 in this picture, and can be excused for what she is wearing because it was the 70s and everyone alive in that era did things they regret today. Better that ensemble than, say, cocaine.
Anyway: Hey! I was young once. True story.
Folks: This week I’ve gotten no less than five requests from fans (or family/friends of fans) asking if I could do some particular special thing or another that would mean a lot to the fan for the holidays. Since there are several of these this week, and these sorts of requests are something I’ve had to juggle before, especially during the holidays, I’m posting this as a general note so people know it’s not personal. And that note is:
I really can’t. One, because it’s the holidays for me and my family as well as for everyone else, which means that I’m pretty busy with other things — including work, but also with general holiday stuff. Two, because often the things you’re asking for may seem relatively small or trouble-free for you but often will require some amount of planning and scheduling for me, which again, will probably take place during the holidays, when my time is at a premium. Three, because I couldn’t do all the special requests I’m asked to do and I would feel vaguely guilty at granting some and not others, so easier just to say no and put everyone on the same footing.
Special requests were one reason I started doing the holiday signing books thing at Jay and Mary’s Book Center several years ago. It made better sense from a time management (and from a maximizing access) point of view to schedule through the bookstore than to have people, for example, send their purchases to me at home to sign.
It’s possible in the future I’ll set up something where I do a day of Holiday Special Favors — probably with a charitable aspect tied into it somehow if I do — but for now I just have to say “no.” I do hope you understand.
(P.S.: If you were one of those asking for a special request, please don’t feel bad for doing so. You didn’t do anything wrong, and you weren’t being rude for asking or anything like that. This isn’t an “Oh my God I can’t believe you would ask that what a terrible person you are” post, it’s a “I can totally see why would want this and here’s why I can’t right now” post. There’s a difference.)