This story is just too funny not to share. Back in early August, a co-worker let me borrow a very old etiquette book of hers, Marion Harland’s Complete Etiquette. I actually posted some motoring tips for all you road warriors out there from it. The book was written in 1907 so you can imagine how arcane some of the “advice” is. True blog fodder.
But somehow, when I went on vacation the last week of August, I misplaced her book. I thought I brought it home with me from the office. But it’s nowhere in my house that I can find, not in my car, and it isn’t at work. I’ve torn my entire environment apart looking for it. Of course, I didn’t fess up to this right away. But then she started asking about the book. So I had to come clean. But not before I had finally found a replacement through a rare bookseller AbeBooks.com. So I placed an order for this very hard to find book and got another one on its way. Thing is, this author is very prolific: Marion Harland is to etiquette books what Tito Puente is to music. But this particular book is not easy to find; all her other books are. (Isn’t that always how luck runs?) There were three of them in various states of decay on the AbeBooks site. Each time I clicked (starting of course with the least expensive one) to place an order, I’d eventually get an e-mail message later in the day saying that the buyer advised that the book was not available. So I ended up with the $50 book on the third try.
Now, just last week, after I delivered the replacement book to my friend (who was delighted, since it was in much better shape than the one she had), I’ve gotten two more e-mails. And received one more book. So one is still on the way. After they all arrive, I’ll let my friend have the “pick of the litter,” keep the next best one, and sell the other. Of course, then the one loose in my house is sure to turn up and when it does, it’s gonna get sold too.
Anyone want a nice, used etiquette book circa 1907?