Friday, 12 July 2013

The Joy of Vouchers

It was my birthday last week - my parents took my daughter and I to London Zoo, and we had a lovely lunch out. It was a great couple of days (it was rainy on my actual birthday, so the zoo trip was postponed for a week), and everyone made it very special for me.

I got presents too - I am a very lucky Lamb. Beautiful dresses, chocolate, DVDs, and of course books, were bestowed upon me until I felt really rather overwhelmed by the whole thing. Happy, though. Very, very happy.

I also received a number of book vouchers. This is because I asked for them. In fact, whenever anyone isn't sure what to buy me, and they ask me what I want, after the initial, "Nothing, really, you don't have to," to which they always say they want to, I say vouchers. For anything. Clothes, books, food, a day out... the list is endless. Many tend to look at me in a puzzled way.

"Are you sure?" they ask. "Really? Nothing else?"

As though vouchers are a lesser thing than a physical present that they can hand over and watch me open.

But the thing is, I love vouchers. Book tokens are my special favourite, and I am looking forward to taking myself off to the local bookshop on its late night opening to browse and spend, a treat that I anticipate twice a year (birthday and Christmas), but whatever the voucher is for, I love receiving it.

There's definitely nothing wrong with giving gift vouchers.

What can be more thrilling than entering a shop you love, armed with money that isn't really real but that is able to buy you something you want? When it's real money, I'm careful, cautious, I think and think and think again. But when it's vouchers, I dive in. I am reckless. I try things I would never normally try, and find new authors to love that way.

It's fun.

It's exciting.

It's liberating.

And it feels damn good.

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