Parents are an embarrassment to their children. Always have been, always will be. And often poor parents need exert no special effort. Merely exist, that’s enough. I remember when I was ten, walking passed our home with my school class. And there was my mother in the window – waving. I wanted the earth to open up underneath me – how did she dare to behave in such an appalling manner. I pretended I hadn’t see her.
Things have changed since then. Now I am the waving mother. But – and here comes my claim to fame – I don’t just wave with my bare hands – oh no – in one hand I hold the Peirene catalogue, in the other Peirene Title No 1. And I don’t just wave at my children – no way – I wave at anybody and everybody in the hope they will notice the fab products in my hands. Or at least that’s how I am perceived by my 10-year-old son.
On Thursday evening, as I was about to go out, to join other mums from his class for an annual dinner, he suddenly flung his arms around me. Don’t go, he pleaded. – Why, my darling, is something worrying you? – Do you have any catalogues in your bag? – Yes. – Mum, you don’t know how embarrassing it is that you always talk about Peirene and want everybody to read your books. And no one wants to. None of my friends at least. – That’s ok, they don’t have to, I calmed him down, gave him a kiss and went my way.
I am pleased he didn’t insist to look in my bag. Because it’s not just catalogues (at least 10) and business cards (at least 20) and newly printed Peirene Title No 1 bookmarks (30!) I am carrying around with me nowadays. I have truly become a walking talking Peirene advertising campaign – my son is right there. I now also carry the real book wherever I go, to show people, to let them touch it so they are encouraged to own one themselves. It’s my latest proud sales idea. As of this week, when I discovered that amazon has already started to sell the book. Last week’s Madam Serenity, or whatever was left of her, flew out of the window in a split second. The world needs to know, the first Peirene book is out there, I can’t afford to miss a single trick.
Did you give your catalogue to anybody last night? my son asked me the next morning. – Yes. – And? Did they mind? – No, in fact I think they were delighted. Two of the mums belong to reading groups and they are keen now to read Beside the Sea in their group.
Of course I am dying to know if they already have ordered their books from amazon. I still can’t totally believe that anyone will. I’ve ordered one myself this morning. Just to see if it actually arrives. I won’t tell my children though. I might as well spare them that embarrassment.