While there are many uses for calculators, I think the average person uses them for one thing: keeping track of money. What’s in their checkbooks, what their bills will amount to this month, what’s in the budget for groceries, vacations, or necessities. But earlier this week, I met someone who uses a calculator for something entirely different.

Her name is Merissa and she is a February writing resident up here at the Colony. She makes jewelry out of the keys from old calculators. Cool, huh? She mentioned it the other day at dinner, and I thought this was the neatest thing.

Today is my birthday. I’m 39. Merissa arrived only on Monday, and has, as I have, been chipping away at her work, so we haven’t spent much time together. But leave it to an Aquarian (her birthday is next week)! This afternoon, she knocked on my door and brought me a present: a pair of earrings made from calculator keys! Number 9’s to be specific.

“You can wear them as 66, 99, or 69!” she said (of course, as 96, too, but that’s just not as fun a number). I was so touched by this gesture that a woman I barely know cared enough to bring me a gift when I was so far away from home. Merissa also had no idea how much this particular gift meant on this odd birthday (it has been odd). The beginning of today was a little bit rough, and this gift sent the message that I needed to remember what’s really important to me—and it’s got nothing to do with calculating.

I’m wearing the earrings right now. They’re so cool! Here’s the pix:

The calculator key earrings from Merissa. Totally awesome!

About kristipetersenschoonover

A ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in countless magazines and anthologies. She has received three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies, served as a co-editor for Read Short Fiction, has judged both writing and grant competitions and co-hosts the Dark Discussions Podcast. Her work Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole is a collection of ghost stories set in Disney Parks; her novel, Bad Apple, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She’s also a member of the New England Horror Writers Association. More info: www.kristipetersenschoonover.com

Posted on February 5, 2010, in Deep Thoughts & Fun Stuff and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Happy birthday a day late! I actually have you written on my calendar, which is beside the computer here… but that still means I’d have to look at it, lol. Hope you had an overall good birthday, despite the odd beginning.

    • I totally did have a great birthday, as it turned out! My friends Pete and Duff took me to a bar that’d kind of remind you of one of those old-time taverns; it had a great local feel — the Governor Bradford. Then we went to Napi’s and had dinner. It was fun. Not my usual birthday — it was great to shake things up a bit.

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