Trade 2 and 3: A birthday present and a writer’s dream

This is the fifth post in The Big Swap. Originally posted on Posterous, which has since been shut down.

This is happening way too fast.

First off, I’m saying goodbye to Teddy. He was my first trade in The Big Swap, and was hard to let go. Alas, my goals are too lofty, and my dreams to big, to let me become attached to a miniature teddy bear. Although I have to say he almost stole my heart away…

As I explained in his biography, Teddy is being traded to my aunt Joy. She was here for my brother’s wedding, a monumental affair which makes me feel old. Joy does myofascial massage, which from my limited understanding means “massage that doesn’t involve ripping or tearing”. I could be wrong though. It sure sounds fancy and relaxing; I almost got one of those, but business and busy-ness got in the way, and I’m left feeling just a tad bit un-fulfilled. (I’m sorry, Auntie Joy, I really would have liked to.)

Joy leaves for Minnesota on Tuesday, which initially caused a real problem. If I accepted her offer of a massage, I only had one day in which to achieve my third trade; otherwise, she’d leave for the frozen tundras of the Midwest, and I’d be stuck here with no Teddy and a sore back. Even if she was to give me the massage before she left, that would have meant I had to pass that on, and I highly doubt that my massage would count as myofascial. I’m no gentle expert; I learned massage by giving my mother neck massages, and her massage motto is “no pain, no gain”. Very original, but also very uncomfortable. Comparing Joy’s massages to mine would be something like comparing Jim Brickman to Jackie Chan. In other words, we’re not even in the same category.

So I was stuck. I had an awesome offer, but how could I make a trade in one day? I dismissed the idea as improbable (pronounced “impossible”) and went on with my day.

Behind the scenes, my dear mother was working. You know the mother who believes in her kid, even if he says he’s gonna become the President? That’s my mom. She’s awesome. Anyway, she did some talking. And she talked to the right person.

One of the people mom talked to was Heidi. Heidi wanted a massage really badly – and who wouldn’t? Of course, in order to get a massage, she had to come up with something to trade. She asked me for suggestions, but I’m just the guy doing the legwork and writing the commentary, and I didn’t have much in the way of ideas. She promised she’d contact me if she came up with anything, and I went on my way, and forgot about the whole thing.

Of all the things that Heidi is not (like old or easily fooled), she sure is slick. Monday morning I ran into her husband Eric at the gas station. No, not literally… he saw me and lit up. “Hey Isaac! I’ve gotta talk to you!” We both started pumping our gas, me into Neon and he into his nice shiny work truck. Then we started talking. Turns out they were visiting some friends Sunday night, and someone mentioned The Big Swap. At this point, I’m pretty sure Heidi found the exact thing she needed to trade: a birthday present. Her friend hadn’t given her a present yet – maybe because it isn’t her birthday yet. I’m really not sure, but turns out this friend did have something to trade! Her husband happened to have an old oak desk, which was unused and unwanted.

This is where the story gets confusing. So here I was, at the gas station with Eric, and he was telling me that someone else wanted to trade her husband’s desk for the massage to give to Heidi for a birthday present! I wasn’t exactly sure what to think of that, but an oak desk sounded a whole lot more permanent than a migrating massage. I called up Mom and asked her to make the necessary arrangements – after all, I had to get to work.

At this point, this is definitely the most complicated trade I’ve done. I’m calling it two trades, but I secretly think it’s three:

  • Trade #2: Teddy for the massage
  • Secret Trade #2.5: The massage for a birthday present
  • Trade #3: the massage (birthday present) for an oak desk

Whew! I sure hope I don’t have to pay taxes on these transactions – there’d be enough paperwork to fill up the oak desk, the massage table AND auntie Joy’s suitcases!

I haven’t seen the oak desk yet, but I have it on good authority that it’s a beauty. I’ll do my best to get some pictures of it and put them up ASAP. (I’m not sure what that means, but Horton the elephant thinks it means “act swiftly, awesome pachyderm!”, and he seems to be a bright fellow.) In the meantime, if you happen to need a oak desk, you really should email me or leave a comment below. If you haven’t figured out how to do that yet, scroll down to where it says “Leave a Comment” and follow the instructions.

P.S. If you’re interested in seeing pictures of the oak desk when they are posted, or if you just want to count how many times I use the word “awesome” in my next post, you’ll want to subscribe. The best way to do that is to go to the very top of the page, click on “The Big Swap” in big letters, and then look on the right side for “subscribe by email”. Or, if you’re lazy, you could just click here and it’ll do the same thing. The Big Swap has ended, but I still send out weekly emails.

Read the next post: Playing the waiting game