Fiction Before Noon (and other rewards)

I’m a huge believer in rewards. You write one word, you get a cookie! Or a pat on the back or a nice hot shower or something. How else do people get anything done? I guess there are those strict worker bee types who maybe don’t need rewards. I’m not one of them so much. I mean, I love writing, but I love rewards too. Luckily, I live with someone who is also big on rewards and makes sure that he fills in when I forget.
Like last week, when I finished a round of revisions on a novel, I got a rasberry black chocolate tart from my favorite coffee shop/patisserie Ken’s Artisan Bakery which is not just the best in Portland but one of the best places on earth. No kidding. The ceilings are high, yet it feels cozy and it smells SO good, even when they’re baking something I don’t normally eat. The windows get kind of steamed up and they have the BEST hot cocoa and mochas ever. And the heavy duty wooden tables… so so so nice.

Then yesterday I finished polishing my revisions and now today — I read fiction before noon! Yes, breaking my all time rule about this. If I read fiction before noon there is a chance that I won’t do ANYTHING ELSE THAT DAY. Because fiction is so addictive. My nightstand is full of books and with this day of luxury its been hard to choose just one. So I’m reading the first Lord Peter Wimsey Novel Whose Body? and later I’m going to pick up Polly Horvath’s My One Hundred Adventures and Karen Hesse’s Brooklyn Bridge. *sigh* Such a great day. It’s raining too, so pretty much perfect.

Now I have to tell you about the last time I got a reward for hard work. It was a few weeks ago, I can’t remember what amazing feat I had accomplished. But the reward I remember — one bath bomb from Lush. If you do not know Lush, well, you’re missing out on one of life’s great pleasures (even Neil Gaimain likes Lush), but I will tell you about it so that you can live vicariously through me and maybe one day you will find yourself at one.

I first fell in love with Lush when I studied abroad in London. It’s a British company, though by then it had already spread around Europe. I went to a Lush shop at least once a week. I’d take the Tube to one of the two in Covington Gardens — the little one that’s the shop Audrey Hepburn sang in front of in My Fair Lady and the big one that’s two stories. Or I would walk to the one in Kensington. And every time I traveled with my friends we’d stop if we found one. They are not difficult to find, the lovely smell wafts from them a good half block down the street. Lush is unlike any other soap store on the planet — it is lush and decadent, full of giant cakes of soap they cut slivers off of, tubs of fresh face masks, bins of lovely smelling bath bombs — it is like heaven. I would go to these shops, wander around, and, every now and then, buy a little something. They’d wrap it all up in paper and put a sticker on top. So wonderful. No one ever bothered me. No one ever even talked to me. Except once and she was Irish so maybe she couldn’t help it.

Lush was not in the U.S. at that time and they were hesitant to come here. They didn’t want their loveliness to be ruined. I was outraged — I was an American, I loved Lush, how could America ruin it! Since then, they’ve opened a couple of shops in the U.S. Barrett and I moved to Portland three months ago and you can imagine how excited I was to discover that there is a Lush store here. Only a few blocks from my house (okay, maybe it’s like fifteen blocks, but still close enough to walk).

I went there for my one bath bomb reward. It started off okay. A shop girl tried to talk to me, but I thought maybe she was just being enthusiastic and would go away. Then she talked to me again and wanted to talk about what I was looking at. Then she did it again and by then she was KILLING THE MOOD. I was meandering, I DID NOT WANT TO TALK. Finally, I settled on my bath bomb of choice (butterball). And I went to pay. Well, Barrett went to pay, but that’s beside the point, because what happened was SHE TRIED TO SUPER SIZE ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was in shock. My beloved Lush tried to super size me. Not content to wrap up my one precious item in paper, seal it with a sticker and hand it over, she tried to sell me more items. Not  extra items even. ITEMS TO USE WITH MY BATH BOMB. As though my bath bomb weren’t good enough! I needed a “bath coctail”. Bath bombs are not cheap. They are a decadent purchase all on their own. And she wanted me to add more bath bombs and bath whoziwhatsits to my already perfect bath!!!! I am so sad and disappointed and I think that Lush was right. They never should have come over here. For they have been McDonaldized.

So so so sad. On the plus side — my bath was absolutely perfect with just one bath bomb. 🙂


Join the Conversation


  1. Lush tried to supersize you? We don’t have any stores in my area, but I always try to find one when I travel (as I am hardcore addicted to their Rock Star soap), and they don’t usually bother me but almost always very sweetly give me a few samples when I check out. I hope they aren’t changing their business model as they’re expanding.

  2. They did try to supersize me! I hope it was a one time thing, like maybe she was new and didn’t know what she was doing. Rock Star soap is fabulous! I love alkmaar too. So delicious.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *