This week was rough and I needed to laugh. Months ago, I saw a sign outside the Ulster Performing Arts Center announcing that the author of “Me Talk Pretty One Day” and “When You Are Engulfed in Flames,” David Sedaris, was stopping in Kingston on his next tour. I thought it would be awesome to see the writer who I had recently gotten into. My father even called into one of the local radio stations and scored a pair of free tickets, saving me hefty $70.

This week sucked. Too much stress, not enough happy. Thursday night’s restless sleep kept me in a fog all Friday. The solution–an afternoon nap. Woke up, hopped in the shower and I was ready. David Sedaris, make me laugh.

The show was at UPAC, which the National Register of Historic Places listed as “one of the last great show palaces in New York State.” Broadway might be dumpy and the facade might look run-down, but the theater itself is gorgeous.

Gorgeous–and packed. I couldn’t believe the crowd. I also couldn’t believe that out of the hundreds of people there last night, I only knew three, including my former boss Jillian, who I hadn’t seen in months.

Sedaris was great. He read excerpts from a book set to come out in October, “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary,” griped about his newfound allergies and struggle to find good meds at Target and recounted horrible airport experiences. He speaks like he writes, which was really awesome. I took a feature-writing class in college, but never mastered the mix of past and present that my professor tried to get us to employ in our stories. Sedaris did it. One of my favorites is “Old Faithful,” an essay from a 2004 New Yorker and also published in “When You Are Engulfed in Flames.”

After the show, Sedaris signed books in the hallway. I stood in line for a good 25 minutes, but it was well worth the wait. Sedaris, who randomly gives small gifts at his lectures, offered the 15-year-old girl in front of me the choice between a tote bag and a condom. Much to her mother’s relief, she chose the tote, got her autograph and walked away. Up next, yours truly. I remembered that I had a couple Benadryl tabs left in my purse from a cat-induced allergic episode a few weeks ago. I offered to trade him the Benadryl for the condom. Fair trade? I think so. And Sedaris agreed. Here’s how our conversation began:

“What’s your name?”
“Melissa.”
“How old are you?”
“Twenty-three.”
“Are you single?”
“Yes.”

And so my copy of “Naked” is now inscribed:

After that, we chatted about Benadryl and Target and how I worked there in high school. Then he signed the condom. Yep, David Sedaris signed a condom for me.

Then, the kicker. In front of my father and dozens of strangers: “Use this for anal sex with your next boyfriend.”

So here is where you come in, friends. I will not be employing the autographed condom in the way Mr. Sedaris instructed. How exactly should I display this thing? I’m thinking about sticking said condom in a cute little frame. (And yes, I just used “cute” and “condom” in the same sentence.) Does anyone have a better idea?

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