Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Bookstore Encounters

It was my birthday last week, and after dinner Rhett took me to a bookstore so I could choose out some birthday books (and thanks to my mom who gave me a gift card!) I went and asked a guy who worked there if he could help me find a book that I was looking for. My first clue that this chance meeting would become an "encounter" was the fact that he called me "hon'", despite us being relatively similar in age, as in, "Well, hon, this book isn't for the faint in heart."

They didn't have the book I wanted in, so he special-ordered it for me ("Hon, do you want to special order this?"). Then, with no invitation, he orders my husband to show him the other books that I've selected so that he can judge my taste in books and recommend other books that I'm sure to love. Right. So, he sees that I have the book The Lovely Bones, which I was unsure about getting because it's kind of violently graphic, and I'm not so good with that. Immediately he leads me over to the YA section (which I love) for a book with "the most evocative cover" he's ever seen.

Unfortunately, there is a group of teenagers standing in front of the bookshelf where the most evocative book ever is. He makes a hand motion that seems to say, "Teens, remove yourself. You are dust, and I am dusting." So, they move, and he pulls out the book, all the while lecturing me on the benefits of this beautiful, thoughtful, moving book, which focuses on pain, healing, and redemption.

The teens whom he dusted away are a little bit loud at one point, and so he says, "GIRLS! If you need a book I WILL HELP YOU find it, but if you are not going to purchase anything, you need to remove yourself IMMEDIATELY from MY store." I'm a little bit uncomfortable because, a) these are teenaged GIRLS, b) these are teenaged GIRLS who are at a BOOKSTORE, C) these are teenaged GIRLS who are at a BOOKSTORE on a FRIDAY NIGHT.

Do you see my point? These aren't exactly hooligans from The Outsiders here, and he's treating them like dirt. As a former high school English teacher, I actually have a vested interest in teenagers reading. However, I simply continue to listen to him expound on the virtues of the book. Then, the girls move to a different aisle, and he waves down a colleague and says, "Breeanne! Can you please either help these girls find a book or escort them to the exit?!" He's not one bit nice about it. He says the word "girls" like he might say "dirt" or "worms" or "prostitutes". But he's made one big mistake. Because D) these are teenaged GIRLS who are at a BOOKSTORE on a FRIDAY NIGHT with their PARENTS!

"Excuse me, but that's what we'd like to talk to you about," a perfectly-coiffed, icy-toned woman says, "When you're finished here, of course." I took the book, said, "I'll take it." And then, Rhett and I turned to go. I have to admit that I bit back a smile and the desire to say, "We'll just leave you to that, hon!"


Amy said...

Thanks for letting me know you started a blog...I will be sure to check back frequently! Oh and welcome the addictive world...but at least if you write something entertaining you are encouraging others to read:)

Sibri said...

Fantastic tale!!!

Love it!

carl b smith and marilyn said...

Nice writing. I thought I was in the middle of a "How to write book for senior high school students"! By the way, who is sibri?
I may have to take a different approach to my writing in the blog. Now, what favorite patient can I write about, "...oh, my vertigo..." We'll see if it goes. Oh, one great story, had a patient today who said he was a bully big brother to his younger brother and friends, he said he would kick their soccer balls when they were playing. ONe day they painted a rock to look like a soccer ball, he came running acrossed the field and ...well, thats why he came to see me. Arthritis 20 years later, delayed revenge. DAD

Celia and Scott said...

Heidi! You didn't even tell me you started a blog! I already know I'm going to love this.

Thank you, Miss Hadley, for making my world a little brighter.

p.s. I could actually hear you telling that story. Hilarious.

Kay Smith said...


This is your Aunt Kay speaking.... Celia told me about your blog. She called it a "don't-miss," and I agree.

While reading every line, I was smiling, and as a quasi-writing teacher, I could tell you had internalized VOICE found in 6 Traits.

You are a doll, and your family? Well, they, too, are adorable. I can't wait to read more.

Stay safe, and watch out for rogue alligators!