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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Once, Twice, One Time a Lady

Girl (age 12-ish): "I don't feel well."
Me: "Aw. What's wrong?"
Her: *shrug*
Me: "Like, you're going to throw up?"
Her: "No."
Me: "Like, you're getting a cold?"
Her: "No."
Me: "Oh. Then what is it?"
She grabs my notebook.
Her: "Can I write on this?"
Me: "Sure."
She grabs my pen too and writes the following:

Me: "Ah ha."
I had a feeling it was that, but I deliberately didn't bring it up in the interest of avoiding a potentially AWKWARD SITUATION. Luckily, awkward situations always seem to find their way to ME.
Her: "Yeah."
Me: "Well...is this...the first time that's happened?"
(I was all ready to get out a copy of Are You There God, It's Me Margaret, which, incidentally, was where I first learned the word menstruation, with amusing results.)
Her: "No. It's almost my ONE YEAR anniversary of it."
Me: "Oh. Wow!"
Her: "Yeah, it happened on Halloween."
Me: "Well, that's kind of a SCARY thing to have happen."
Did I mention I made bad jokes when I'm in awkward situations? Luckily, she's a smart kid with a good sense of humor and I won't have scarred her for life, making her think that getting your period is a horrible, frightening thing (even though that point might indeed be arguable. Sorry, feminism.)
She looks at me sideways. "Not really."
I love when kids call me on my bullshit, I do.
Me: "I know, I was just kidding."
Her: "But it does HURT."
We discuss heating pads and Advil (which she is not allowed to take, and I should
probably not be administering medical advice anyway). Then she sees her friends across the
room, says "Okay, bye!" to me and runs off.
In situations like these at the library, I'm never really sure what my role is. I know it depends on the kid and the context, but I never want to say the wrong thing. Am I a parental figure? A cool, sage older sister? (Or, more age-appropriately, a cool, sage aunt?) Should I just shut down the conversation? Do I ask questions? Should I offer advice? Where is the line, and have I crossed it?
Ahhh, womanhood. It ain't easy for anyone, I don't care what they say.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Good vs. Evil

These were left behind on a library table. I think the kid who made them, whoever he/she is, breaks down life's essential struggles quite nicely.

I couldn't have said it better myself, kid.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Power of Coelho Compels You

Lady: "I want to tell you something. I found a book on the street."

Me: "Oh! Was it a library book?"

Lady: "No. I started reading it. And it's not that I don't like it. It's just that it's WOO HOO WOW."

Me: "Oh...kay..."

Lady: "It's a very strong book. I don't regret reading it."

Me: "What's the book?"

She pulls out of her bag a beaten-up copy of Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho.
Lady: "You are a young girl. You are not an old fogey. Therefore I am not intimidated to tell you what the book is about."

She leans over and whispers, "It's...all...pornography."

Me: "Oh...my."

Lady: "Do you know why men visit prostitutes?"

Me: "I don't...I'm not really..."

Lady: "It's not about sex. You'd be surprised."

Me: "Right. Okay. Yes."

Lady: "This book will tell you. It's very interesting. Of course, I would not tell my friends about it. But I can tell you."

Me: "Thank you."

She then asked me to look up other books by Coelho in our catalog, rejecting the ones that didn't sound salacious enough. I should have just put a hold on Fifty Shades of Grey for her and called it a day.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

On a Happier Note...

Well, hey! Look what came in the mail today! My Salem Press "Quirky Library Blog Winner" plaque. Not too shabby!

The plaque is not made of gold or chocolate (I checked), but that's okay. It was a huge honor for me to receive it and I shall display it on my desk with pride. Thank you again to anyone who voted for the blog!