Hello, my friends! My presence hasn’t cursed your Thursday in several weeks! The reason for this absence is fairly simple: I’ve been
slowly crushed beneath the inexorable weight of the universe and the relentless pressure of deadlines busy. Apart from taking on some new projects and plowing through the old ones, my library job invaded the rest of my free time, since I’m now working extra hours and being trained in new departments. (Marty, if you’re reading this, I want a raise.)
(I’m kidding. Please don’t fire me.)
Apart from the soul crushing aspects of life (like having a full-blown identity crisis and almost abandoning my entire writing career to become a forest-dwelling recluse whose life revolves around baking bread) and the hectic aspects of life (going on a two-week trip with my aunts while trying to finish three impending deadlines and getting deliriously ill as a result – proud to say I still finished the deadlines, despite being on death’s door), my life has been the usual random, chaotic experience. Which means weird encounters with weirder people.
I was minding the library front desk one day when I was accosted by an incensed patron.
“I’m offended,” he said.
That’s never a good way to start a conversation.
“I’m offended,” he repeated. “This library doesn’t have any practical books about witchcraft.” (At this critical juncture, I finally noticed his pentagram tattoos.) “I found the witchcraft section, but the only books were about witch hunting!”
“I DON’T WANT TO BE HUNTED!”
An understandable sentiment, though I didn’t know how to tell him I was the last person to go to for sympathy on the trials and travails of occult racism. He then wrote down approximately 30 recommendations for quality witchcraft books, armed me with this list, and took himself off.
I never had the heart to tell him our director intentionally purged the occult books from the system and threw them out.
My local newspaper had one job. ONE. Yet they still failed.
One day a patron came into the library to pay an overdue fine. It was only a few dollars, but all he had was $20 bill.
“That’s okay,” he said as I started to get him cash back. “Keep the change.” Then, as he was halfway out the door again, he paused, grinning fondly in remembrance. “I actually used to steal money from this library when I was a teenager, so I guess I’m just paying my debt! Anyway, see ya!”
And with a casual wave, left.
As if he hadn’t just confessed to being a criminal.
Some of my friends set up a booth in a local craft fair, so Mom and I decided to show support and go hang out with them.
“Show support” being a very loose term and more of an excuse to stuff ourselves at the Mexican food truck.
Best quesadilla I’ve had in years.
Another good way to show support was loitering at the booth two rows down, for obvious reasons:
Furry saliva catapults make good friends.
A friend taught me how to make cursed bananas, not knowing she was opening Pandora’s box.
I’ve been terrorizing my family with them.
The YA and children’s section at my library is pretty shabby, consisting mostly of vampire romances and gay love-triangles, so I decided to step up my infiltration and
blackmail the director recommend a few of my favorite books for purchase.
A few weeks later, these beauties arrived in the mail.
I experienced a sense of quiet triumph when the very next day, a little boy snatched the first Wingfeather book off the shelf and carried it around with him like a prize of conquest. Since that moment, I’ve kept these books on display at all times and they’re in constant circulation.
I feel like a twaddle-fighting librarian vigilante.
Mom and I recently went on an extended thrift-shopping trip with a few of my aunts through Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. We were at a thrift-store in the depths of Virginia when I bumped into a random woman in the clothing aisle. We both apologized and moved on, only for her to circle back a moment later.
“Are you Mennonite?” she asked.
(Because I totally look Mennonite. With my loose and flowing hair.)
She then asked where I went to church, and I told her that I was only passing through Virginia and my church was actually in Michigan. (And isn’t Mennonite, for the record.)
She nodded sagely. “Ohhh, Michigan. Do you know the Martins?”
…I did, in fact, know a family with the last name of Martin.
I stared at her. She stared back. I asked a few clarifying questions. She answered them correctly.
There, in the sticks of Virginia, 16 hours from home, I bumped into a random stranger and discovered that we happened to have a mutual friend.
One of my duties at the library is going through patron records once a month and shredding the old ones. They forgot to mention this in training, so I discovered it on my own after the filing cabinet became so full I couldn’t open the drawers anymore. Which led to the next discovery: My predecessor hadn’t done this necessary task in over two years.
I was shredding files for a week.
I’ve also realized that librarians are the most petty class in existence. We have our own small, incredibly annoying ways of taking revenge on books or authors we don’t like.
This is mine:
The only time in history when desecrating a book with a plastic library dust-jacket actually pays off.
My friends dress their tiny dog up in Hawaiian shirts, and I am in love.
He’s so tiny. I desire him.
As with everything in my library, the desk chairs are three decades old, majorly creaky, and on the brink of demise. Mine sounded like it was dying every time I sat down. This doesn’t leave someone with general confidence about their safety, and in a moment of benevolence, the director finally placated our nerves and bought new swivel chairs for the office.
With smug satisfaction, I shoved the old chair into the back closet where it would sit until it was eventually dismantled and thrown out. I closed the door on my vanquished enemy. I would never see the demonic chair again.
The next morning, I woke up to find my dad hauling a desk chair into his office.
The desk chair.
The demonic one.
“I was in the library after you left yesterday,” he said, oblivious, “and they were throwing this away because it’s broken. So I offered to fix it for them! You’ll have it back in the office soon!”
I’m pleased to announce I kept a tight reign on my Christianity. No necks were wrung or windows broken.
I did, however, ban him from fixing the chair.
So there it sits. In my dad’s office. For the rest of eternity. Where I have to look at it.
(He’s quite happy with it. Says it’s comfortable.)
(I, meanwhile, am waiting for the perfect opportunity to incinerate the blasted thing.)
I’m taking this moment to cram an unsponsored advertisement down your throats because it’s my blog and I can.
If Pinterest boards came in physical copies you could cut up and hang on your wall, comprised of art and photography by small creators trying to make their mark on the world, that would be Cut + Paste. It’s a magazine. It’s also a way to support unknown artists/photographers. It’s also heaven for tactile hobgoblins like me who hate looking at pictures on computer screens.
It’s also just really stupidly pretty and I refuse to shut up about it.
Megan Beery (of Peach & Poppy Co.) is in the process of getting this thing up and running, so if you would consider supporting her Kickstarter (or at the very least, looking at it because the video is gorgeous), please be a good human and follow this link.
(And for the record, I wasn’t asked to give this impassioned rant. Every few decades I stumble across a neat project and somehow end up making it my entire personality. This is one of those occasions.)
I have one last announcement before we wrap up this chaotic disaster of a post. For the remainder of the summer, I’ll be posting every other Thursday instead of every week. So you won’t hear from me next Thursday, but the Thursday after.
I would apologize for this sudden change, but the truth is, I value my sanity more than the weekly posting schedule does. You don’t want a crazy Sarah running loose in the world. Crazy Sarah doesn’t write good blog posts. Thus, the weekly posting schedule is getting the axe, at least for now. If we manage to survive the summer, posting will return to normal.
That’s all for today, folks! How’s your summer going? Have your shoes melted to the sidewalk yet? Does anyone still participate in library reading programs these days? Do you color coordinate your smoothies with your outfits, or are you
See you soon!