Although it was 3 in the afternoon, being a stay at home Mom, I wasn’t actually dressed properly. I pulled on my big snow coat over my pajama top and in my haste, I didn’t take my ID.
So the librarian wouldn’t give me my books. Even though I borrowed books every few weeks and even though she knew me.
When I pointed this out she said that if she let me have the books without ID she’d have to do it for everyone. There would be street people reading willy-nilly.
So I went nuts. ( which is why I needed self-help books in the first place.)
“Oh I see, are these homeless people in here lining up to steal self-help
books?” She stared at my coffee-stained pajama top and unkempt hair. I am sure she was convinced she was being ranted at by someone of no fixed address.
So what I did I do? What anyone would do when they aren’t getting their way. I told a big fat bare-faced lie.
“Well don’t you know who I am? I am a famous author in this library.” ( To be fair my play Miracle Mother had been published –but two copies doesn’t constitute preferential treatment.)
As soon as the words leaked out of my gob, I knew I was being a jerk.
Despite my imaginary author status there was no way she was giving me those books.
I turned on my heels- my cowlick flipped her the finger- and hobbled home.
That night I reflected that maybe, just maybe, I hadn’t handled that well. After all she was just an ordinary lady who was serving the public, and that wasn’t an easy job.
I wasn’t famous. I was a jerk. A bonehead. An arrogant knob.
I was going to have to make it right. Suck it up and put correction in.
And so the next day I went back in, my hair combed and with my ID.
I waited for her “line-up” to clear, and then I went up to her with my books and said, ” I am sorry. Sorry that I treated you so badly. That must be very hard to listen to someone be angry like that.” I’d love to say she melted and said, “Oh forget it.”
But she didn’t. In fact, her lips were so tight they looked her anal sphincter had been transplanted on her mouth. After she stamped the books and handed them to me, she hissed,
” Here you go, Margaret Atwood.”
Margaret Atwood! I didn’t know what to do. On one hand she was so rude and on the other it was kind of a compliment. I bit the inside of my mouth and took my book, How to Win Friends and Influence People” and left.
After all I didn’t want to start it up again, and have to transfer to another branch.
So today I give thanks for infrequent acts of humility and my e-reader.