Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Never Say Goodbye

After ten glorious days of whooping it up, I woke up at the crack of ass to drive Biology Girl to the airport. As we pulled up to the terminal, a man and a woman stood on the sidewalk, embracing tearfully. I couldn't really tell what the relationship was, but it looked to me like a brother and sister. They stood with their arms around each other, chins resting woefully on each other's shoulders, tears running down their faces. "Oh," said Biology Girl as our car came to a stop, "a tearful goodbye." She turned to unhook her seatbelt, looked me in the eye, and reached for her door handle. "Let's show them how it's done."

You see, Biology Girl and I have gone through many goodbyes together. She lives two states away, but we visit six, seven times a year, and so we're constantly au revoiring ourselves silly. And let me tell you, it SUCKS. Completely. This is because I am in some serious friend-love with Biology Girl. I hate it when she leaves. I want to throw an inner tantrum every time it happens. But I don't. And neither does she. Even though she's one of those Sex in the City friends, the kind where you could hang out all day, every day, and never get sick of each other. Even though we have no problems crying in front of each other-- in fact, if there's any crying happening with either of us, the first thing we'll most likely do is call the other. Even though we tell each other all the most embarrassing truths about ourselves, including the time one of us accidentally left her underwear at work and the time the other one accidentally got her grad school professor to say "I love you" during a meeting. So when she moved down the coast four years ago, I thought I would die. Yes, I said DIE. Dramatic? Yes. But we have it like that.

So, the funny thing about this is, for all the emotion that goes into this relationship, you'd think we'd be one of those tearful-airport-goodbyes people. Au contraire. For some reason, when it comes to goodbyes, she and I are the most stoic mo'effers you'll ever care to meet. In every other part of our relationship, we let it all hang out. She was the first person I called when I found my high school journal so I could read the incredibly cringe-inducing passages aloud to her ("...he was wearing his tight blue jeans today...") and I was the first person she called when she experienced her first "relapse date" (when you re-date someone you thought you were done dating). But with good-byes, we turn into...I don't football players, who downplay emotions into a "bye, dude" even though they just spent the afternoon hitting each other on the ass and intimately rolling around in the dirt. Not that Biology Girl and I have ever hit each other on the ass or rolled around in the dirt, but figuratively speaking, you get what I'm saying. We just give a quick hug, maybe a "seeyalaterbye" and she walks into the terminal and I get into my car. Done. No fuss no muss.

I don't know why we do this. Maybe it's because the goodbyes suck so bad, and we are so overwhelmed with emotion, that we don't want to start up with the waterworks or we'll just be boo-hooing for the rest of the day. Maybe we've said so many goodbyes to each other that they have just gotten easier. We know we'll see each other soon. There's no sense of wistfulness, like you have when you say goodbye to someone and you think you may not talk to them much any more. I know that Biology Girl will most likely call me on her cell phone before I even get back to my house. So I'm not sure why we do this.

So, as Biology Girl said, we did show all the tearful goodbyers on that terminal how it's done. A quick embrace. "See ya." "Yeah. See ya." "Call me later." "Yeah."

See ya.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Beach Trip 2006

No matter how well you know your loved ones, new things continually come up to surprise you. This past week spent at a beach house on the coast with my most cherished ones was no exception.

1. 100% cute and stylish Biology Girl, once a year on this trip, dons a red hat, grabs a book, and turns into a 70 year old grandpa.

2. This book, found in the rec room, garnered hours of hilarity when read aloud, and new vocabulary was gained by all. (I'd never heard of a "man root" nor "love milk" before. And maybe I was better off for the not-knowing).

3. When attempting Lil' John impersonations, Neighbor J and Biology Girl have never sounded more girly nor whitebread. Imagine a high, dainty, Andrews sisters vibrato version of Lil' John. "Hokaaaay. Hokaaaay."

4. My foosball crown was taken away from me by Neighbor B. Taken away! And he got called a "heffer" for doing so. Sorry Neighbor. I likes me my crown.

5. If the point of playing pool was to scratch, I would be the Master Billiarder of the Universe.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Flipped My Lid

All my life, I've found going to the eye doctor kind of creepy. It's the darkened room, the stranger all up in your face. It's weird. I don't know why the eye doctor is the one that specifically wigs me out, since any type of doctor is pretty much inside of one's dancing space. (Remember Johnny in Dirty Dancing? "This is my dance space. This is your dance space. I don't go into yours, you don't go into mine.") Doctors can't heed the sage words of Mr. Castle. They are supposed to get in your space. Dentists are all in your mouth and stuff, but yet, I'm comfortable with that. And other types of doctors, who tend to make you wear those buttless paper outfits (now THAT should be a Project Runway challenge: "make a better looking disposable paper hospital gown. Carry on!"), you'd think that would be the creepiest form of doctory going. But no. For me, it's the eye doctor. Maybe it's the lighting. Other doctors' offices keep the lighting harsh and bright, clinical to the max. Eye doctors, though. They get you with that mood lighting. The lights go down and you half expect a record player to pop out of the wall and a wet bar to flip out of the counter, like Rock Hudson's apartment in Pillow Talk. Or at least that's what you expect if you're me, and you think that life could turn into a Doris Day movie at any moment.

When I was growing up, I had this eye doctor who was perfectly nice, but he used to wear this head gear thing that had a light on it. Like a miner. So there I am, a little kid, sort of scared of strangers, and there's this guy who looks like he's half Borg or something, looming over me. The other thing I remember about him is that when he was up close to me, I could hear him breathing, and he always had a sort of whistling sound that came out of his nose. I almost expected a tumbleweed to drift out of there.

My other memorable eye doctor was one that Neighbor J and I went to, who we dubbed The Lid Flipper. He was a socially awkward man, who made stale jokes and never could pronounce my name right. The awfulness about him was that he would do this thing where he would check the inside of your eyelids. I have never, before or since, had any eye doctor do this. He would take this long Q-Tip, tell you to look down, and press the cotton end of the Q-tip onto your upper eyelid, and FLIP IT INSIDE OUT. Remember how there was always some weird little boy in elementary school who could flip their eyelids inside out? Well, this one grew up to be an eye doctor, and he's doing it to his patients. Lemme tell ya, it don't feel so good. It burns, actually. And of course, when you're at the doctor, you just try to go with whatever hellish thing they are putting you through, instead of yelling out "what the fuck are you doing flipping my eyelids inside out? You getting your jollies offa this, Lid Flipper?"

So, after a few sessions with the Lid Flipper and a change of health insurance, I found a new eye doctor. Just picked his name out of my insurance book (such a great thing, our health care system). Well, people, I hit the jackpot with this one. I now have, what I am sure is THE BEST EYE DOCTOR EVER. I love him. He's nice, he's funny, he makes such lovely, witty conversation. It's like you're hanging out with a friend, only-- oh yeah-- he's checking your eyes too. He's always so pally, asking me about the librarian business, so happy to see me, and we often talk lovingly of Chicago, where we both used to live. We have, like, these real conversations that are actually entertaining. So now, I look forward to going to my eye doctor.

Ok, you got me. I confess. In addition to all of the above, he's also, um, well, how shall I put this...he's hawt. Yes indeedy, I have me some eye candy for my eye doctor. Believe me, there is no impropriety involved, but...sigh...he's foxy. So, there I am, a life-long creeped-out-by-the-eye-doctor girlie, and, well, I'm not minding the dimmed lights quite so much. Sure, go ahead, be all up in my space. I suddenly don't have a problem with that. In fact, I sit there and think up funny things that I could say...

Him: Could you read the last line on this chart please?
Me: U R H-O-T.
Him: What?
Me: Oh. I mean... I M O-V-E-R-H-E-A-T-I-N-G.
Him: Oh no.
Me: Oops, sorry. Did I say that out loud?

Ok, so maybe going to the eye doctor is still creepy. Only now the tables have turned on the source of the creepyness.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Got Wood?

Stop being dirty, people. This post is not about THAT kind of wood.

You know, I shouldn't have started out with chastizing you like that. Aside from the fact that it's rude and assumes that you're out there snickering at some juvenile reference to wood, I am the last person to point fingers at anyone else for such a thing. For example, I was at a Very Professional Meeting a couple of months ago and one of my colleagues reviewed this book by Patricia Windsor called Nightwood, and I, being the Very Professional Librarian that I am, started to giggle. NIGHTWOOD. Ha ha hee hee haaaaa! I caught my friend M's eye across the room, and saw that she was giggling too, which was good because it made me feel like I wasn't the only one who is 13, but it was also bad because now we had SEEN each other laughing and there's nothing like being in a situation where it is inappropriate to laugh and catching the eye of someone else who is busting a gut too.

But come ON. NIGHTWOOD! Even after a couple of months. Still funny.

So the wood I am referring to is the wood in my yard. This wood is not relegated to a particular time of day. Not Nightwood, nor Morningwood. At my house, it's twenty-four hour wood. All wood, all the time! Haha hahaha ha! Ok, I'll stop now. Really. I can talk about wood without doing that. I can.

So, as I think I've mentioned before, my yard, when I got it, had not been taken care of for many, many years. It was an overgrown mess of the highest order. So, the first weekend I lived there, I (along with my trusty posse) cut a swathe through the brush, just so that we could get from the street to the front door and back again (which is only about 25 paces). That first weekend, we generated 35 yard waste bags (those big tall brown paper ones) worth of wood clippings, leaves, dead plants, and other woody ephemera. Thirty five! We hauled that away, and started again.

So in the past month, we have worked on the yard more, cutting it back, pruning, shaping. It's serious Scissorhands action around here. I feel like it is some epic battle-- me against nature, and I am swimming in futility. You! Will! Be! Tamed! While the trees look down on me and pee their pine needles all over my sorry head. And still I forge ahead, my own personal Manifest Destiny, where I push through, leaving destruction in my wake, until I reach the promised land of mow-able grass.

And, after a month, I am drowning in yard waste. As curbside pickup is expensive, we have been piling up yard waste bags in the garage and yard, to be taken to the yardwaste dump at the end of the week. So far, we have 74 bags. Seventy four. We also have branches to bundle and chopped up tree trunks. Wood. Miles and miles of wood.

My wood is bigger than yours.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Friday, August 11, 2006


Here's the thing about Nordic Boy. In all the excitement of the new
house, moving, repairing, unpacking, and improving, he has
sped up to ten times his normal speed. What I mean by this is that,
despite appearances to the contrary, he can, especially when it comes to home improvement, spaz out. I say "despite appearances" because Nordic Boy is one cool customer. He's got that whole quiet,
mysterious, furrowed brow thing going on. Not everyone can pull off
the furrowed brow thing. A lot of times, it just makes dudes look
cute but vacant. Like Jordan Catalano, or Matt Dillon. Nordic Boy,
however, has the look of someone who is thinking about something deep and important. And he is. He comes up with brilliant observations. I'm telling you, blindingly brilliant. I'll prove it to you. He was the one that pointed out to me that James Cromwell's career has been bookended by being paired opposite two very different lemon-faced redheads. In Six Feet Under, it was his George to Frances Conroy's Ruth. But twenty-five years ago, it was his Harve Miller to Lucy Lee Flippin's Eliza Jane Wilder in Little House on the Prairie. Cromwell excels at romancing the prunefaces. Nordic Boy should win...well, SOMETHING for noticing this.

So, although he seems reserved, enigmatic and totally unflappable,
there are times when he completely revs it up a thousand and gets
somewhat hyper-active. He saves this sort of behavior for only his
closest friends and loved ones. "For your eyes onlyyyyy. Only for
youuuuu..." Remember Sheena Easton? And how she started out all
squeaky clean and then got mixed up with Prince and started singing
about her Sugar Walls and all like that? This has abso-toot-ly
nothing to do with what I am talking about. I just had to have a
Sheena moment.

Anyhoo. I refer to this phenomenon (I'm back to talking about Nordic
Boy, keep up, will you?) as the Snuffleupugus Syndrome. You know how Big Bird was the only one who could see Snuffy? Well, there are
certain non-calm, non-zen-like behaviors that only I (and a very few
chosen others) can see him do. The other people who know him would never believe it. He does things like make up a dance called The Bowling Ball, where he folds himself into a ball and rolls himself
across the floor. Yes, I know he's playing it fast and loose with the
term "dance," but that's what he calls it. The people outside of his
circle refuse to believe this could be possible, because he is known
for being the calmest, coolest, deepest, most zen-like mofo ever. But
it IS possible. And you guys better believe me, unlike Susan and
Gordon and Maria and Luis. Buncha blind a-holes who never saw Snuffy. Damn them all. (And I know that they all eventually saw Snuffy. But that was too flippin' late for me, after spending my entire childhood feeling so, so sorry about it. That's RIGHT. Feel sorry for me, people.)

So, in the past weeks, in the excitement of moving, Nordic Boy has
moved entire pieces of furniture and appliances out of the old place
and into the new, painted the entire house in one day (different
colors for different rooms, even-- see the pretty picture with the super cute color squares on the wall? Even Heidi Klum, looking out of the magic tv box is impressed),

Heidi Klum loves it!,
originally uploaded by Librarian Girl.
ripped out all the old floors and put in new hardwoods all by his lonesome, rewired the dining room light, installed new blinds, put in two new outlets, torn out the scary Murphy bed, put up kitchen shelves, put in a new electrical panel in the garage, added circuits (look at me acting like I know what that means), fixed our leaky washer, put in a new threshold on the back door, dug 12 large holes for a backyard fence that he will build, installed new window screens, and put together one of those giant custom closet thingys. We have only been here for a month, people. And this is in addition to his forty-or-fifty-hours-per-week job. "Doing stuff around here doesn't feel like work," he says when I try and tell him to sit the hell down. "This is totally fun." My inherently lazy self has no concept of what the fug he's talking about.

So most days I get home from work an hour or two after him. I just
know when I get home he will have dinner cooking and some home project done within the span of that two hours. And as he works, his brow will be furrowed and his steely blue eyes will be penetrating.
Thinking up some fresh new James Cromwell trivia, keeping dinner warm, and doing home repairs. How much more dreamy can this guy get?

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Lesson from Mom

Ok, so I wanted to write a post about my mom, as she is visiting and she rocks out. I started a list of things to post about her called "My Mom Taught Me That," but it became so long, so hefty in its mom-wisdom that I had to abandon it altogether, or ya'll would be reading this into next WEEK. So I will choose at random just one thing offa this list, and wax prose-etic about that. Ready? Here I go. Throwing metaphoric dart onto list tacked on metaphoric dartboard.

Here's the thing about my mom. She raised all her kiddies to be people who are free to express themselves. All this shit I'm always talking about living one's whole life like it's art? That's because of mom. That's totally a seed planted in all her babies' heads from before we all were a twinkle in her eye. Your aesthetic likes and dislikes are yours. You can live them, express your inner stuff on your outer landscape, don't hide what you feel, it's all valid. These are the messages I was given, and I am so grateful. For a child to be told that they, like everyone else, have an inner artist that just needs a voice- that's powerful stuff. It's freeing on so many levels, I can't even begin to tell you. It also makes for some crazy ass stories.

When my parents got a house, each of us got to control the design of our bedrooms. My brother chose a blood red shag carpet for his room, and a gigantic wallpaper mural of a waterfall to plaster his entire wall. Blood red, and wallpaper mural. You getting this? Fine, my mom said. You gotta be you. My sister chose a Shamrock Shake minty green color carpet with walls to match, with a white canopy bed with gold trim and purple grapes on the duvet cover. Seriously. Shamrock meets Purplesaurus. My mom says hells yeah. Own it, honey. This was not the attitude of an overly permissive mom, who just didn't want to say no to her kids. We didn't demand these things; she set them up this way. "These rooms are yours. You express yourself in them however you wish." This was a very conscious act. With it, she was saying to us- your ideas are valid. Experimentation is good. Being different from others is to be celebrated. I am your parent, and I will make sure you're safe, but your mind, your imagination, your art are always yours.

I remember that she always let me pick out my own clothes. I know there are many out there who think that outward appearance is overly emphasized in our culture, and I agree that it is, but only because the way in which it's emphasized is to stifle creativity, create conformity, and shove people into standards of appearance that have nothing to do with who they are on the inside. So my mom waged a little war on this type of thing by letting me pick out my own clothes and never telling me I looked like an ass. I figured it out. I grew up knowing the difference between looking like an ass and not looking like one just fine. She gave me the space to do that. This DID lead to some unfortunate outfits that are documented in the family photo album, however. For example, when I was aged 2, my favorite t-shirt was one that had a picture of Jimi Hendrix on the front that said "Are You Experienced?" in rainbow letters across the chest. I am seen sporting this shirt in countless photos, with a huge blue denim Gilligan-style hat on my head to complete the ensemble. Strange for a two-year old, perhaps, but I was rockin' it. There was the phase I went through in 5th grade where I would buy white keds and plain sweatshirts and paint the bejeezus out of them, sometimes with graffiti-style words, sometimes with cutesy hearts, and I would wear them everywhere, no matter the occasion. The thing that gets me most about this is that EVERYONE has crazy outfits that they wore or bad haircuts that they had when they were really little, but the difference is, most of ya'll can blame that stuff right on mom. "I can't believe my mom gave me that Dorothy Hamill haircut!" I hear my friends say. "Ohmigod those calico sundresses! My mom made me wear that!" I hear it all the time. I, people, have no one to blame but myself. My mom let me be who I was, and for all my cringey-ness now, it was a beautiful thing. I attribute this parenting tactic with many of the things that are truly a core part of the adult I am now. Namely, I will rock some fashions if I feel like I want to be rockin' them. I am not going to judge myself as too old to wear that, too skinny to wear that, too fat to wear that, too hip to wear that. I am effin' WEARING THAT, and I am not going to judge myself about it. Judging oneself is for SUCKAS, for real! ALSO! I am going to express it, even if, by some standards, it kinda sucks. I paint because it's fun, not because I think I'm great at it, and I write for the same reason (hence, the blogaliciousness). I'm going to do what I wanna do, in living color, as we used to say. Seriously. I'ma just do my thang, okaaaaay?

This is all because of mom, who let me wear purple eyeshadow to 7th grade choir, posted my "Jackson 5 Keeps Me Alive" poem right out on the fridge, and put the flowers I made out of pink toilet paper on her fancy vanity table. I've always got her voice in the back of my mind, and it's always saying the same thing: own it, because it's yours. Just yours.

Thanks, Mom.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Monday, August 07, 2006

Muzak Attack

So I took my parents to this Chinese restaurant that we go to every time they come to town. After ordering, we sat there chatting, and I noticed that there was muzak being piped into the restaurant. Not smooth jazz, Kenny G./Dave Koz music, but honest-to-goodness muzak. (An aside: did anyone see that episode of Run's House where Rev Run has Kenny G. piped in to his "zen room"? How much do I want a zen room? A whole hell of a lot, that's how much. Just so I could SAY that I have zen room. A whole ROOM dedicated to zenning. It's only purpose, to zen. I need me some of that). Is it me or does it seem like muzak has fallen out of favor these days? I know that some of you may argue that it was never really "in favor," but relatively speaking, I think muzak has been on a huge decline. When I was a kid, I recall the soft sounds of muzak being played when my mom would take me to Kmart, where I would buy Now and Laters and ride the penny-horse in the parking lot. It was played everywhere: elevators, offices, stores. Now, in place of muzak, it's all about Enya when you're getting your teeth cleaned, and Josh Groban when you're waiting for a pedicure. I was in my supermarket yesterday and they were playing Il Divo covering Toni Braxton. Unbreak My Heart, sung opera-style? Really? I know there's probably some research out there that shows that Opera-Soul-Fusion makes people want to buy more Folgers, but that just seems silly to me. I prefer muzak in these types of situations. They are boring tasks, they deserve boring music. Do I really need to be whipped into a Fabio fantasy (which is what Il Divo music makes me think of) while I squeeze tomatoes? That's kind of icky. I'll take muzak over that any day.

The great thing about muzak is that it seeps into your brain and makes you realize that you know all sorts of songs that you would never cop to nor ever even THINK about on your own. As I sat in that Chinese restaurant, I realized I was singing along silently to myself: "If ever I'm in your arms again, this time I'll love you much better..." That's right, people. Peabo Bryson came rushing back to me. I don't recall ever being into Peabo Bryson. I don't really even recall who Peabo Bryson is. Yet, there I was, knowing the words and going right along with the muzak as I ate my bean curd sheet roll. Next up, was this one: "Just once. Can we figure out what we keep doing wrong, why we never last for very long..." Oh yes. James Ingram. How do I know this stuff? I need to be studied in a lab for the brilliance that is my brain. And finally, I heard this one: "Words get in the way...there's so much I want to say..." MIAMI SOUND MACHINE. Don't you just get a thrill thinking the words "Miami Sound Machine"? I was so proud of myself. I know shitty 80s music like I know the alphabet! I haven't heard these songs in twenty years and yet they are RIGHT THERE, in stasis in my brain, ready to be reactivated at the drop of a hat. I feel like a savant. I wish that Name That Tune was still on tv so that I could go on there and kick some ass. I want Peabo to know that his music has apparently been absorbed into my bloodstream, never to leave until I depart this earthly realm.

They say we only use 10% of our brain's capacity. How much of this is to store information that only the power of muzak can unlock? Boggles the mind.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Friday, August 04, 2006

Falling for You

Today's birthday shout-out goes straight at my pal, Delium. I've known Delium for about sixteen years through thick and thin, and I call him Delium because there was a stretch of time where his junk mail was addressed to him with this curiously Latin-sounding derivative of his real name. "E Pluribus Unum, Delium!" we would all say to him, "Pleni Sun Coeli! Semper Fidelis!" When I met him, he had a stubby ponytail that made him look like Thomas Jefferson (gosh I'm so tired right now I almost wrote George Jefferson) in profile, and all of my friends would buzz around me telling me how dreeeeemy he was. We dated a bit (how could I resist the dreeeeeemy-ness?) and then settled in as friends, his Jerry Seinfeld to my Elaine Benis. One of the things that I remember most about Delium back in the day was that he had perfected these spectacular fake pratfalls that were so elaborate and real-looking, it was like Martha Graham and Chevy Chase had had a love child. (Come on people, sing it with me: LOVE CHILD! Never meant to child! Born in poverty!!!! Love that song). Oops, I'm telling a story. Anyhoo. These falls would take like, a full sixty seconds, from the first sign of a trip to the arms-flailing, I-think-I-can-save-it-but-crap-no-I'm-going-down ending. The first time I saw one of these falls in action was in our undergrad computer lab. It was quiet, the only sounds the clicking of keyboards and the low murmurings of students conferring with each other. I was diligently working on some paper of which I am positive there are no vestiges left in my brain now, when Delium got up from his computer, which was next to mine, grabbed for his coat that was hanging on the back of his chair, and got the coat caught on the back of the chair. He pulled it sideways on its wheels so that it hit him hard on the side of his calf, causing him to lose his balance. One hand still gripping the coat-stuck-to-the-chair, the other arm doing a windmill-style whoa-whoa-whoa, he finally lost his balance completely and crashed sideways into his chair, taking it down and ending up in a big heap on the floor. Had he been dressed in a Mary Catherine Gallagher outfit, we would have seen his tightie whities for sure. He then calmly picked himself up, righted the chair, and with an embarrassed air and no eye contact with anyone, scurried from the room. And...scene. It was guerrilla performance art, breaking the boundaries of social quiet spaces. Or something. It was hilarious, is all I'm sayin'. He even pulled off one of these glorious falls in the middle of his college graduation, as he made his way across the stage to receive his degree. It was so real, the entire audience let out a gasp of concern for him. What can I say, I think it's funny.

These days, Delium doesn't do much falling (at least not on purpose), but he still makes me laugh, and he is a hell of a runner on our kickball team. He doesn't have the ponytail, and he doesn't look like Thomas Jefferson (or George Jefferson) any more, but he's still dreeeeeemy. Felicem diem natalem (happy birthday), Delium! Right good amicus, you are.

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

How About Original Recipe?

I have been going to the same little neighborhood post office for about six years now. It's a very 60s brick building with an asymmetrical roof; the sort of building that Mike Brady may have designed in his architecture business. I started going there before Becoming-A-Librarian-Girl was even conceived in my mind. Well, maybe it was conceived, but it was definitely a zygote back then. And now, in the weird way that things sometimes work out, this post office is right down the street from where I work, and less than a mile from where I now live. I love my post office, and I can't really tell you why. I think I would miss it if I started going to another one. Is it strange to expend emotion on one's post office? Perhaps. But maybe after hearing this, you might understand the love a little better.

A few years ago, Jenny and I stopped off at this post office for some official postal business. As is usual at this place, there was a long line. We waited patiently and the people working behind the counter worked as fast and efficiently as they could, keeping things cheerful despite the blue vests that they all had to wear, which only needed sleeves and a hat to complete the Mr. McFeely Speedy Delivery look. We finally got to the front of the line, with only one lady ahead of us, who was being helped by a kind-looking McFeely vester. This is what we witnessed.

Her: I would like a book of stamps please.
Him: (handing her the sample sheet) What style would you like?
Her: Just whatever, it doesn't matter.
Him: That will be $6.50 (or whatever the amount was back in the day).
Her: (handing over a twenty) There you go. I have been wanting to get rid of that twenty. It's so wrinkled. I got it out of the ATM and usually the money from there is more...crispy.
Him: Here's your change back.
Her: Oh. Could you find me a crispier five? That one is kind of wrinkled.
Him: (getting another five) How about that?
Her: Umm. Well, it's still not...crispy.
Him: (looking through his cash register) I'm sorry, I don't think that I have any new fives.
Her: It doesn't have to be new. I'm just looking for crispy.
Him: (fanning out the fives he has, ever so kindly) Are any of these, um, crispy enough?
Her: (forlornly) No. That's ok. Never mind.

And she goes on her merry way. Jenny and I have watched the entire exchange, wanting to laugh, but not making eye contact with each other so that we can both pretend that we have not noticed this, not heard one word of this conversation. We go up to the counter with blank faces.

Me: I just need to mail this, please.
Him: That'll be $3.50.
Me: (handing him the money)
Him: (sliding the money back to me) I'm sorry, this five isn't...crispy enough.
Me: Excuse me?
Him: It's not crispy enough.
Me: Sorry. It's the only one I have.
Him: (forlornly) Oh. O.K. Never mind.

Every time I go to this post office, I see this postal worker. In my mind, I call him Crispy Fives. In my book, he rocks. (And I do have a book).

Kiss the rings, I'm out.
Librarian Girl