Back before we were married, Noah and I would sometimes go to Barnes and Noble. Now, this was a concession on my part, because even though I love to read and I find books interesting and informative and slightly addicting- I actually do not like book stores very much. Libraries, yes. I love libraries. In libraries, books are free. You don't have to finish them, you don't have to love them. You have nothing invested in them- you can just take them for what they are. They are there for enjoying or despising and then you chuck them in the return box early in the morning the day after they are due, but before the library actually opens, and you are done, moving on with your life.
But buying books, that is another story (ha!). They look pretty, they look shiny, they look promising- and then you spend way too much money only to be disappointed by them, or have them lay there unread, day after day, month after month, mocking you. Now, I know that you don't have to buy books at the book store, you can just browse, but to me it feels wrong to sit and read all you want at a bookstore without actually buying the book. It feels like cheating, and I am nothing if not a rule follower.
But Noah? Noah loves to spend time in bookstores. He also loves to buy books- pretty books, shiny books, thick books, thin books. Unfortunately, they are rarely ever read books. (I hear him protesting already...but the numbers don't lie).
I digress, and have probably worked my way into an unintended fight, because if there is anything that my husband holds dear- it is hardcover, real books- whether they be read or not.
So I would trail after him at Barnes and Noble, looking around and getting more nervous by the minute. Why the nervousness? Well, we were usually there in the evening and there is actually very little that gives me greater anxiety then being in a store near closing time.
I am not joking.
I would never, by choice, be in a store when the "closing in 15 minutes" announcement comes on over the loudspeaker. I can feel my heart rate increasing, my palms get sweaty, I get panicked, nervous, upset. I don't have overwhelming problems with anxiety normally, but get me in a store at 2045 and I turn into a anxious mess.
When I was a kid I read a book called "Help, I'm a Prisoner in the Library". I actually think this book is the cause of my anxiety. I read a lot of books as a child, but this one really struck a cord with me and led to a lifelong fear of being locked into a place after it was closed for the night.
Recently I came across the book at my parent's house and read it to the boys. In a light hearted, bonding moment I explained my fear to the boys, forgetting that in the past telling them that I was afraid of snakes, frogs, toads and mice has led to them being shown to me with much glee.
I know they haven't forgotten, the other night I was leaving for the Y and Deacon wanted to know when I would be home. He said, "It closes at 10, right? So I know you will leave for home no later than 9:45..."
He's got my number.