Tuesday, May 5, 2015
It Takes a Village
Tales from the Cutting Counter: Monday, I was "back in the stacks" as we say, putting something away in an aisle in the depths of the upholstery department. Two young girls, high school aged, stopped me. They were draped over a shopping cart as if they had no bones, phones firmly in hand, giggling, sighing, being teenagers. "I need your help," the one in quite fashionable glasses said to me. "Sure," said I. "What can I do for you?" She began her long, sad story. She needed to do a project for an art exhibition at her school on Saturday. She was going to redecorate her bedroom for her project. "My room is blue and green, and I have some blue and green Japanese lanterns," she said. "What else should I do?" It was quite obvious that she had waited a bit too long to start her exhibit, and she was trying not to panic. I pointed to her iPhone. "See this? There are a million ideas in your hand," I said. She wailed. "I have spent hoooouuuurrrrrsss on Pinterest!" "Well," I said, "there are three things I don't do." Her friend began to snicker. "I don't clean litter boxes. I don't shovel snow. And I don't do homework." The friend howled with laughter. "I told you she wouldn't do it!" I pointed out a big fixture full of home-dec books. "Start there," I said. The poor art-project girl looked me in the eye. "Were you a teacher?" she asked, suspiciously. "Nope. Just a mom." And I smiled and walked back to the cutting counter.