Voicemail message #1: "Wow! You must be medicated and really focused this week because you totally did not call me back yesterday like you said you would, and you're not answering my call right now either..." (And etc. I enjoyed the entire message but you probably wouldn't, so I'll spare you this one. But I will tell you that the second half of Other A.D.D. (plus an H. between the D's,) Friend's message led me to believe, very strongly, that She Who Called was not on her meds today, either. I'll leave it at that.)
I'm also not medicated today, by the way, as voicemail message #1 suggested. Because I'm scared of what it would feel like to have vertigo, take Sudafed, AND ingest Adderall at the same time. But I've been wishing I were 'cause nothing's running very smoothly today. At all.
Voicemail message #2: "This is Barnes & Noble calling to tell you that the book you ordered is in and that we'll hold it at the front of the store for two weeks."
I'm not going to be buying the book from Barnes & Noble because I have another source for acquiring the book. You're thinking, perhaps, that it was rude of me to order the book in the first place, and upon first review I might agree with you. But consider this. The day I ordered the book, I was sort of pressured into ordering it. I know, I know. I'm a grown woman and I have control over whether or not I have the Book Dude Manning the B&N Information Desk order a book for me, for God's sake. But read on:
I walk up to the desk. Book dude and I greet each other. I ask him if their memoirs are shelved with their biographies. (Okay, I used to work there, but a lot of years have passed since then and they've moved a lot of stuff around. Besides, I'm pretty good with my ABC's and in the biography section the book I'm seeking is nowhere to be found. And I'm an optimist who really reeeeeally wants to see this book, so I'm hoping they've separated biographies from memoirs.) He searches for my title, which of course he can't find 'cause I've butchered the actual title and asked him to look up a book that probably never did exist. I tell him the name of the author and he reads something back to me which is further away from the actual title I'm seeking than what I first asked him to look up.
No. That's not it. What else you got?
Finally I'm feeling confident that he's located the book about which I'm curious enough that I've now allowed a line of two to form behind me. I should point out, here, that the woman closest to me has the title, author and ISBN of the book she needs written tidily on a perfect square of paper. She notices me noticing and smugness joins the annoyed expression on her face. I said he'd located the book. What I mean is he's located it in his computer. But it's nowhere in the store, where, by the way, it would have been shelved with the biographies even though this author is more a memoir kinda' gal.
I thank him.
"I could order it for you!" He looks at me, hopeful.
"Thank you. That's okay. But I do appreciate your looking." I've already put him through enough. Him and the woman who's now shuffling from foot to foot, the weight of her seemingly ordinary-sized body suddenly far too much for her to handle, standing there for a whole minute and all. Oh no. I'm feeling a little guilt. Maybe she just had knee surgery and needs to go sit down. Now I'm wasting her time, and his.
"We could have it here for you in just a few days!" He's so proud of this. He's already pulled out a scrap of paper on which he's writing the title, author, ISBN, and price. A scrap of paper I know, from my own experience working for this very bookstore, is also the back side of one of those desk calendars on which each day is posted a new day's date and a cartoon or inspirational quote. Once they sit around long enough, you can't sell those. But they make lovely scratch pads, the size is perfect, and it's not nearly as wasteful as buying blank paper when you have all these leftover calendars to dispose of and all.
"I'm not even sure I want the book." (It was a whim, really. I was just a little curious in the first place. I'm already reading too many books at one time.) As soon as I've said the words, I realize my mistake.
"That's okay! You're not obligated to purchase it. We'll hold it for you at the front of the store. All you have to do is tell them your name, they'll pull it for you, then if you decide you don't want it, just give it back and we'll shelve it in the appropriate space." Of course I know this. I can't bear to tell him that I could still probably do his job right over there with him, without so much as a refresher course. But I also can't bear to tell him no one more time. An odd sensation has overtaken me that suggests perhaps his success in having me ask him to order the book is somehow intertwined with his personal sense of self-worth and work ethic.
So I let the book dude have my personal information and he's ordered the book for me, as is evidenced from the voice mail message I've just received. Now I have a nudge of inner guilt that questions if maybe I shouldn't drive over there and at least look at the book and see what I think about it, before it just sets there on the shelf for two weeks then somebody has to decide for themselves what to do with it. Before I've wasted not only the book dude's time and the lady who had knee surgery's time and added to her pain and discomfort, especially when she took all that time to write down even the ISBN before she came to the store that day and I couldn't even bother to get the title right, but also wasted the time of yet another Barnes & Noble employee. Of course, since I'm not driving right now, that helps take the edge off the guilt that I Should Go Look At This Book This Very Minute.
There is no voicemail message #3. I answered all the rest of my calls today. But I'm now reminded of one I never returned the day before yesetrday, and so I keep looking at the clock to see if there's enough time to call that person back and risk having a conversation that could actually prove to be more lengthy than I've got time for right now. Seeing as how my parents are on their way to town and I need to pack because I think I'm going to spend the night at my sister's, with the whole family, tonight. That way I can get a ride when my folks pass and one more day will have passed without my Vertigo Stilted Self on the road, risking life and limb just so I can continue to consider myself independent enough to drive myself wherever I need to go.
It'd prolly be rude to try and get them to stop off at Barnes & Noble on the way, just to look at a book I'm pretty sure I'm not going to buy, eh?