Yeah, I'm back! Look at my tan! I'm very rested, thanks for asking. I hope you like the fall motif around here. You didn't notice? Look again, it's very subtle. Hint: I used a mallard and elk fabric print to cover the cushions on the couch. I like to keep it seasonal around the ole QC Report. Wait until you see the singing Santa I'm going to plug in at Christmas.
I wish I could say "And so much has happened since I last wrote, I don't even know where to begin." Many things happen each day, the car never fully cools down, and yet there isn't a fun anecdote or six to point at to prove I'm busy. Daughter is, at this exact moment, not entirely hungry, and I can say that with pride because it's nearly a job unto itself. The pets are well. The house is quietly decaying. Yesterday, Consort spent seven hours fixing something blindingly
complicated on his work computer. Eventually, it was fixed but nothing appears to be different or improved. I'm glad this pleases him; if I spent seven hours working hard I'd want something in return besides "I've staved off entropy."
Wait, there is one thing. I currently hold feelings of wild distaste for someone who barely matters to me at all.
It all began a few months ago when I noticed my wallet weighed slightly less than a frozen Cornish game hen. Ruthlessly pruning out expired museum membership cards and "Buy 9, get the 10th
coupons was satisfying but my wallet still remained in cold poultry territory. Harder choices had to be made, the first being "no redundancies", which resulted in removing my library card and keeping only Daughter's card -- an arbitrary call. Eventually, I got my wallet down to a small bag of coffee, weight-wise, and we all moved on. I moved on slightly faster, what with having a lighter purse.
Months passed. I'd pick up books from the library and because this is the library we have used since Daughter was born, the desk clerks would scan the card and hand me my books. Then one day, a new clerk scanned my card, paused a moment, examined the card closely, peered coldly at my face and clucked.
"This isn't your name" She said gravely.
"No," I said smiling. "It's my daughter's name. And these are her books."
"Those are books for adults. I think these are your
books" she clucked again.
And yes, some of them were from the adult section, but it wasn't as if they were titled things like "Rafe the Virile IT Guy Visits Helen in HR." As it so happens, both Daughter and I enjoy Roz Chast
cartoons and books about rare fatal diseases. We would both read these books and so what if we didn't? I didn't like her tone. I quickly established she had no authority beyond clucking, twittering and peering. I grabbed my books and my -- I mean Daughter's -- card and sailed off with a "You have a nice day, now!" whispered over my shoulder to her.
For the new few weeks, no matter what time I went there or what day, there was the Clucker
, glaring at me over her glasses. She'd check out my books and hiss something about how I was breaking the rules. I'd grab my books and prance out, occasionally chuckling about how people with no authority who get all rule-tweaked are a little sad. As it turns out, I was right; she had no authority. But she did have a boss. Three weeks ago, I came in to pick up some books and there was the Clucker
who, upon spying me, ran into the back room and got her boss, the actual librarian.
I then endured a five-minute speech while Clucker
stood right behind her, carefully dusting an empty desk and scrutinizing everything in the immediate vicinity but me. To her credit, the librarian looked embarrassed to be even mentioning this. I explained wallet was a frozen Cornish game hen. She nodded in sympathy. I noted that anything on my daughter's card, since she is a minor, is my responsibility anyway. She nodded in agreement. Eventually, we settled with "Quinn, it would be great if you could bring your own card. You know, just to make everything easy on...everyone."
And you know? Until that moment, I might have even done it, found the card in my desk drawer and changed over. I feel great affection for librarians, because they do important work and make our lives better in so many ways. But I just couldn't give the Clucker
what she wanted because...it didn't matter! The very meaningless of this power battle meant I COULD NOT BACK DOWN. Because this person thought she could harangue me into doing something which didn't matter to me at all, I could no more give in to her wishes than I could fly. The Clucker
was a wee little bully-queen, ruling over seven or eight electrons of the universe, the electrons which decreed whether I could use Daughter's library card and I couldn't give her the satisfaction. So I smiled at the librarian, thanked her for the hard work she does and watched her check out my books.
[Yes, they were mine. Daughter's not reading about the mosaics of Pompeii any time soon.]
I then grabbed my books, sneered at the Clucker
and vowed to find a library with an automatic check-out. But I'd like the record to show I did show some restraint, some recognition that this situation wasn't so much inconsequential as infinitesimal.
At no point did I say "Cluck you."