Monday, February 24, 2014

Browsing in Faeryland - Part 1

Greetings, WYMOP readers!

I recently took a trip to Colorado. Several things happened there. Some of them, a very few actually, happened to me.

This is one of them. :


There is a chain of used book and video stores out there in the Midwest called 2nd&Charles. One of them just happens to be in Aurora, Colorado. I had never heard of this store, but SB asked if I wanted to stop in there “just to check them out, you know, see what they have”.
I said yes.
The word “browse” was employed.
I said yes.
It was pointed out that I wouldn’t have to actually buy anything, but it was a neat store just to see.
I said yes.
You can see what a hard sell I was.
No, this isn't me. But this is
just one of the views,
giving you some idea
just how big the store is.
(Picture courtesy of the
 C2C Aurora FaceBook Page)
So we stopped in to check them out, and browsed, and it was indeed a neat store to see. The store itself was large enough that, at one point, I sort of got lost. Well, I wasn’t lost, but I hadn’t been able to find SB in quite a while. I kept my head and looked about again. Nothing. I had just begun to consider going to the front desk to have her paged like a little boy lost in the department store (I mean, yes it might have been a bit embarrassing, but I just couldn’t find her anywhere, so yes, please, would you page my Mom? I mean friend?) when my phone buzzed with an incoming text. It was from SB.
I’m in Aisle 9B
So I strolled off to aisle 9B, ignoring the watery feeling in my lower belly and my inexplicable desire to be sat up on the counter and offered a sweet while someone got on the loudspeaker for me. I sauntered up aisle 9B and found SB.
“S’matter,” I said, dredging up every little bit of ‘cool and confident’ I still had left. “You get lost?”
You may have experienced, or possibly read about, someone communicating with their eyes. Books occasionally contain phrases like: “He shot me a quick, affirmative glance”, or “I could see by her eyes the answer was no”, or even “I raised my eyebrows in question and he shot me a quick, affirmative glance; but I could see by her eyes the answer was no”. Parents do it, mothers especially. When I was younger (read: last week) I might come in the
Not my mom.
house to my mother telling me “I just cleaned the house”, while her eyes would add
“so don’t mess it up”. If I failed to leave the room fast enough, I would occasionally catch the point where her ocular message changed to “or else”.
Anyway, you will probably understand when I say SB answered me with a Look. No, that capitalization was not an error. It wasn’t a look, it was a Look.
“Don’t even try that guff with me,” the Look said. “I know what’s what, and I know you just spent the better part of ten minutes wandering the aisles looking for me through increasingly watery eyes while a part of you longed for a grown-up’s hand to hold. Now wipe the tear-tracks from your cheeks, blow your running nose, and lets browse a bit, shall we? And this time stay within sight of me, all right? There’s a good boy.”
Bloody right little chatterboxes when they get going, SB’s eyes.
Well, I’m not one to let something like that pass unanswered, so I thought for a moment, marshaled my internal forces, and gave her my own Look.
Right. So maybe it wasn’t quite a Look, more of a look, but I think I got my point across. I wiped the tear-tracks from my cheeks, fished a napkin out of my pocket to see to my running nose, and hurried to catch up to SB before she rounded the corner at the end of the aisle.
We browsed.
We browsed for quite a while.
When we approached the registers, one of the staff popped out of nowhere. He’d been one of the ones to welcome us to the store when we’d arrived, and now he was back to make absolutely certain we’d found everything we were looking for.
Okay, to be a little more honest about it, he’d greeted SB to the store, and was now making absolutely certain she had found everything she was looking for. It’s not that I am invisible, or even unobtrusive: certainly
TSA never has a problem spotting me, or having me step out of line for a “random” search at the airport. At 5’10”, 210 lbs, shaven-headed, goateed, and with what might be termed an “aggressive look” about me, I apparently fit the description of “random Caucasian male”.
No, I wasn’t invisible to Mr. Helpful Staff. I was just male.
“Oh,” he said, reaching into the cart to pick up one of the books there (yes, we had “browsed” several things right into the cart). “I see you have an interest in Fairies!”
He’d pulled out a book titled A Witch’s Guide to Faery Folk, by Edain McCoy.
“Oh, this is a terrific book! Terrific! Did you see the pop-out book? The fold-out thing?”
SB admitted she had not, and Helpful Staff was off and running, returning in seconds with the book in question. It turned out to be a fold-out picture book dedicated to the fairies from Disney’s Pixie Hollow franchise. SB oohed and aahed, and the two of them looked at pictures of cartoon fairies for a few minutes. Then Mr. Helpful Staff suggested she buy the book.
SB said no.
Mr. Helpful Staff looked confused. He glanced at the book in the cart, wondering if he should bring up, once again, SB’s obvious love of fairies. I decided to step up.
“Actually,” I said, pointing to A Witch’s Guide to Faery Folk, “that one’s for me.”
He looked at me, taking in my full “random Caucasian male” appearance, and his voice came out a little flat.
“Yes,” I said, smiling. “I have a book in mind, a YA or maybe middle-grade thing
No! Not THESE kinds of Brownies!
about two kids dealing with Brownies in their yard. The Brownies might not be the only things out there —  they might have some Fairy friends around —  so I’m going to do a little research before I actually start writing.”
I pointed at the book again.
His expression cleared. We talked about writing for a little bit (his daughter apparently had the desire), but he never held the Pixie Hollow book out to me, or offered to turn the pages for me, as he had with SB.
I just smiled.
Until we got to the register.

~ ~ * * ~ ~

To Be Continued...

...and just for the fun of it, Sad Cat Diary.

And you think YOU have problems...?

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