Thursday, April 8, 2010
Things I Thought I Would Never Say
Disclaimer: Now I realize that some of what I am going to say might offend those of you who say these things all of the time, so I apologize at the outset. But, hey, libraries are places for people to gather to find information and talk about issues that they care about and sometimes these issues can be controversial. And this library blog is no different - it's an electronic gathering place for us to share our ideas and opinions, so I don't mind if you disagree with me if you don't mind that sometimes I might say something you don't like.
So, that said, here we go...things I thought I would never say.
"I love Tammy Wynette."
I was never much of a country music fan. I grew up with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, so Dusty Springfield was about as country as I would get. However, as the celebrity bio junkie you know I am, I am drawn to their stories and right now I am reading a fascinating book about her. Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen. When I am reading about a performer, I often want to listen to his or her music or go back and watch the films, so naturally I had to download some Tammy Wynette iTunes onto my iPod, and I am lovin' listening to her standing by her man and 'til she can make it on her own.
And Dusty's story was pretty tragic too! Here is her biography and some tunes.
"Chuck, you are right."
Chuck is my spouse, and actually he told me to put this one in.
I've actually never said that.
"Nanny McPhee is the greatest film of all time!"
I really did say that, but it was right at the end, I was crying my eyes out, and I think there might have been some wine involved.
In hindsight, I guess it's not "Citizen Kane." but it's a really good family movie.
Check it out.
"Is that a gray hair?"
If you are a baby boomer, you probably also never thought you would say that. We were all Peter Pan. But I guess that's what Clairol Coppery Red is for. (I wonder if there is a "statute of limitations" on dyeing your hair before it affects your brain.)
"The kids are not coming home for the holidays."
This happened for the first time last year. Both "kids" went to their beloved's parents' homes for the holidays, so for the first time in 24 years, we were childless. I guess I thought they would want to come home every year. Who wouldn't want to come home when it's pizza on Christmas Eve, 10 presents each, and a car ride looking at holiday lights while singing carols?
Oh, well...it used to work.
So we went to Paris instead.
"Because I'm your mother."
And other things like "Because I said so," "Life isn't fair" and "Go sit on your hands for 15 minutes."
Maybe that's why the kids aren't coming home anymore.
"I'm going to be a librarian."
The inclusion of this statement might seem strange to you, since I am a librarian and have been one for 30 years.
But I didn't always want to be a librarian.
When I was in college, my college roommate told me that she was considering going to library school after graduation. I remember saying, "What!? Why would you want to do that?" as I conjured up the librarian stereotype of the little old lady with a bun wearing double-tread floor gripper shoes, shushing everyone. Something like this.
Despite my horror, she became a librarian and worked at the Library of Congress.
I, on the other hand, put flowers in my hair and headed for San Francisco. Unfortunately, my liberal arts education didn't qualify me for much, except lively conversation at cocktail parties, so after two years of toiling in the trenches, I reassessed my situation and realized I needed more education. By that time, I had several friends who had found themselves in a similar situation and had become librarians (what does that say about a liberal arts education?), so I thought, why not?
Having cut my hair short in the then fashionable Sassoon,
I couldn't supply the bun, but I was sure I could supply the shush, so off I went to library school.
Boy, did I get an education!
What I learned was that as a librarian, I was a member of a noble profession. We are woven into the fabric of what makes America great. We help protect the right for all Americans to have the information they need and want, without restriction and without judgment. And we are hip!
I have been working as a librarian ever since. I have been a medical librarian, a research librarian and a college librarian, but working in public libraries has given me the most satisfaction and pride. The hours are not great and, yes, I have to plunge the occasional toilet and sometimes interact with an unruly customer, but we who work in public libraries are the frontline defenders of the freedom of speech. I sure didn't think I would be saying all of that when I was 22.
And by the way, if I may quote the Houston Public Library's Annual Report,
"Shhhhhh...has left the building."