The Horror!

During the day yesterday, YA called me while I was at work.

YA: Do I need a library card to use the computers at the library?
Me:   I’m not sure.  Did you call to ask them?
YA: I’m there now. I don’t think I have a library card.
Me: I’m sure you do.
(Me rustling in purse)
Me: I have your card right here.  Do you need the number?
YA: No – they gave me a temporary number.

This seemed innocuous enough until the real implications of the phone encounter hit me. I had her library card in my wallet because when she was a toddler and kindergartner, she didn’t have a place to keep her library card, so I held onto it.  After all, back then, we were usually at the library together.

But if I still have her card, that means that since we quit going together (once she hit 2nd or 3rd grade),  SHE HAS NEVER STEPPED FOOT IN A PUBLIC LIBRARY ON HER OWN.

Not having a reader for a child has been a hard pill to swallow. Obviously your children aren’t little models of yourself, but when they differ from you in a treasured part of your life, it takes some getting used to.  I thought I had long ago come to this acceptance but yesterday’s realization was like that proverbial cold bucket of water.  Ouch.  If I was still in therapy we’d have to talk about this at my next appointment!

Any epiphanies recently?  (Good or bad.)

60 thoughts on “The Horror!”

  1. Library use is not exactly the same as being a reader. I was last in a library about 35 years ago. I have read many books since then, and have in fact written several in that time span. But your main point is sound: YA doesn’t treasure books the way you do. It’s weird, isn’t it?

    As for epiphanies, my news is not that I have had some but rather that they are sprinting toward me from all directions. I am overwhelmed. I thought “time exists so everything doesn’t happen at the same time,” but that’s no longer true for me. I sail unknown seas with no compass except the stars. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m getting there fast.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I realized recently that I would rather stay home than travel. I don’t like uncertainty. I have become quite stressed and anxious particularly over air travel, not because of safety concerns but because of the hassles getting to and from airports. Our trip to New York next Tuesday has so many unknowns associated with it. I had a great time in Minneapolis last month, though, and even travelled the freeways successfully. At least we drove and had our own vehicle and we were in control of the agenda.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Later today I will send you the name of the shuttle service we used to get from the airport to our hotel and back to the airport in NYC. That took all of the stress and uncertainty out of the experience for me. It cost $72 for both of us and was worth every cent.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Thanks! That would be really helpful. Now if I can only make sure the roads and weather will be ok for our 100 mile trip to Bismarck to catch the plane to New York!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Some people are always looking for ways to divide people into categories. One such division might be between happy travelers and contented stay-at-homers. My parents were, like you, in the second group. The only value they found in travel was how much happier it made them to finally get back home.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. RIse and Shine Baboons,

    My surgery and rehab experiences have been full of epiphanies, the most significant being how much pain killers take from a person in terms of memory and brain functioning. I also realized how little Dr.s’ have used technology to manage something that is a problem—they could do so much more.

    THis is not deeply insightful about me, but that is what I was left with.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. I am reminded from time to time that I am sometimes overgenerous in what I assume people know. That’s not an issue here on the Trail but every once in a while out in the world I am caught up short.

    Robin and I were at an estate sale a couple of weeks ago. We were looking with amusement at an old oil painting of a sea captain. I’d say the painting was a portrait of a real person—it was too idiosyncratic to have been idealized. The quality of the artistry was somewhere below mediocre. The captain glowered. Robin commented that it looked like he had been staring at the sun too long. In the corner of the painting was “Degas”, signed with a large flourish. We noted it was quite a departure from the artist’s usual work.
    At this point, one of the workers at the sale came up. He was probably in his fifties or so (I can’t judge anymore). He said “I’ll bet you’re wondering if it’s that guy from the whale story…”
    “Captain Ahab? I replied.
    “Yeah, thats the one” he answered.
    “Well he looks cranky enough” I commented.
    “Maybe you could google the artist’s name,” the worker suggested.

    So this person had made it through the first half century of his life never having heard of Degas and unable to name Moby Dick. What else, I wonder, did he not know? And if knowledge is the basis for reasoning, how is he so equipped?

    Now I realize that he would probably be surprised at some of the things I don’t know. I know almost nothing about any professional sports or the players. I don’t recognize any of the celebrities in the music awards shows or the supermarket tabloids. I don’t know anything about action heroes or computer games.

    Just because I find that information vapid and ephemeral, does that mean it is? Is the knowledge I prize really more essential? Obviously I think it is, but what do I know?

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Actually, even if I played it completely straight I can’t imagine Antiques Roadshow would devote air time to disabusing me of my “find”. It would be entertaining to watch if they did, though.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I think that could be hilarious. I can see the episode in my mind’s eye playing out in several ways. I’ve just spent several minutes amusing myself with scripting the various scenarios. We could have a lot of fun with this. I’m envisioning Monty Python type outrageousness including Bill in several different costumes and art appraiser taking several different tacks in relaying the bad news. Or in the alternative, finding that the painting is, in fact, a Degas from a little known period of his work, and that Bill is now a millionaire.

          Talking about playing it completely straight, I’ve long since learned that there are huge holes in my knowledge. No question, there is even general knowledge that I think most of you would expect me to know, and I just don’t. Some of it I may have known at one time and simply forgotten, but chances are a lot of never found it’s way to my brain.

          I’ve also come to appreciate that what other people know is often surprising stuff I had never heard of. Take our own Linda, for example, I’m constantly amazed at her wisdom and acute observations about topics on the trail, and I’m impressed at some of what I consider the more obscure – to me – music she posts with some regularity. That’s one of the things that I love about the trail, the unexpected tidbits that pop up from time to time. Jim introduced me to nematodes, and for some reason that has stuck with me.

          I learned this morning that Lizzo, an artist who is apparently from Minneapolis, is nominated for eight Grammy’s. I had never even heard of her, so of course, I googled her. This decidedly is not the kind of music I’m into, but I have to admit there’s a lot of creativity going on here. My guess is that most baboons will not be familiar with her work, either, unless you have young people in your household? She has a lot to say, and I really think it’s worth listening to:

          Liked by 3 people

    1. When I was finishing up my degree at Metro State I took several classes from a professor who I still think is one of the smartest people I know. However I was completely shocked one day in some discussion that he did not know the six wives of Henry VIII, not just didn’t know them in the right order but didn’t even know all their names. Shocking.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ll have to confess, I don’t either. In fact, I’d probably be hard pressed to name them all. Just doesn’t interest me that much.


        1. Yes, I do realize that not everybody cares about what I care about. It’s just sometimes knowledge that is so easy for me to retrieve seems like knowledge that everybody just knows. Like who Lucretia Borgia is.


    2. Don’t know if this qualifies as an epiphany or not, but seeing that whole unraveling of the family next door has brought something home to me. I’m a strong believer in personal responsibility, and have somehow always assumed that most people feel that way. OK, so I have ignored a lot of evidence to the contrary, mea culpa.

      A few weeks ago, Tommy was complaining that “his” recycling bin was not being emptied. I looked at it, and it was overflowing with garbage. He, a forty+plus year old man, didn’t have a clue what was recyclable! Pizza boxes from Domino’s, plastic bags, styrofoam boxes, paper plates, motor oil bottles, all mixed in with beer cans and other stuff that may in fact be recyclable, I didn’t want to dig into it.

      I’m afraid Tommy is destined to spend the rest of his life either locked up or under a bridge somewhere. Don’t know when the closing on the house is going to take place, but Tommy has made only a small dent in removing all of his shit from the garage. There has been a huge trailer parked in front of their garage for about ten days, have no idea where he’s going to tow it to eventually, but apparently the Virgin Mary in the bathtub and the sleeping Mexican get to stay.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. I wouldn’t rule it out. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has fetal alcohol syndrome that has never been diagnosed. He has been trouble ever since he dropped out of high-school. He’s a drug user, petty criminal, and unpredictable. He has been in and out of jail so many times, the entire St. Paul police force know him. His parents, now both dead, made the mistake of never kicking him out. He has operated a back yard mechanic service for all kinds of unsavory characters for the last thirty years when he wasn’t locked up. He has five adult children with three different women, never been married, never held a job, in fact I doubt he’s ever even applied for one. I really don’t know what will become of him. Sad, sad story.


    3. I ran into my retired hair dresser the other day. She asked what we were doing for Thanksgiving and I told her about Carnegie Hall. She knew what the hall was, but then added “Oh, my dad’s boss paid for him to take that class! He just loved it.” She was referring to the Dale Carnegie class, not knowing that Dale and Andrew were two very different people.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. She came back with a “no” and then “why”. I guess I’ll have to fess up that we were talking about her today on the trail.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. We did have more conversation on this when I got home and she had heard of the Canterbury tales just didn’t know Chaucer was.

          Liked by 2 people

  5. Our daughter rarely read in high school or college. She was read to incessantly as a child. For some reason, she has become a reader since she left for Tacoma, with her current goal of reading a book a week. She hit 50 books for the year in October. She started a book club at work. Don’t give up, VS. Children surprise and amaze no matter what their age. At least yours is in a library. I worried about Daughter bankrupting herself buying books, but she has a library card and a kindle and downloads from the public library system. You planted good seeds. They just need to germinate.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. you are still in therapy vs
    what the heck do you think the trail is?

    i have stated many times if my kids mus my examples of what not to do they miss some of my best stuff

    my kids have no drug problems, other than my alcohol providing more entertainment than those around me found appropriate i found my drug involvement to be kind of like my sweet tooth
    i enjoy a creamer brûlée’s or an occasional delicacy after a concert or s marvelous meal but years of a quart of chocolate chocolate chip and a hear of real peanut butter are behind me as is the bong pecan dandies and perry mason bedtime regimen from back on the day
    my kids all library via ebooks audible etc
    3 out of 6 are hard core
    1 is a minutia savant and reads amazing amounts of sports music politics and now music history and geography related to music with his new gig

    my dad read little my mom read self help therapy and religious ditty’s and i ended up being me
    a mile wide and an inch deep but a true fan of the path i’ve chosen
    i love what i love and cant imagine having my brain direction be dictated by anyone else
    give me some exposure and go fo your thing
    ya is going to be the best ya ever
    we wouldn’t know what to do with a mlni vs

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I had an epiphany today that I really really really need to get outdoors more. After we “kidnapped” a friend and took her to lunch across the river, we went to a lookout at Brice Prairie so see tundra swans. Saw some kind of ducks instead, but still. My life lately has not allowed ANY outdoor time, and I’m going to change that. I know it keeps me sane.

    Liked by 2 people

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