Wednesday, September 26, 2007

45 Minutes At Border's

Last night was Soccergirl’s Brownie Scout meeting. Nothing unusual in that, other that a slight change of routine. After her dinner of leftover Spaghetti, we headed to the designated meeting place, where the ever efficient troop leader said hello, and “check your email. I sent you something this afternoon”. With that, I was dismissed from the world of women and girls. I would have ninety whole minutes to myself!


I decided to go over to the café at our local Border's book store and read... and people watch. I toke notes, of course, because, hey!... I'm a blogger, and I’m weird like that.

Upon arrival at Border’s, I took a quick spin through the Science Fiction section to see if there was anything new on the shelves since Saturday. There wasn’t, so I proceeded straight to the café with my book. I made camp at one of the tables in the recently renovated seating area, and took stock of the people sitting in my immediate area: There were two guys playing chess, who were taking it awfully seriously (they had a clock and everything). These guys didn’t look like they date much, but what do I know? There was a guy in his mid-thirties who was with a young girl of about 4; they were looking at a children’s magazine together. There were a couple of uncouth young men who didn’t have the decency to take off their hats indoors (which really bugs me), one of who was reading a sports magazine, while the other was reading PC Utilities magazine. There was a man in his 40’s who was reading a fishing magazine… and taking copious notes from it. There was a woman in her mid-thirties who was copying recipes from several cookbooks.

NOTE: Does anyone else think that this is a poor practice? It irritates me when people treat bookstores like libraries, taking books from the shelves, using them for homework, or research, with absolutely no intention of buying anything. Worse, these thrice-damned clods don’t even have the grace to put the books back on the shelves.

Anyway, there is a young woman, of about 21 years, sitting at the table directly in front of me, who is eating a huge burrito. The burrito is so large, the young woman is sort of planting it on the table, holding it with both hands, and instead of picking it up, she is bringing her face to burrito-level to take bites from it. She also has a tattoo in the small of her back, which her ill-fitting shirt doesn’t cover. She pulled her shirt down at least six times in the last 15 minutes. Take note, sweetheart: If you don’t want to bare your midriff, wear clothes that fit!

There are two people sitting behind me who have met here in order for the man to talk to the woman about her resume. He is some sort of resume wizard and she is an educated woman whose English isn’t as good as it might be, and he is helping her with her job search and CV.

Other patrons of the café include a couple of people hunched over their laptops and talking earnestly into their cell phones.

An aside, I realize that the purpose of the chairs here in the café is the comfort of the patrons, but I really don’t think that the people who came up with the whole comfort scheme meant that the earnest young fellow reading the computer magazine should have his bare feet tucked under him in the chair.

OK, the young woman with the burrito called it quits after eating only half of it. A good thing, too, because her boyfriend/study partner has arrived and gotten his lap top all set up for something. Not that this matters, because since his arrival, the young woman has received a steady stream of visitors, including one woman who I think was her mother… all while the guy sat there, ignored.

One thing is certain; the Border’s café is a fun place to watch people… even if it is a bit too noisy for my tastes.

At the appointed time, I took my book and headed for the exit. I had 15 minutes to get back and pick up Soccergirl. It was a beautiful night, and I drove with the windows down, listening to the radio. I got to the school just as the meeting ended.

Soccergirl said that she had a great time. I'm glad she did. I did, too.


Alex Elliot said...

At first I swear it was like reading an email from my husband about his Border's trip! He also always starts out by checking out the Science Fiction section. People watching can be really fun although sometimes disturbing!

CableGirl said...

People watching is one of my all time favorite hobbies. :D

I agree with you 100% about the inappropriateness of people reading books and magazines in the store like it were a library. That's a serious irritant of mine... maybe it's because I spent my whole undergrad and the majority of my grad school life working in bookstores.

super des said...

If you had been in the bookstore by my place, I'm sure I would have been one of those included in your notes. I was filling out job applications while drinking lemonade and holding onto both my sunglasses and to-be-purchased pink address book. But you would have probably noticed other things about me that I don't know about.

However, I was in B&N and not Borders.

the only daughter said...

I was going to ask, with all that going on, how on earth you could read your book.

Desert Songbird said...

People watching is one of my favorite past times. I must admit, sometimes I get a