Friday, August 6, 2010

When will I ever learn?

Where do I go when I'm feeling downtrodden and sorry for myself, filled with frustration about things I can do nothing about?  To this lovely blog that is always there, allowing me to share the things that no one else really wants to hear about, but it gives me satisfaction anyway.

I had a great plan.  It was too hot again today to go to the pool, so I thought it would be the perfect morning to go trade in some books at a used book store.  I am worried I'm going to have nothing to read for the drive from North Carolina to Massachusetts, and besides I have too many books.  I went out to the garage this morning while Annie was napping, to where all my fiction is.  I was dismayed to see that Tim had hidden the bulk of it among the many boxes of things we have in there.  But I was still able to put together a pretty good selection of 10 to 12 books in a shopping bag.  I hesitated before throwing in my Hypnobirthing book, less than three years old and with the CD it came with still in the package.  That would be a real find for somebody.

I realize that used book stores are a business, and they are supposed to make a profit.  I know I'm not supposed to be the winner, but I thought I would be anyway, and here's how:   I do not need so many books.  I only need a couple new things to read.  I knew they would take a lot of what I had and give me very little in return, but I was still going to walk away happy with less clutter and something new to read for the excruciatingly long drive up and down the east coast.  Oh, how woefully naive of me.

This is how it went.  I brought my bag of books to the counter, and a surly man took them from me and said it would be awhile.  So I went off happily to browse all the shelves and shelves of wonderful books, reminding Delaney that if she was a good girl, she would get a new book too.

About 20 minutes later, I came back to the counter with my few selections and Delaney's.  And had my dreams crushed.  The woman who worked there handed me back my shopping bag almost completely full of the books I'd brought, saying they'd only been able to take a couple, due to the selection of books they already had.  And I only got $5.80 in credit, bwahahahaha!  The book Delaney had picked out -- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein -- was $7.45, and I paid $1.65 out of pocket for it, and we left.  The end.

My mom and my sister Anna will recall that long ago trip to Plato's Closet, when Anna and I arrived with a bagful of my old duds, and were turned away.  I hated doing the walk of shame back to my car with that trash bag full of clothes, and I think Anna was embarrassed to be associated with me.  We still have a good laugh over my righteous indignation at my perfectly good clothes being picked through and rejected.  That was at least 10 years ago.  How funny that I thought I could still get the last laugh at one of these secondhand places!   At least there is something funny about still having a ton of old books and nothing new to read.

And I peeked in the bag and saw that the Hypnobirthing book, CD and all, is still in there.  The nerve of those people!


  1. You crack me up! I had the same experience with not one, but two bags of clothes at a trade-in place 10 years ago as well. If you're really looking to get rid of some of your books, why don't we shop each others' bookshelves? I'll have a bag of books I've already read ready for you to look at or have. For free. :-) Why don't you come over tomorrow morning? We leave the house at 3pm. I realize this will alos have to be our farewell :-( I'm too sad. Just today Charlie was painting and said "I'm painting this for my friend Delaney". Military life is not for the faint at heart.

  2. I have NEVER tried that again...I was definitely scarred by that experience.

  3. I am now very embittered toward that whole process, and next time I get an urge to trade something in, I'll donate it instead. Or find a friend to swap with. Thanks, Daniella! Anna, I'm cracking up imagining you standing at that counter dying. At least you learned something that day!