A Kinder, Gentler, Nerdier Mid-Life Crisis

I’ve been making a concerted effort to cut back on our TV consumption. We don’t watch much to begin with so it hasn’t been a big sacrifice, plus this fall has been extremely busy with travel soccer and twice weekly practices for Miss C and soccer and Girl Scouts activities for Miss A, not to mention homework. Oh LORD the homework, especially for Miss C (my 4th grader.)

Speaking of 4th grade, as part of her ongoing homework Miss C is supposed to read 30 minutes a night and in order to set a good example I’ve been reading at night, too. I headed to the library last week with a list of about a dozen books and one by one realized that they were all checked out but one. Looking for library books without a list is like me shopping at the mall without some idea of what I’m looking for. If I don’t have a plan of action I can wander the aisles forever and walk out empty handed. Call me the queen of indecisiveness (my husband does).

As I headed toward the front of the library with my book I passed a kind-faced elderly man shuffling his way toward the large-print section of books. And then a light bulb went off in my head…an evil light bulb of genius! I strolled over nonchalantly to the large-print aisles and skimmed the books. I saw one of the titles I was interested in reading but as I plucked it from the shelf I paused. I mean technically I am blind as a bat without my contact lenses in, but was it wrong to check out a large-print book? Was my moral fiber frazzling? Was I just one deceptively innocent step away from arm wrestling a grandma on senior discount day at my local grocery store to grab the last can of chicken noodle soup? Would the library alarm system go off as soon I scanned the book at self check out and start announcing all my past-due fines? Would I be black listed from our local library system forever, shaming my family into library exile?

As these frantic, albeit melodramatic, thoughts rushed through my brain I decided to chance it. I mean for all anyone knew I was checking the book out for someone else. When the ghost of Dewey Decimal did not visit my dreams I forgot about it…until yesterday when I returned a book for the girls at the same library branch. I avoided eye contact with the library clerk and managed to duck in and out without anyone yelling, “HEY YOU! You! Large-print fraud woman!”

To heap on even more guilt, hubby was up working late and came into our bedroom to kiss me goodnight but not before asking, “Is that a large-print book?”

“Uh, yes. Yes it is. WHAT?” I peered up and over my glasses at him.

Some people have mid-life crises that involve convertibles and tattoos, mine involve checking out large-print books at my local library.

I am such a nerd.

I’ll be returning that book after hours in the drop-off box outside the library. Not that I feel guilty or anything.


  1. Cheekyrafiki says:

    That made me laugh out loud … I will never again be able to take out a large-print book from the library without all those thoughts going through my head now too!!

  2. Morgan Edger says:

    As a teacher, I can tell you that when parents set the right example at home, the kids pick it up and run with it! You’re doing a wonderful thing for her, and for her future teachers! 🙂

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