Friday, January 9, 2009

Where I impersonate being a mom with many children

I stopped in at the library today. I love my library, and have been going there for many years. But, the library doesn't love me. Okay, it loves my fines that inherently accrue, despite my attempts to return movies back within the one to three week limit. And it loves to shelve the holds that I request at every chance.

But, despite my 6 or 7 year long patronage, my library and I aren't on first name basis. Sure, they recognize me, but no one knows my name. Which is fine. However, today, as I left, I asked the nice, multi-colored hair circulation lady how she was doing. You know, as if we regularly chat, rather than exchange looks (mine of horror at what my two children are doing, hers of exasperation at what my children are doing.) And she said, "How are you doing Miss Smitzer." (Or some such name. I thought maybe she'd just made up a nick-name for me, ala waitresses who calls everyone "hon" or "sugar.") I couldn't really understand her, but I found it strange that she was throwing nicknames at me. So, being me, I tried to take it all in stride, as if I'm used to being called random names by librarians. Because maybe there is a sub-language that they use to address their favorite patrons. Amy, am I on the right track?

So I stopped and chatted a little, and she said, "What, no entourage today?" Ben was trailing the regular 20 feet behind me, and so I looked back and made sure he would follow. I said, "Nope. Just one today. It's easier to come without all of them, you know?"

Even as I said it, I wondered who I was trying to be. "All" of them in my household is all two of them. And that hardly counts as an entourage. Maybe if I had even 3 or 4 kids, that would qualify, but 2? But since the whole "Miss (unintelligble name inserted here)" had occured, maybe I was taking on the persona of that unknown (but obviously well-known to this librarian) patron. I had a strange moment, standing there in my library, where suddenly I was the mom who had a whole brood of children somewhere in the world, all taking up space in 8th grade science classes and 4th grade field trips and 2nd grade lunch detentions. Oh, and the kindergartener with the bad luck of going in the afternoon. And all I was left with today was the baby, number X, who was missing all his lovely older siblings, who would be so glad he had chosen Batman cartoons for them to watch after school. Ah, Ben, the youngest, the one all my pretend children adore.

After all the pleasantries subsided, she says to me again, "Goodbye, Miss (Blahghady Blah Blah but not me name)." And I wish her farewell, all the while wondering who I was supposed to be and whether that person would one day be mistaken for me, which means she would be soundly ignored by all library staff. How will she feel that day, with her entourage of 8, all perfectly turned out for their library visit, the pretty, "I'm so exhausted by all these children, but aren't they gorgeous!" mom, who is used to being regaled left right and center by everyone staffing the circulation desk. Will she leave, wondering who all those extra children were and slightly hurt and confused by the silence of all her regular commrades?

I realize this is a pretty pointless post. But. I had to share my case of mistaken identity, and how strangely and confidently I stepped into the roll of "mom with multiple children." Cause my two just don't seem to add up to multiples, in my book. As much as I love them, I don't usually consider them my entourage.

Have you ever pretended to be someone else? Or been frightened at how easily you've gone along with someone else's assumptions about your life???

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I once talked to a lady in California who, for two years, thought my lovely wife belonged to some strange religion that doesn’t celebrate holidays.
Wait a minute……that was you being mistaken for someone else as well……never mind.

Sue Stanley said...

Hey Becky its your cousin Susan. I just started a blog and I just want to say that I love reading yours. It is a great way to keep in touch with one of my favorite cousins. My kids talked me into it and I am glad they did. I hope everything is going well for you and your family. Lets get together and catch up. You are such a great person and it sounds like you are a great mom too!!! I love all the pictures you post. Talk to you soon. Love Ya

fluentbrittish said...

I'm astonished that this Miss is referred to as "Miss." How does a woman known for toting around several children end up with such a formality?? I'd think, if anything, the librarian would call her by her first name. I wonder if you will have to be "her" through the remainder of your patronage?? Or was this a one-time thing? Which library do you go to?

Amy Sorensen said...

OMG. This is hilarious. Probably because I'm a librarian. That is TOTALLY something I would do. Get the identities wrong, I mean. I love that you played along. Of course, you could have handed her your library card as a subtle hint she got your name wrong.

Then again, your number is memorized so you probably don't even need to show it to her, right? ;)

Jeanette said...

Girl, you crack me up. Thanks for the entertainment.

Ginger said...

Maybe this time YOU won't be worrying about any late fees. Too bad for Miss Blah Blah, huh. What a funny story.

PureClean said...

What an entertaining post! You know, I am sure I have done what you did before, but pushed it out of my memory quickly, leaving me with out a story for you. Sorry! Me and the girls are going to be down at the end of the month for 5 days, I hope we can get together again! Love ya!!

Jeff and Kayci Bitton said...

Sorry that was just me:) I hate it when jeff doesn't log out of the business's gmail...