This morning I went to the library. I don’t have a library card for the local library for two reasons; 1) I don’t plan on living here for too much longer and 2) the only way to save the local library system would be to take a match to the entire thing and start over. That is how bad it is. So why was I at the library? Well my family’s foster kid wanted to get the last book in a series that she has been reading and she has a library card.
Because it was fairly early in the morning and I had not finished my coffee yet, the one in my nicely sealed travel mug that I have been carrying with me on all my errands, I brought my coffee into the library with me. Now the library has a sign that says “no food or drink allowed” right on the door underneath the library hours but I used to work in a library (meaning I know what the rules actually mean) and my coffee is sealed and I’m not going to wait outside while agent M finds her books so I elected to ignore that particular rule. After all I carry drinks in all the time. I am not about to let a piece of etched glass dictate how I am going to live my life. Nobody bothered me about the coffee. Clearly I’m an adult and I also know that I am more intelligent than the people working at that particular branch of the library (seriously, I’m not even going to be humble about it I’m twice as smart as the smartest person working there). It is okay that I have a sealed coffee with me.
A few minutes go by and agent M cannot find one of the books she is looking for so I tell her “let’s go ask.” I go up to the help desk and tell the woman sitting there that we are looking for this particular book. She looked it up but was clearly not happy about it and after finding the book tells us that the book is out but does not offer to order it for agent M. She then looks at me and folds her hands under her chin. “and for future reference, we do not allow food or drink in the library at any time.”
I gave her my best “nobody puts baby in a corner” look then took a large, drawn out gulp of coffee, “okay.”
What are you going to do? Suspend me? Take away my non-existent library card? Kick me out? I was not going to fight her on it but I was not going to do anything about it either. I got the impression she would have liked me to immediately rush outside with my beverage.
Like I said, I used to work in a library and during that time I would bring the librarians coffee AND sit directly under the “no food or drink” sign drinking my coffee. I know I’m in Utah where coffee is taboo but everyone knows that coffee does not count in any library rule regarding beverages. What, are you afraid I’m going to spill on the books? You know I’m going to take those books in my hand home and when I read them I’m going to be drinking coffee and that coffee will not be sealed. What you think there is no food or drink in my home? You know what else? I’m going to eat over them too so you can relax because I promise you, your precious library is safe from my coffee spills.
I walked back to the shelves with agent M (if you haven’t noticed that’s how I am referring to these foster kids) and she said to me “they never yelled at you before about your drinks.”
I told her, loudly, “I don’t give a damn what they tell me. That is not the sort of rule I am going to follow.”
… and that is why I’m not allowed back there.
It should also be noted that I was wearing a Batman t-shirt at the time and NO ONE tells Batman what to do.