A writing challenge from Mama’s Losin’ It which helps to keep the blood flowing to the brain.
4.) Why did you do it? Write about a time you chose to break a rule.
We have a new library in town for which I am very grateful. I love to read but in the past have not enjoyed the long drive to the library downtown. This new library has all of the newest fandangled up to date, and politically correct, green elements. The bathrooms have auto-flushing toilets and they are lit by natural light with back-up compact florescent lighting for those occasional grey days or night time use. The sinks have the trickle, sometimes drip-drip-drop, water system for washing your hands and the eco-friendly air drying machines. The designers slightly bent the green rule by including recycled paper towels but one can feel better about oneself knowing that some day someone else will be using that same towel again. The exterior design is a retro 1950’s style; the kind of building you remember going to elementary school in, minus the pink and blue tiled bathroom walls which probably now fall under the sexist category of design. If you haven’t picked up on the slightly bothered tone of this post, you will when you hear about the rule I broke, actually, frequently continue to break. This library contains a café, a very expensive one, with booths, hip lighting, and a giant TV. If the room were a bit darker, one wouldn’t be surprised to hear a beat poet with his back up trumpet player in a corner of the room expressing something like:
“Harriet. Harry-ette. Hard-hearted harbinger of haggis. Beautiful, bemuse-ed, bellicose butcher. Un-trust... ing. Un-know... ing. Un-love... ed? "He wants you back," he screamed into the night air like a fireman going to a window that has no fire... except the passion of his heart. I am lonely. It's really hard. This poem... sucks.” –So I Married an Axe Murderer
Granted, this atmosphere would be somewhat fun in another venue, but when it comes to a library, I am a traditionalist. I expect to see the old lady with pointy glasses whose every third utterance is, “Shhhh!” I like the smell of books, not a cappuccino accompanying my aimless wanderings down the fiction aisles. The exterior of the building should be in a classic style, enduring, and not on the boarder of rust, asbestos, and the age of eugenix. A library to me, should be quiet, a break from the loud and harried world, relaxing, and educational.
Now, to the rule breaking. It may seem small, stupid, and not at all on the devil-may-care side of life, but my act of civil disobedience comes to the issue of parking. The front of the library has a small section of parking, right next to the front door and book return box. It’s a perfect place for the occasional book on hold pick-up desk. It’s also great if you happen to be very pregnant with loosening ligaments, which I was up until last May. The problem is, this wonderful parking oasis is reserved completely for the café patrons. What message does this deliver? That café goers are more important to the library than the actual readers? That sitting at a booth with a giant screen TV pumping in The Little Mermaid to a cappuccino drinking, pastry chewing patron is the most important visitor to the library? Well, I will not have it, I will not accept this and I will not park in the regular, decaffeinated, and unimportant patron section. I WILL PARK WITH THE CAFÉ CUSTOMERS! I will tromp in and out of the library with my stack of books, my trickle-cleaned hands, my natural-lit suntan, and my dream of a pointy-glassed librarian. So, every time I go to the library I park in the café lot, decaffeinated, and jubilant in my rebellion. “Shhhhhh!”