Friday, September 6, 2013

Holy Shit



Holy shit.

HO-LY shit.

What the fck is this?

I get it, peeps.  Really, I do. I get that it’s like a PSA for talking about and dealing with domestic violence in a family, and there are kids who truly—and sadly—need that information.

But perhaps the local library might find a better place to shelve it than in the toddler section with the board books.  Seriously, kids’ll need an extra PSA about books that scare the shit out of them after seeing this. 

I mean, the library’s supposed to be a fun place, a place encouraging kids to step into whole new worlds through the magic of words—not the stuff of nightmares.

As with everything on this blog, there’s a story behind the picture.  No, I didn’t go looking for it.  I don’t have to go searching for blogging opportunities; they just come to me.  It must be something I did in a past life.  (I still haven’t figured out if that something has warranted punishment or reward through this blog…hmm…)

My kids and I were at the library several months ago, and my then-18-month old, grabbing blindly at books, suddenly let out a bloodcurdling scream.

I ran to him and grabbed him, cradling him in my arms.  “Shhh, sweetie.  It’s okay, sweetie.  What is it?  Why is baby so upset?”

Suddenly, my preschooler, sensing my distress and an opportunity to make it fun, grabbed the book that my toddler had thrown to the ground and started dancing with it, joyously flinging his legs all around like an Irish step dancer.  I watched the library staff jump to their feet and start snapping pictures.

After I’d calmed my toddler down and gotten a glimpse of the book, I was horrified.  “What the hell are you doing?” I asked the librarians.

“Oh, that’s a great book!  Really informative,” one of them said.  “We want to showcase the diversity of our resources on our webpage,” she explained.  Then she pointed at my preschooler, holding the book and cheesing for the cameras, and looked at one of the other librarians, who was also busy snapping away.  “He’s smiling a little too much, isn’t he?  He just looks too happy to be holding that book.”

Well, thank God.

“Hey, kiddo,” she called to my preschooler, “do you think you can frown a little bit?  Think of something sad that makes you cry?”

Her co-worker joined in.  “Has Mommy ever given away one of your favorite toys?”

That’s when I snapped to my senses.  “What the hell is this, a photo shoot?  Buddy, put the book down—“

“Oh, come on, Shay,” one of the library girls said.  “Everyone knows there’s no violence in your household—“

"Exactly,” I agreed.  “Unless you count buying the cheap lunchmeat for the hubs so that there’s enough money left in the grocery budget to get my deli salami…wait, why am I even having this conversation?  I do not want my son on the library’s webpage holding a domestic violence book!”

The head librarian rolled her eyes.  “Everyone knows they’re not poster children for domestic violence, Shay.”

“Obviously, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to let them be models for the campaign!”  I could tell the ladies weren’t listening as they continued snapping away. My son was loving it, posing this way and that, taking direction well as the girls told him to frown or put the back of his hand to his forehead as he looked down at the book. 

I’m pretty sure I saw a manufactured tear slide down his cheek at one point.  It was so realistic that I actually considered putting him into acting classes, until I noticed the assistant librarian standing over him, squeezing a wet paper towel over his cheek.

I ran over and slapped it out of her hand.

“SHAY,” the head librarian said, studying the images on her digital camera.  “Quit being such a diva.  We’ll put a disclaimer that says he’s not an actual sufferer of domestic abuse.”  She rolled her eyes again, and I was shocked that the word DU-UH did not follow her statement.

“I.Don’t.Give.A.Shit,” I said slowly, making sure that I whispered so the kids around me couldn’t hear my horrible language, but all the while enunciating directly into the librarian’s ear so that I would finally be understood.  “Nobody ever reads the fine-print disclaimer.  They just start looking for the parents so that they can scream obscenities and hurl shit at them…and honestly, I don’t need any more of that than I get in a regular day.”  She rolled her eyes again while I continued.  “You guys are lucky I’m such a damned nerd that comes in here all the time and we’ve become friends…otherwise, I’d issue a formal complaint.”

The librarian sighed, shooting an annoyed glance in her co-worker’s direction before turning back to me.  “Oh, shut up,” she said, then got busy repositioning my son so as to catch his pouty face looking into the eyes of the bloody doll.

They managed to snap about 10 pictures before I wrestled the book out of my little model’s hands and hid it under a potted plant in the corner of the library.

Luckily, the photos never ended up making it on the library’s webpage. 

Rumor has it another kid came in and grabbed How to Make the Most of It when God Gives You a Methhead for a Mom, and the librarians just went ape shit.


33 comments:

  1. Okay, please, please tell me that book does not really exist in your library and this was just a fun story?

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    1. Kate--
      NOT EVEN KIDDING. And this actually really did happen--albeit with a bit of exaggeration thrown in here and there, as usual. :)

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  2. Not what I hoped to find while searching for a few board books for my youngest grandson - EEEK!

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    1. Oh, no, Julie, I'm sorry!! Hope you got a laugh, though. :) Your comment made me laugh--I had to pull the hubs over here and read it to him.

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  3. I already have an irrational fear of baby dolls, and now you've sent me over the edge. You have the best stories, though! Gotta watch out for those over zealous librarians...

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    1. Is this not the scariest book cover ever??

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  4. Seriously!? Your librarian told you to stop being a diva? Your librarians sound fabulous. I'm lucky if I can get eye contact and/or a two-syllable word from any of mine.

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    1. They are seriously AWESOME. We truly have become such good friends b/c I'm a huge nerd and I'm in there all the time. I swear, now that I've had kids, a really fun Friday night is getting an hour to myself and heading to the library to find good books. Haha. And they know how to deal with me on my level (aka calling me a diva). :)

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  5. Even the librarians are looking for the shock factor in their marketing! I know you want to get more people into the library nowadays, but sheesh. And are they allowed to snap pictures of your kid with a book if they don't get your permission first? I always had to get permission, but even I'm not crazy enough to show a bleeding baby doll. Ack!

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    1. Alright, full disclosure: Although we truly did have that conversation, it was in a joking manner and I was snapping pictures, too. It was hilarious. And I really do love those girls (They're always putting the really good new arrivals on hold for me), so if they had wanted to use them on the webpage like they'd talked about, I would've totally let them--and they knew it. :)

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  6. Our Children's Department has a resource section that deals with those kinds of topics, and I always feel shitty for laughing at the titles. "What to do When Daddy Drinks" made me laugh the most, and made me feel bad. Obviously.

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    1. I hear you! I'm sure it had been placed in the wrong spot, and I would have loved to have found the shelf where it actually belonged so I could see what other crazy covers were in that section. Haha.

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  7. Omg! I am running immediately to my library to look at these books!! Hilarious!!!

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    1. I want to go back and look for the books that Amy was talking about above! The worlds of blogging opportunity that would open up! Haha!!!

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  8. What is with the picture on the cover of that book?! OMG!!!!

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  9. Hmmmm..... Not sure I buy this story but it was enjoyable :)

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    1. Elaine--as I put in my tagline above, I do employ a lot of creative humor and sarcasm in all of my stories, and I'm glad you picked up on that because if every single small aspect of these stories was totally and completely true as I told it and had no added element of sarcasm, then I and all of the people I surround myself with would be major assholes, wouldn't we? As it is in real life, we're bad anough--which is how I get so much material for this blog. Haha. In this case, my younger son did find this book, freak out, and my older son used that to his advantage by trying to freak ME out by dancing with the book. And the librarians and I really did take pictures and have a version of that actual conversation--although it was in a joking manner and we were laughing the whole time about it--because oh my gosh, LOOK at the cover of that book!! Haha. Was the librarian actually squeezing a wet paper towel over his face to create tears? No. But I did make a comment to her that I was surprised she wasn't doing that, and this is how it translated into the blog. :) Thanks for reading!! Please come back again!

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  10. Holy shit--this book belongs in the self help section for adults--NOT in an elementary school library. Very disturbing. Having said that--loved your salami comment. I buy the cheap I-don't-know-what's-in-it lunch meat for my hubs too so I have another left over at the end of the month for the wine budget!

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    1. I didn't even realize that he noticed I was doing that until one night when I was making out the grocery list and he goes, "And make sure you get me the same lunchmeat you've been getting for yourself. I'm sick of eating that slimy cheap crap." I wonder if he had an inkling that I was getting it off of the 3-day old botulized clearance shelf, too. (KIDDING!) :)

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  11. THAT IS ONE CREEPY ASS DOLL! OMG!
    And I wouldn't let my son pose either, just like I wouldn't want to be on a subway STD Awareness poster- fine print or not!

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    1. What is the point of that damned fine print, right? Nobody believes it anyway! Haha

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  12. Holy Mother of Mr. Rogers. This is like After School Special meets Sesame Street.

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    1. After School Special!! I always remember the one with Helen Hunt jumping out of a window b/c the drugs freaked her out.

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  13. Love the pic on the book - fake blood and all. That is the shit nightmares are made of.

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  14. I don't know if it's because I'm old or jaded, but me and my kids wouldn't have blinked. Still, love the write, and I'm cool with assuming how much exaggeration actually went down.

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    1. Thanks, LaTonya! That's exactly how I want people to read it...like, did that part really happen or is she exaggerating? But you'd be surprised at how much I don't have to exaggerate...haha.

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  15. I'm with Kate. I was sure this was a Shay fabrication. It sounds like the librarians are the meth-heads, really.

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    1. Hahahaha, I PROMISE it happened! Seriously! Of course, we all know how much I love to add exaggeration and add my own spin to the dialogue, so there's that...haha.

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  16. Dude. Remind me to stay away from your library. Meanwhile I can't get the kid to pick out any books. All he wants to do is chat up the pretty librarians.

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    1. How cute is that? Maybe you can find him some books on how to pick up girls? Or maybe that can wait until he's a little older...haha

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