Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Boys

Oh, the library.

This is such a great place to work. There are books everywhere, nice people to work with, it's pretty, and did I mention the books?

I don't mind having to drive in from Roann every morning at 7:30 am, that's life around here. The only thing I really mind is when people leave their sick/horribly behaved children in our downstairs kids section and then go upstairs to look for their own books, expecting us to watch their children as if we were actually babysitters.

I'm not so into that. There's a reason I was never a babysitter. It is because I am not a fan of children who are ill-mannered, noisy, foul smelling, or sticky-fingered.

The thing that is starting to get annoying, though, are the boys who come after school.

They are the pre-teen guys whose parents don't really care where they are or what they do. They've all been to White's; they wear it like a badge of honor--evidence that they are manly, experienced, or just plain cool.

Those are the first names you learn when you come to work here; the names of the horrid children, the names of the kids who no one wants around.

That's sad. And at first, I felt bad and wanted them all to have a place here. Then I noticed that a handful of them were spiteful, cruel, snotty little sleaze-bags. That was right before I realized almost all of them were.

Oh, these kids drive me crazy. They play a card game (Yugioh?) and then one accuses the other of cheating/misunderstanding the rules, and the rest of the month, they argue about that match, threatening to come to blows.

I have to prevent this.

I have learned to yell. I mentioned that before. It was not the final yell of this place, but it was memorable to those who witnessed it. One such kid has never been nasty in my presence again.

But something funny happened about a week ago with April, something I must mention.

I was gluing the wings on fireflies (white Christmas lights pushed through a sheet of cardboard which we had painted dark blue to simulate night. I had cut the little oval wings out of tissue and was painting the cardboard where they would go with a touch of glue. I was happy.

Then the boys came in. They bypassed April and went right to where I was painting to examine the glowing lights. I assumed: Boys attracted to shiny things.

They then asked for computers (normal) I signed them up. One of the boys then loudly stated that I should know his name by now. I told him I didn't do name memorization very well and if he wanted a computer he would have to tell me again. Otherwise, I said to myself, I will write down a name like Sven and maintain that the computer was occupied for a half hour even though it wasn't.

When the kid finally recited his name, April came over, laughing quietly. "So it begins," she said. It sounded a bit ominous.

"What?" I asked.

"They're all in love with you."

Now firstly, these boys wouldn't know love if it was a bullet to their frontal cortex. They only experience one emotion: hormones.

"What?" I repeated.

"Yep, they all think they're in love with you."

This was unwanted. This was kind of gross. This was also really funny.

April continued: "They think they have a shot at a 24 year-old woman."

I tried not to laugh. "Oh," I said.

"That's right," she replied.

Okay. Now let's just examine this for a moment.

I have only had one boyfriend, and that was a long time ago. Well, not so long ago as you would think. I started dating my senior (I think) year of college. That is how repressed I am.

I did this because I went to a little school where everyone knew everyone and all the horrible things that had ever happened to them, like the time that one boy got his head split open on the new (now old) playground and bled on the sidewalk. I remember right where the blood landed. Or the kid whose brother (toddler-aged) whipped out his you-know-what and watered the slide instead of going inside to use the bathroom.

We all knew which girls were dating and who their boyfriends were, even if one of the parties went to another school. We just knew. Every fight was broad casted around the school as if by the morning announcements, and when Del threw Stephan through the plate glass window, we all knew when, why, and how many stitches (remarkably, none).

We also all knew who had a crush on who, and in my case that was no one and no one.

Yes, I was the kind of social reject that qualified as an observer more than a participant. Students knew me because they knew everyone, but their eyes slid right over me to the person next to me in the lunch line. There was nothing there to see.

I wanted it that way. If I had been noticed, I would have been Noticed, and then I would have been the target of the kind of bullying that only comes when you are carrying a thousand-and-some-page textbook-sized volume of the Complete Sherlock Holmes to class with you for two weeks to read if you got bored.

The point of my saying this is, I was a loner. And a happy one. I had my group of friends. We all had fun together. My friends were visible, even. So I was not so bad off as it sounds.

But none of us, not me (understandably), not my friends, nor any of my current friends that I now am closer to, was approached by the opposite sex.

So it shocks me now, that the boys that once ignored me are now noticing my existence. Is this how long it takes for me to attract male attention? And if it is, and the age difference between me and the person noticing me is ten plus years, how bad is that for my future prospects.

When I am 34, will the twenty-something guys think I'm hot? Or will they have gone to thinking the 16-year-olds are pretty? Where is the logic in any of this?

And how do any of those 13-14 year old boys think they have a chance with me?

Is it the hormones, or do I reek of desperation? I don't smell any desperation. There is no desperation.

Is there?

If this age formula is right, I will have to wait for the men to get much older, so that the youngness factor will work in my favor. Or I will have to cradle rob.


Neither option seems appealing. Either I will have to trim ear-hair for a living, or I will have to endure stupid, juvenile behavior when all I want is the arthritis cream and my knitting.

So it is the single life for me, then. Oh well.


  1. Perhaps we are "hidden jewels". I believe it, and so should you. We are smart, attractive, witty, and kind. Our problem or our strength as I like to call it, is that we refuse to settle. Just ask all my former co-workers who said I was too picky because I wanted to date someone who didn't have a criminal or whoring record. Who was the person who said, "I'd rather people think I was a bitch than think I was a fool"? Well, me too.

  2. To Jenn: I think that was Janina T.

    To Laura: Sometimes it's easier to be single than date someone who, in the middle of the night, wakes you up and tells you that he thinks you should break up with him now so the two of you don't hate one another later. All this because he's convinced I'm going to break up with him soon and he's trying to give me an out. *sigh*

  3. Ladies, you each have very, very good points.

    I guess I won't settle for middle school students or middle aged men. As if that was even an option!