Book Sale

The library booksale is the last weekend in February. I’ve gone nearly every year for the past 20 years. Jerry called it my Superbowl.

In the past I’ve gone a little nuts, filling several bags and suitcases with stuff. This year was a little different. I still bought but only those things I felt I wouldn’t find again, or not easily find. Those that I really, really wanted, needed. I picked up a lot but put most of it back. I tried to imagine where I’d put it and that’s why I left the 2 volume set of the shorter Oxford dictionary,priced at six bucks, behind. I’m sure it will find a good home.

I even bought a few things for Bear. My son is a discerning reader and it relieves me that he likes to read. My family valued education, at least they told me they did but I never saw anyone read for pleasure. My mom took me to the library but never showed interest in books. When, if they read it was magazines or the newspaper. They didn’t discourage my reading habit but didn’t really encourage it much. Going to bookstores wasn’t something we did. I was odd and shy, bookish and they weren’t sure why, what was wrong with me. Why I’d rather read than go play. My mom said once at one of my birthday parties the other kids were playing and I was in a corner reading a book. She felt this wasn’t right. But even now I’d rather be reading than interacting with people, most of the time.

Booksale is my happy place. I am glad to be surrounded by so many fellow readers, fellow misfits. But it isn’t all bliss. Some people have bad hygiene, BO. Occasionally someone passes gas. Hopefully it’s a toddler but usually an adult. Talking to oneself, singing, behaviors that keep people at a distance don’t work here. There are too many people crowded in a room, around tables searching. Most are polite and apologize for bumping you or trying to get past. It’s not for the easily discouraged, but it’s worth powering through. When you find that book, record or whatever thrills you, it is worth it.

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Lunar New Year

Or Tet, year of the dog. Not a major holiday here, but a few people turned out and we were very lucky and cold.

Creepy looking playhouse in the gardens

She was almost finished when I got there

Watched her flip her husband twice

We could hear the drums before they entered

Mongolian fan dancers. Most people left after the lion dance and missed this

I left after their performance, missed the rest.

The advantages of being alone

This was tonight’s dinner

With Valentines Day coming up there are ads, pictures, and stories about how glorious it is to be part of a couple. There are also the rebuttals, defending the right to be single and the glories of singleness. This isn’t exactly rebuttal, if you are with someone, good for you. I was married myself for years so being alone and single is something I’m still getting used to after 3 years.

Being single in your 20’s and 30’s is different from being single when you are 50. Most examples of older women are sad: about a lonely widow, a sad childless single woman, women struggling on limited incomes and the stereotypical cat lady. There is the rare happy older woman, usually eccentric but still pitied and looked at with condescension.

So as an old broad who is alone, single, without a partner I’ve made a list of the good things about my status.

1. Less laundry. I do my laundry once a week, one load. No last minute surprises, no extra work. Sorting and folding take a few minutes.

2. Toilet paper lasts longer. Also the bathroom, especially the floor, stays cleaner longer. This should probably be #1.

3. I can change plans without having to check with someone else, or worry that he will be inconvenienced or it will cause any conflicts.

4. I don’t have to go to events I don’t want to attend either, to appease a partner.

5. I can have the TV on late at night and read in bed late if I want to, without guilt. Also I can turn off the TV and have quiet if I want.

6. Freedom to watch what TV shows I want and if I get netflix again, to binge watch if I want when I want.

7. I can buy groceries early in the morning, run errands on my own schedule. Don’t have to wait on another person.

8. Since it’s just me I don’t have to cook every day or make complete meals. Tonight I had a bowl of cereal for dinner. All I have to clean up is a bowl and spoon. Brilliant.

9. I do live with a cat, do not need to worry about another person’s possible allergies, dislike of cats, whether their pet gets along with mine or other problems.

10. No drama. I don’t worry if my partner is faithful, about his ex-wife, ex-girlfriend, gambling debts, drug addiction or anything unexpected. My husband was a no drama guy, so I was very fortunate but know some women aren’t.

11. I can keep the thermostat on 70 degrees if I want. No complaints that it’s too hot.

12. I can spend money without consulting another person. As long as the bills are paid, there is food in the fridge and gas in the car I can buy a concert ticket, pair of shoes or go on a thrift store shopping spree with no worry and a clear conscience.

Not a thrift store score but close

My best friend and I are going to the ballet this Sunday. She got the tickets as a Christmas present from her sister, but unfortunately her husband can’t go so I get to go. He’s not really broken up about it.

But I need something to wear. So after work I hit a consignment store near my house. Although thrift stores are my usual choice they were having a half price sale so I went and this is what I bought.

Total

Red dots were half off so this was $8

Not my usual style but for $3, okay.

Will wear this tomorrow on my walk

Dress and bag, will wear with knee high boots because it’s going to be cold