A Modern Day Magi

I had a nice little post just about ready to go for today, and you would have liked it, I think – it was informative, with a dash of personal context, and it was about cooking (which, who doesn’t like that) – (okay, I might be overselling it here…it was fine, and you’ll get it next week) – but then something happened which slammed me upside the head, in a wonderful way, so I’m going to tell you about that, instead.

Last Saturday, after a movie date with my oldest boy (using gift cards), we met my husband and baby boy at the mall (for cheap hamburgers.) Then, since we were right there, I casually suggested we stop in at Borders bookstore.

Actually, it wasn’t so much a suggestion as it was my husband saying, “Well, what do you want to do now?” and me standing on the damp sidewalk and vaguely looking around as though I was considering the question; then mumbling and waving my hand towards the left; then him heading to Borders without further ado, because we’ve been married for 21 years now and he is a kind and patient man.

Once inside the store I abandoned him and the rampaging little guys – I really can’t tell you where they went, probably to ride the escalators a dozen times. I was transfixed by the tables and racks near the entrance. All those new releases, those beautiful, colorful covers. There was the new Jonathan Franzen novel that my brother had been pestering me to get. There was a new title by Julia Glass (one of my ten “Chicks Who Can Write”)! And there, my goodness – Edmund Morris had finally finished his spectacular Teddy Roosevelt trilogy – there was Colonel Roosevelt!

I walked around and around the tables, dreaming. More memoirs, more fiction, more history. There was a day, truly, when I would have already owned a great many of the titles I was looking at. Continue reading