Friday, February 24, 2017

Shirking my Duty

 I’ve made an executive decision. It happened at the time of day that life-altering epiphanies usually arrive – when I was lying in bed unable to sleep.

          First came epiphanies like my realization that the reason last night’s chicken salad was an anemic off-beige was because I’d forgotten to add the entire vegetable portion of the recipe. This wouldn’t have been so bad except the reason I made the salad in the first place was to use up those vegetables.

          Other insights:

  -Need Mamie’s shot records for tomorrow’s grooming appointment

 - I could get one more day out of this dirty hair if we go to the beach

 - Major birthday for My Guy next week – card and present shopping had better happen soon.

          But the big decision was on the side of sheer selfishness.

          I’m a volunteer at the Venice Public Library. It’s lowly but pleasant work. Once a week I dig the returned books from the bin, check them in, and then put them back on the shelves. Problem is that this is apparently a wildly popular position and the only hours I could get – and this was only after beating out two other applicants by showing up in person to plead my cause – were Tuesdays from 4:30 to 6:30.

          Life is quiet here. We go for days with nothing more exciting than walking to the breakfast place across the street. But when something happens, it happens on Tuesday. This Tuesday, our annual condo meeting. Add to that the Two People, One Car Blues.

Last Tuesday, I dropped My Guy off at an art class, played 9 holes of golf, ran in the club house and threw a clean shirt over my sweaty body, picked up My Guy at art class, got dropped off (still sweaty) at the library and did my shift.

          The tipping point was when yesterday afternoon’s conversation at the pool turned to a nearby Italian restaurant and its great jazz night. You guessed it. Tuesday night.

          I still feel guilty, but I know there are plenty of people eager to take my place at the library and it’s not as though I’m abandoning my work with Doctors Without Borders to take up windsurfing.

 I will miss the great reading when I was checking in books.


  1. My very first job was buyer of English language books for my university library. I bought them because I had an order from a professor. When they came I wrote the date and price in an inconspicuous place and passed them along to the Dewey Decimal person. But not before I sped read more than a few.

  2. I think you made the right choice. At this age we don't need to feel guilty about our choices.

  3. Oh, I loved Babar! And yeah, let it go and have some fun instead. :-)

  4. I did volunteer at our local library for a while, but the work was really boring and I had done it to meet people, which I never did meet. Librarians are too busy doing their jobs to chat and I did not work with customers. I do love visiting my library though and here we compete with students who need the volunteer hours to graduate.

    1. Exactly my experience. It reminded me of the jobs I had as a teen.

  5. I worked in a book store for a year. I liked the job but hated my boss. he was one of those people who would berate you loudly in public.

  6. Maybe they can shift you to another spot? Speaking as a librarian, let me tell you that volunteers come and go very quickly, and a different shift is likely to open up any time!

    1. It's cutthroat here in the volunteer world - there are so many boomers looking to get out and do things.

  7. Oh Marty, I do my best thinking in the middle of the night, and usually make the best decisions. :) There are too many fun things to do, and oh my, living in Florida! Glad you decided to quit.


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