My local library has a clearly delineated teen room, with black walls and disco balls and neon posters on the wall. The room also hosts several LOUD signs indicating that only humans of the teenage variety can sit down in that room. If you are over the age of 18 and you had a heart attack and sat down in the neon colored plastic chair, an alarm would go off and a poison dart meant only for adults would shoot you in the neck.
Which is fine, because they need to reserve seats for teenagers, like the group of teenage boys I encountered a few weeks ago that were asking their Muslim friend if he was going to wear a turban to celebrate September 11th. Hyuck, hyuck. Racism is so funny! Let’s pretend like we’re really edgy and able to joke loudly about these things in a public place, instead of understanding that we’re a group of lame teen boys who hang out at the library. I wanted to hit them in the face with my shoe and tell them that they would never have girlfriends but the news headline, “Young Adult Fiction Loving, Non-teenage Woman Attacks Teen Racists in Teen Room at Local Library” is too juicy. The world isn’t ready.
Anyway, on Tuesday I was browsing the “new book” section in the teen room. There was a girl sitting right behind me in the Pizza-Hut-like booth that also resides in the teen room. A librarian came in under the guise of “straightening the books”. She asked the booth girl, “Are you in high school? How old are you?” The girl replied that she was a senior. Then it got weird.
The librarian leaned over her conspiratorially and said, “Well, you know, sometimes these adults…” THEN, THEN, the librarian stopped mid-sentence and looked at me.
“You’re in high school too, right?”
I probably just stared at her with my mouth open for a good 30 seconds.
“ME? HIGH SCHOOL? I’m almost 30! Do you think my mom drove me here? I’m carrying a purse for heaven’s sake. Do sophomores in high school carry purses? I’m wearing semi-professional clothing. Do you see my shoes? I’m not wearing Toms today. I’m not wearing boat shoes or a giant shirt that covers my shorts. My hair isn’t piled in a messy side ponytail and I’m not posing like a sorority girl. Excuse me. I have a job. I make appointments for myself at the gynecologist. ”
Just kidding. I didn’t say that. I just said no and assured her that I wouldn’t sit down in the room. On her way out, she patted me on the shoulder and said something about “those adults” that try to sneak a seat in the teen room.
I just shook my head and continued browsing for books about fairies or angsty dystopian novels.
Drama in the teen room. Who would have thought?