Wednesday 28 Sep 2016

Bibliophile
Jennifer Flaten

I have a love-hate relationship with the library. I love that it provides me with free access to all the books I can read, and I can read many books. If the library was an all you can eat buffet the owner’s would have called the police to escort me off the premises by now. 

In fact, locked in the library alone, for the entire month or longer, is my secret fantasy and my schedule is clear. Also, in that, fantasy cupcakes and diet Pepsi magically appear when I am hungry or thirsty, but I digress.

What I hate is that although many library books enter my home, some don’t come out. Maybe my place is where old library books go to die, I don’t know.

What I do know is our house is like the Bermuda Triangle of books. I would love to blame my rather large outstanding balance for replacement items on the kids, but alas, I have lost just as many books as they have. Although, I swear I never, ever lost a book before I had kids.

Not to go all Mulder and Scully on you but after the various misplaced and just down right lost, never to return items that I’ve had over the past twelve years I firmly believe children are actually portals to another dimension.

Fine. Then you tell me what happened to my oldest kids sneakers. She wore them out on a shopping trip. They were on her feet when we came home. Now we can’t find them. It should be easy to find them in my house. It is not some large mausoleum and it certainly isn’t a quaint Victorian with abundant nooks and a few poorly lit secret passages.

No my house is a fifties ranch house, it is a rectangle. Plus, I don’t have a lot of furniture. I had furniture. I don’t anymore. Instead, I have kids. You can’t have both; it’s either furniture or children. This rule also applies to pets. Oh, look I have pets and kids, a double whammy.

I dare you to come to my house and find one piece of furniture that doesn’t have teeth marks, claw marks or is free of a fine layer of stale cereal.

I do have one rather nice recliner, but you can’t use it. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I would love to use it, but I can’t. The cats have claimed it. Occasionally, the dog rousts them and uses it but I haven’t sat in it since we got it. 

It should be impossible to lose anything in this place. Especially a pair of neon pink running shoes with acid green trim-my daughter likes bold colors.

Yet, here we are. We can’t find the sneakers. The kid outgrew all of her other shoes except one pair. The pair of black fleece lined imitation Uggs. It’s August. The kid lives in shorts. There is no way I am getting her into a pair of jeans to go to the grocery store.

Sadly, we are a No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service society. So, if we want to go out the kid needs shoes. That’s right I let my almost a teenage daughter go out wearing shorts and a pair of Uggs.

Ring, Ring Brittany Spears is on the phone, she’s complaining that my kid stole her look.

Somewhere in the fifth dimension or eighth ring of hell,-wherever the missing stuff goes-is a pair of hot pink sneakers sitting smugly next to an issue of American Girl magazine that cost me seven dollars to replace.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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