There’s nothing quite like being scolded by a librarian. Particularly when she’s mistaken you for someone else.

It’s not often that someone confuses me with another mom. Just one of the advantages of being Korean and living in the whitest state in the Union.

Today, however, there were two of us Korean moms in the library at the same time. And not only that – we were together! The novelty of it all.

“You need to make sure Audrey* picks up her snack,” the librarian said to me sternly.

“Wh – at?” I said, confusedly, while looking around for Audrey’s mom who was sitting just out of earshot.

“She didn’t pick up her snack. We want all the kids to learn to pick up after themselves.” Sniffing, she walked away.

Now, I suppose I could have run after her and politely (or not so politely) informed her that if she wanted something cleaned up she was welcome to do it herself or I could have invited her to communicate her concerns directly with Audrey or Audrey’s mom.

But I didn’t.

Henry and I had come to the library to meet Audrey and her mom. I like them both very much. I like books. In fact, I like my local library.

And so, I asked Audrey to return with me to the children’s section. Together, we discarded the abandoned paper towel, muffin wrapper and cup and then went to find our people.

A little while later, I let my child approach the circulation desk by himself with the books he wanted to borrow.

“What’s your name?” the librarian asked him.

“Henry,” he announced proudly.

“Henry,” she repeated. “Henry, what’s your last name again?”

“It’s [OINK],” I said, coming over and putting my arm around his shoulders. “My son’s last name is [OINK].”

“Oh,” she said, blinking at me. “That’s right. You’re Mary. Should I put his books under your name?”

That’s right.

*Not her real name.

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