I should have listened to my husband.
He said we should leave at 6:30am. I said there was no point in leaving that early because Tattered Cover doesn’t open until nine; I’d checked the website.
He said people would be lined up. I said people are not going to line up that early in the morning to buy a book.
We left the house around 7:30, and we drove by to see if there was a line. No line, so we went to the library so I could return a book. Then back to park near the bookstore.
As we walk up, the sign on the door says it is open. We go inside. We see the line.
It starts at the registers, wraps around the first floor, up the stairs, and to the back of the second floor. We get in line.
My husband stood in line while I browsed. This is kind of his thing. He will stand in line for us at amusement parks, too, while we wander off to use bathrooms and generally lollygag about.
The line moved fairly quickly once they started selling books at 9:00am.
As we neared the register (I joined him in line once he made it through the second floor, down the stairs, and neared the register.), he left because our parking meter was about to expire. So I had the privilege of buying the books and getting our book signing numbers.
We will be number 356 in line.
There is only seating for 300 in the room where Gaiman will be reading from The Ocean at the End of the Lane and answering written questions. Fortunately, the number does not apply to the seating. For that, we have to get in line again next week. Which I’m sure we will.
As we drove home, I conceded that he’d been right, and that number 356 hardly seemed worth the effort. Anything in the first 100 would have, but 356, not so much. He replied with, “It’ll make a great birthday gift.”
Because we don’t go to this sort of effort for ourselves. For ourselves, we check books out at the library. We enjoy author talks, but we don’t sit in line all day for them.
But this is for our son. Our beloved firstborn. Who is an adult. And a Gaiman fan. And has a job that doesn’t really care about scheduling requests.
Visions of Cabbage Patch frenzy in my head, I said, “Did you ever think we’d be this kind of parents?”
He said, “That was obvious when you had us searching three states for Woody.”
We had acquired every one of the Burger King toys for Toy Story except Woody. Woody! The most important character of them all.
Our local Burger King, and the ones in neighboring towns did not have any. I asked him to check the one in the World Trade Center, where he worked, reasoning that there weren’t many children in that area, so they’d have plenty of Happy Meal toys.
For a reason I never understood, he resisted this, suggesting that I call my mom and ask her to check Burger Kings near her. I did; there weren’t any there, either. In the meantime, he checked every Burger King he passed in NJ on his long commute to the city.
Finally, all other avenues exhausted, he went to the one at the WTC, and bought two Woodys. They had tons of them.
The boys were happy, almost as happy as me. Acquiring that complete set had become a heroic quest.
I wish I hadn’t given them to my niece and nephew when my sons no longer cared about them. I should have put them in a trophy case, to remind myself that I really am that kind of mom.