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10 Minutes is all it Takes

The following is a sweet tale told to me by an employee. I wanted to share it with you all this Valentine’s Day, and encourage you to appreciate all of the wonderful moments that make up this thing we call life.

~Sticker Ball

“A gentleman approached me with a book in his hand. He looked to be about the same age as my father, late 60s, gray hair and a beard. The topic of the book in his hand was thousands of things to do on a date and how to romance a woman.

“I’m looking for Valentine movies, do you have those in a special place?” I asked him for specific titles and he thumbed through the book. “I’ve lost my page” and he fumbled some more. He didn’t have his glasses so I flipped through the index, turned to page 215 and 336. “I want to do something for her each day,” he said.

“These will be in lots of different places,” I said. Some were Comedy, some Drama, some Thriller. “Can you help me find them?” he asked. For a split second I thought about everything I needed to do. My job is busy; always busy. Mountains of books to price and shelve, sections to straighten. Always busy. I thought of all I needed to accomplish this work day, but only for a split second. “Of course” I said and walked to the movie section with him.

I don’t watch a lot of movies, but I had seen some of the ones on the list. I plucked these off the shelf first. I’m a fan of romantic comedies so I handed him a few. He carried the stack. As we walked, he told me his story.

“I was married for 39 years and my wife died.” I wasn’t expecting this, I assumed he was just a sweet man doing something lovely for his wife. “I’ve been dating a woman who lost her husband. I was blessed with a wonderful woman and now I’ve been blessed with another one. I want to do this right.”

His stack grew. I steered away from some of the suggestions on the list. “Ghost” with Patrick Swayze, “The Notebook.” He specifically asked about the “Notebook” because he had heard of it. I told him a little about it and said it might not be a good one. He agreed. I handed him the funny, the sweet. Things they would laugh over, not cry. “I still get pretty emotional,” he choked and cleared his throat. When we were done, he thanked me and gave me a hug. We were both a little blurry eyed.

It was less than 10 minutes of my life. 10 minutes that I could have gotten a lot of work done. I did in a way, as I sold him a big stack of movies. Not because I wanted him to spend money but because I wanted him to find what he was looking for. I wanted him to have something to share with his new love. Something “Nice for her each day” as he had said.

It is often a series of 10 minute moments that build us, change us, and make us better people. He did that for me.

In the few close relationships I’ve had, I try to show the person I’m with I love them daily. Not just on Valentine’s Day. I’ve rarely made a big deal out of this holiday and during times I’ve been single snarled at it and saw it as more salt in the wound of the fact that I was alone. It’s always been one of those seemingly commercial holidays that are worthy of eye-rolling. All the pink and red, the hearts and chocolate. I know that for some couples, this may be one of the only times a year they put forth the effort to show their partner they care.

Show the one you love that you love them daily folks. And yeah, I think now I will always make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. This is the first year in many years I had even given it a thought and already had little ideas brewing in my head. We should all be lucky enough to spend 39 years (or more) with someone and if they leave us, lucky enough to find love again. I’ve been lucky enough to find it again and I will always be grateful.

Life and opinions can change in 10 minutes.”


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Sticker Ball’s New Year’s Resolution

For 2015, I, Sticker Ball, resolve to take better care of myself by dusting more often.

I hate cleaning. I really do. But I’ve found that if I don’t dust regularly, then dust will stick to my stickers and then my stickers stop being sticky. This might not seem like a big deal to you, but just imagine rolling down the street looking sexy, yet modest, in your sticker coverage, and then your stickers start to come loose. And possibly fall off. Your lower half is no longer snug up against you, but is instead flapping in the wind. This gives bystanders the rare chance to see your under-stickers (which is embarrassing), and if the stickers keep unsticking they’ll learn your whole sticker anatomy (which is humiliating). It’s something I have experienced once and would love to never experience again. How do we fix that? By dusting more. Bring it, 2015. I’m ready.

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The Fault in Our Stickers

Dear Reader,

The book world is abuzz with talk about John Green’s latest book, and now movie, The Fault in Our Stars. I’ve read it. It’s good. But there is a danger here…

Water is bad for stickers.

I repeat.

Water is bad for stickers.

As you’re probably already well aware, Green’s book is a bit of a tearjerker. And usually, because of my sticky situation, I avoid sad things like the plague. However, my friends at the Nashville McKay’s are having a Book Club in a few weeks to discuss this very piece, and I refuse to be left out. So, I did what any self-respecting sticker would do and read it.

But the consequences of this were nearly catastrophic. By the end of the book I had become a squishy, mushy, sticky glob of wet stickers. I would post pictures of my soggy state, but I learned long ago that you cannot un-see what you have already seen. I will save you from that harsh reality by keeping those images to myself.

And I must say, this book was well worth the occupational hazard. The characters are believable and endearing, and I never once felt like Green was trying too hard to make the book sad. It’s sad because sometimes life is sad. And there is something really beautiful about that. Even just thinking about it now is causing me to tear up a little. Quick! A joke!

-Do you know why the librarian slipped and fell?
-Because she went walking in the Non-Friction section!

Whew. That was close.

As I was saying… the book is wonderful. The movie adaptation is also supposed to be wonderful. And I am thoroughly looking forward to talking about it at the store. But to all of my paper friends and fans out there: be prepared if you decide to undertake reading this book. I recommend wearing a rain coat. Learn from my mistakes. I know I have.

~SB