I work at home as a writer, which requires peace and quiet. I'm also a SAHM mom with two children, 8 and 10. Summers are always a challenging time to juggle work and home responsibilities.
After owning a laptop for three years, I finally realized it's a very mobile situation. I also have wireless Internet access so I can go anywhere. We love to camp and stay outdoors so this makes it possible to escape whenever we choose.
Suddenly the lightbulb came on over my bottle blonde head that I could work at the library. Imagine the possibilities! The kids could attend a scheduled library program (fun and free) while I happily typed away in silence. Yes, it would be a perfect world.
We attempted this for the first time last week and I met several other SAHMs I know. Of course they wanted to chat and I didn't want to appear rude. I gave each mom a perfunctary polite five minutes before returning to work. I did wind up getting something done while socializing so the experience was a semi-success.
I went back to the library yesterday and decided to sit in the adult section instead. I realized I am a grown-up, after all, and probably belong there. I've spent so much time in the children's section I forgot I was allowed in the adult area.
The kids went to a wonderful program and I set up my laptop at a quiet table. Ah, this was the life! I logged on, pulled up my latest article and started researching. Several young men spotted me and started hanging around at the table next to mine. Oh no...
I do wonder why these young guys are checking out somebody's mom. When I was a kid, that was taboo but I guess this whole Sarah Palin/MILF thing has the young men going buckwild (remember that word?)
The young guys started talking loudly, bellowing of their thugly accomplishments and unusual music tastes. They kept glancing over at me for approval. I refused to make eye contact with anyone other that the security guard, who seemed blissfully unaware of the growing and offensive noise level.
The security guard wandered off to a quiet area of the library (which I was seriously considering doing now, despite the fact I had to move three heavy tote bags). An older gentleman who appeared to be down and out (possibly homeless?) was sitting in one of the chairs behind me. He got up to go to the restroom.
As he walked, a group of children came up the stairs from a library program. He smiled and said hello as they walked by. One of the young thugs at the next table jumped up and immediately started yelling at the older man to stay away from his niece. The young man accused him of several things ranging from sexual perversion to drug addiction. His vocabulary was checkered with obscenities.
The entire altercation took place two feet from me. The older man told the young man he had equal right in the library and could say a general hello to anyone he wanted. I searched desperately for security, who seriously seemed to be hiding behind a bookcase. I stood up to call him and he emerged from behind the bookcase, albeit quite slowly.
At this point, the young thug was challenging to older man to a fight outside. He and his thugly friends kept smiling at me and I finally made disapproving eye contact. They were thrown off guard and the old man saw a chance to say his piece. He started yelling and cursing at the young men for behaving like that in a library (though now his behavior was no better).
Security stepped in and the young men were forced to leave. The older gentleman went back to his original seat and calmed down before resuming his trip to the bathroom in another few minutes.
By this time, the program for the kids was almost over so I packed up my stuff hurriedly to get out of there. A woman behind me commented, "In our day, we'd get thrown out of the library for talking while we studied. Those boys should have been asked to leave a lot sooner."
I agreed and we both marveled that we never expected a brawl in the library. The other woman said, "I left home to get away from my kids for some peace and it's worse here!"
The thought made me chuckle. Is there no rest for the weary? No silence for the hard-working? Looks like I'm back to working amidst the din at home...at least it's civilized here!