Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tony Kris, Casanova to the Extreme

As mentioned before, I've had a few run-ins with single mothers who somehow found my occupation a desirous trait. But I've never had to directly turn them down, I just shrugged them off or my purposeful aloofness gave them the hint. (I'm really not interested in meeting someone that way. Work is work. Anywhere else is free game, but the internet and at work at the two places where I refuse to allow such pursuits) Until now.

Covering the Teen desk at Antietam. I was scheduled to work circ, but switched over to cover lunch shifts. It's early afternoon, so not many teens are in the area. However, a mom comes by and strikes up this conversation.

Dedicated Single Mom: "There you are. I was wondering when I'd see you again."

Me: "Excuse me?" (My immediate reaction was that she didn't see me behind the desk and wanted some assistance.)

DSM: "It's been a long time since you were here. I remember you."

Me: (Not wanting to go into the whole song and dance about how I'm only at certain branches at certain times) "Well, I don't get to come to Antietam as much as I might like, but I always like to come here."

DSM: "I'll bet." (Noticing my grad school book that I have to the side. It had to be finished for seminar the next day and I was pretty much absorbed in it during breaks and lunch) "What's that you got there?"

Me: "Nothing really. Something I've got to read for class." (Holding up the book for her to see) "It's about Elvis"

DSM: (With more than just a suggestive eyebrow raise) "Elvis the pelvis, eh? (Looking a little disappointed) "So you're at UBC?"

Me: "Yeah, getting the ole masters."

DSM: (I suppose hearing of my graduate degree and knowing that I wasn't a minor reperked her interest) "Watch out! Going to get the big bucks!"

Me: (Laughing because my degree's in history and there's no way I'll ever make any decent amount of money) "That's the plan. Anyway, can I help you with anything?"

DSM: "Actually, you can. My name is Dedicated Single Mom, but you can just call me Dedi. And you are?"

Me: "Tony Kris. But just Tony's fine" (Expecting to hear some sob story about how her child's book report is due tomorrow and she had no idea and if I could write a report/find the movie version of the book. I've hear it all and immune to most of it.)

DSM: "Tony...I like that makes you sound so charming. Anyway, Tony, I've seen you around the library before and I've noticed that you've got a great way with kids"

Me: (Knowing that she's buttering me up to do her kid's book report) "Thank you. I try"

DSM: "Believe me, you do more than just try!" (Nervous laughter on her part. I have no idea what's funny) "Anyway, I was wondering if you wanted to go get coffee or something sometime?"

Me: (Still waiting for her to lower the boom of doing research for her child. Stunned by her forwardness.) "What?"

DSM: "You seem like an awfully nice guy and that's what I need in my life right now. It just seems like a fun thing do, you know?" (Winks at me)

Me: (Baffled and going for aloofness to shy her away) "Umm...Wow..." (Truly at a loss for words)

DSM: "I know you had to have noticed me. You were such a sweetheart the last time I was in here, helping Jimbo get his Thomas the Tank Engine books."

Me: (Really struggling to remember this woman, or Jimbo, or Thomas the Tank Engine. I honestly do not remember seeing this woman before in my life, but apparently I was such a sweetheart that I warranted asking out. I mean, I'm never flirtatious or anything at work. Sure, I'm nice to the kids, but who isn't? Just because I help your kid find books, doesn't mean I'm coming on to you. Remember, I do sorta get paid for this) "Just doing my job ma'am."

DSM: "It's Dedi, not ma'am"

Me: "Well Dedi." (She giggles a bit) "I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to turn you down on your offer." (She looks a little stunned. I don't think she ever expected the libraryman to turn her down. I suppose she thought me as dateless and desperate as herself. I AM working in a library)

DSM: "Why..." (Quick look of dread as glances down on my hand) "You aren't married, are you?"

Me: "No, I'm not married." (Struggling to find a way to turn her down easily. I'm not too sure about the patron fratenizing policy, so claiming that might be a risk. I'm not about to go the 'I'm not interested in single mothers' route, though that's the truth. And claiming gayness seems like more trouble than it's worth. I decide to be somewhat honest) "I mean, it's flattering, but my life is so busy and stressful right now I don't think I'll have time." (A risk, since my life is actually loaded with time and about as non-stressful as you can get. I'm a full-time student with a part-time library job, how much more non-stress can you get?)

DSM: (Not understanding) "I understand" (Pulls a slip of paper from my desk and jots down something) "But here's my number. Anytime you want to talk or do something, I'll be there." (Quickly walks away before I can figure out a way not to keep her number)

I really hope she isn't expecting me to call. I don't want to be mean, but there's no way that I'd go on a date with someone I don't remember, who asked me out while I was at work. Sorry, but it don't come in that flavor


Mella DP said...

Thank you for describing that - I've never been able to quite visualize how that sort of thing would go down.

An interesting thought though - can a public library have a patron fraternization policy? I mean, other than members of the public, who are you going to date? (Not that your call on the situation isn't absolutely right - getting asked out on the job would be creepy.)

S said...

It's official!! You are now a librarian since you've been hit on, big time, by a patron. It even happens to us corporate librarians! In fact, I married the guy who kept coming around to the library to talk to me! But, then again, the patrons at a corporate library are a bit higher quality than what you'd find at the public. Good luck, hottie!!

Gardenbuzzy said...

When I was newly married and working at our Big Medical Library, I had a doctorly type of guy from India come to the circ desk, engage me in conversation and then ask when I got off work. Here I am, with my wedding ring big as life on my finger, and he's asking when I get off. I told him 5 pm. He then, still cluelessly, asked what I was doing after I got off work. When I said, "I'm going home and making dinner for my HUSBAND (who, I didn't add, would make two of you) he finally got the message and wandered off.

So yes, I think it happens to all of us at one time or another.