Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Cartoon Series: Buying a Book

I'm telling on myself tonight. 

A few weeks ago I was in need of a book for a group I meet with and had twice turned down the opportunity to buy it for $11 because I knew my cousin had it and wanted to give it to me for free. I called after my first group meeting to ask her to mail it but, as it usually goes for me, she was away from home for a few days and couldn't mail it until the following week. I wouldn't have it until after Wednesday. That wouldn't work. 

I convinced myself I'd seen the book at Walmart and planned to stop by Monday to pick it up to read the chapters before Wednesday's meeting. By Monday though, a miscommunication I had with Jason found us scheduled to have an apartment group over Wednesday night during my meeting time. I was discouraged to miss but also relieved because...I could call my cousin to get the book for free after all. 

Wednesday afternoon supper preparations were well under way. A big batch of chili was simmering in the crock pot and all the sides were ready to be poured into bowls. I had ten minutes before I had to get Levi up from nap and leave to pick up two little boys at elementary school. We'd hang out with them until supper time and then come home to welcome our guests. 

Five minutes before leaving, one of the dinner guests stopped by to say that unexpected company showed up and they couldn't come to supper after all. Never mind the chili, potatoes and chocolate fondue that we'd bought and fixed...I zeroed in on the two-fold reality-- Hurray, I get to go to group and oh shoot, the book!  

I scooped Levi up and ran with a groggy baby through Walmart sure I'd find the needed book. But, when does that kind of good fortune come in response to my procrastination? Nope, never. Finally, we pulled up to the car line and I thought I had the perfect solution. Whipping out my phone in the No Phone Zone I inched forward and called two local book shops. Neither had even heard of the book. This meant I would have to drive to the next town twenty minutes away to pay way more than $11 to have the book in my possession for the evening's meeting. And it meant I had to talk two tired, hungry boys into a frantic "adventure" to get the book. I wasn't even worried about the required reading at this point, it was merely about saving face and having a book. In my mind, no book meant no group. 

I scraped up a plan and presented the idea of a road trip adventure to the boys. The idea of having to look for some fun landmarks along the way swayed them, and we were off to pay too much for the book I needed. When we arrived, the three boys found their way to a toy section and told me with puppy dog eyes that they couldn't go on living happily if they didn't get the bright, plastic recorders hanging from the toy rack. Really, they were being such troopers and I envisioned happy musicians on the ride home so we added two recorders and one harmonica to the receipt total. They were doing me a favor, after all. Soon, the $11 dollar book deal I turned down turned into a $23 scramble. Bahh...procrastination will get you every time. Have I not learned? 

There was one positive to the $23 price tag though-- a happy, loud, not-so-melodious crew on the way home. Everyone played and did homework and tried unsuccessfully to perfect Mary Had a Little Lamb. When Levi and I left for home with harmonica in tow, we arrived just in time to have our chili supper with a different apartment group. And with the new group arriving early, there were five minutes to spare for walking to my meeting. 

Leaving Levi and guys and chocolate and piles of dishes behind, I walked over figuring I could read a few pages on the way. But how much can you really read when you're crossing streets, dodging cars and waving at people? 

One and a half. That was my half mile record.

I sat down with the large group so proud to have my book and folder and so thankful to see lots of other people to fill in talking about the awesome chapter "we'd" just read. With a whole page and a half to comment on, I kept my commenting to a minimum and enjoyed the discussion smiling to one knew the ordeal I'd been through getting that book or how little I'd been able to read...

at least not until now. :)

- - - - -

Hope this encourages someone today. I certainly don't have everything together...and saw a good opportunity to be honest and encouraging that it's sometimes okay and even amusing to live a little scattered.  


The Frisk Five said...

Makes me smile. Love it.

Martin LaBar said...


Perhaps you could have downloaded the book in digital form, and more cheaply. (Perhaps not, too!)

Jason and Kelley said...

Genius!!! Why didn't I think of that?!?! Thanks, Dr. LaBar! I'll remember that for next time. :)