Avoiding Crisis


with 6 comments

Every time we return to the United States, whether it be for a short week long visit like this one or a longer visit like the one we take between overseas assignments, it always feels like all we do is shop and eat. It probably feels that way because, well, we do spend an awful lot of time shopping and eating.

That, and the occasional television watching. The latter of which is usually accompanied with an overwhelming sense of amazement at how many new channels there always are and how little there actually is to watch. Which doesn’t seem to stop us from watching countless hours of really really bad television. Somehow I actually find myself missing the crazy Argentine variety shows because at least they’re completely outrageous.

Getting back to eating and shopping.

We’ve definitely been able to curb the whole eating thing this time around – thankfully. During out last long trip back to the United States my husband and I both found ourselves overindulging and gaining a whole lot of weight. Which, after two years, we’ve seemed to have finally rid ourselves of.

Believe it or not those few food items that I thought I had to have, that I though I truly and dearly missed and couldn’t wait to get in my mouth, they’ve all been quite disappointing. I think it’s that whole building something up in your mind thing to a point at which what you remember and what actually is are not the same. And what you remember is always oh so much better.

There is one thing that I didn’t think I missed, or more accurately never thought about whether or not I missed. And that’s book stores. Even mega bookstores like Borders. A store filled with every type of book. Rows and rows of bookshelves filled with books about anything and everything.

This comes as a slight surprise to me since I’m not actually an avid book reader. I read books from time to time, mostly nonfiction, but I tend to only have time for short items like magazine articles, online articles and blogs.

Today we went to a Borders. I wanted to pick up a potty training book. Specifically, I wanted to pick up a book on potty training boys, since this whole boys thing is a complete mystery to me and I’m at a complete loss for how to handle potty training. That and because I lent the potty training book that we semi-used for my daughter to a friend and she has yet to return it and I can’t recall who it was that I lent it to so I can’t even call and ask for it back.

So as I said, we went to Borders and I was in search of a potty training book for boys, which by the way I didn’t find. I did find a potty training book, four of them to be exact, but I didn’t find a boy-centric book. While I was heading over to the Parenting section of the store I couldn’t help but be distracted by every shelf and table lined with books. I must have looked like a deer caught in headlights or like a kid in a candy store. I imagine I looked quite similar to what my children looked like when their grandparents took them to Toys-R-Us and introduced them to the over abundance that is the American toy store.

All I wanted to do was sneak away from my husband, kids and parents and slouch down into one of those leather chairs and loose myself in a stack of books. I could have stayed there all day, browsing the shelves, running my fingers down the unbroken spines of countless books, flipping through the crisp pages, perusing the images in random coffee table books, reading and thinking and then reading some more.

Shopping online at Amazon.com just isn’t the same.


Written by nicolemarie

July 27, 2007 at 12:08 am

Posted in life, personal

6 Responses

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  1. When I lived in Pakistan and came back to the states for a visit it was the grocery stores that got me excited.
    I love book stores, though. I can lose myself in a Border’s for hours. Islamabad has a huge bookstore, but without the Starbucks it isn’t quite the same.


    July 27, 2007 at 8:32 am

  2. I definitely understand the feeling. Borders was one of my biggest joys when I was in the States… all those books and magazines, coupled with a wonderful chai *sigh*. Though if you haven´t been to El Ateneo here in BA (Sta. Fe y Callao) you are seriously missing out, they even have a good selection of children´s books, both in English and Spanish.


    July 27, 2007 at 2:37 pm

  3. Marce, I haven’t yet been to El Ateneo. I will have to go check it out next time I’m downtown. Thanks for the suggestion.


    July 27, 2007 at 4:39 pm

  4. I can definitely sympathise. My town is a bit of a literary black hole. There is one biggish bookshop, but it’s really more a stationers. There’s an ok second hand bookshop too, but the owner is a real penny pincher, and I begrudge spending money in it!

    Really, the best place to get books here is the charity shops. The good thing about them is you never know what will turn up – not the standard bestsellers, but often fascinating things that have been out of print for years.


    July 28, 2007 at 12:18 pm

  5. I know what you mean about certain stores. One of the first places I always go (along with a book store) is Target. I don’t know what it is about that store but I just love walking down the aisles…looking at all the choices!


    July 30, 2007 at 11:04 am

  6. oh yes billie! the first store we went to was toys-r-us and after that we hit target. i don’t even remember what i bought in target….i know we picked up a few items…but i’m pretty sure i walked around the store with my mouth wide open and a deer-in-the-headlights look on my face.


    July 30, 2007 at 11:13 am

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