Three days to go before the start of the Spring Sale. Less than a week to the York Book and Paper Fair. I’m running around the shop shelving books, pricing stuff, coordinating new dealers, printing programs, sending out news releases, trying to clean up.
There is almost too much to do. I’ve been moving around bookcases and shifting entire sections. I’ve got stock to put out ‘cause it just ain’t gonna sell if it is sitting on my desk. And the web sites need updating. And sometime during the next couple of days, I really want to sleep. Sleep would be good right about now.
I will admit to being a bit frazzled. The details are piling up and I am not a detail kinda guy. On the whole, I’d rather just sit down with a cup of joe than do just about any of this.
So yesterday afternoon I was heading toward the automotive section with an armload of books to put away when I am approached by a young lady. She's a regular customer, and I've kidded around with her before when she's been in. So, I smile by best kindly-old-bookpeddler smile, really hoping that I can just point her toward a bookcase and keep moving.
“I have a big favor to ask you,” she says to me.
Uh-oh. This isn’t going to be a 2-second conversation. I want to help, but I have other priorities, other details, at the moment. I really don't have the time for big favors right now. Still, she's a customer and looking a bit nervous. So I set the books down on a display case and give her my full attention.
“What can I do for you?”
“Well,” she said. “See that good looking guy over there?”
“He’s asked me to marry him.”
“Thanks." She actually blushed a little. "We were wondering if it would be OK with you…uh…”
Oh, boy. Here it comes, I think. She wants a job. Or a special discount. Or something that is going to cost me money.
“We wanted to ask you if it would be OK if we shot our engagement picture in here. We love this place and we think it would be perfect.”
Suddenly I wasn’t quite as frazzled. Suddenly the details didn’t seem all that important. Suddenly the automotive section would wait.
“Of course. We would be honored.”
We both smiled.
And we set our own date, she and I. I made a mental note to make sure we had cake available.
That’s a detail I just don’t mind.