Thirteen dollars for a notebook. It wasn’t even a left-handed notebook. It didn’t have gold leaf or a satin bookmark or a clasp closure. It didn’t have trivia or cute comments on the corners of each page. About the only thing that made the notebook any different than any other notebook on the shelf was the fact that it was about half the size of a normal notebook. Oh, and it had cheesy song lyrics on the front cover. And for that, they wanted 13 of my hard-earned dollars. Mind you, I walked into the store that had been a Borders Bookstore until they went out of business. Recently. Very recently.
I looked at the chashier when he rang up my notebook and gave me the total. “I’m sorry, what was that?” I thought sure I’d misheard. He repeated the total: “Thirteen dollars and sixteen cents.” I looked at him like he was from Jupiter. Then my mastery of the English language reminded my brain that it was now my turn to throw some well-educated words into the ring. My brain finally convinced my mouth to work again, and I blurted out, “THIRTEEN DOLLARS FOR A NOTEBOOK???” English at its finest. “It’s a NOTEBOOK! You WRITE in it. With ink. You don’t connect to the Internet with it!” Suffice it to say, I didn’t get the notebook. I got a cheap spiral that would have cost 99 cents in a normal store.
Oh, but we weren’t IN a normal store. We were at an AIRPORT bookstore. That explained everything! Here, they wanted $3 and change. I gave the chashier a few bills and a quarter. He stared at the cash register as if staring at it would cause it to open. It didn’t. I thought the principle of the matter definitely entitled me to collect my change. Then I thought I’d wasted enough time in this sorry store trying to replace a mainstay I forgot to pack before I left the house. I finally told him to put my nine cents in change in the penny jar. He finally looked up at me and said, lamely, “The register’s running real slow this morning.”
Funny. It didn’t seem to be slow when it was ringing up a $13 total on a NOTEBOOK!
That’ll teach me to leave home without my essential gear. And for trying another bookstore. Borders, Borders, where art thou, Borders?