Mother’s Day can be a very quiet day at the bookstore. This is actually lovely, because the buildup to Mother’s Day just gets more and more intense as the week progresses. I’ve gone back through our records for the past six years to see what was purchased leading up to Mother’s Day and on the day itself and noticed a few interesting things.
- Men don’t really plan ahead. I don’t mean this in an offensive way at all. It’s just a statement. We had more men in here Friday and Saturday with slightly wide-eyed expressions, looking at books and then asking for help. They always seem surprised that Mother’s Day always falls in May.
- Men pay cash. This week we’ve had triple the number of cash sales than normal. This always strikes me as funny, because these guys use their credit cards during the holidays.
- Men sometimes doubt themselves for no reason. They approach staff saying, “She liked this book,” and they hold a paperback they’ve seen their wife read. This is the part of being a bookseller that I love. There is nothing I like more than helping a someone get the right book for an occasion that is clearly anxiety-provoking. Through speaking with the men, it’s clear they know what their wives like, but for some reason they start to question their taste even though they don’t need to.
- All the books were wrapped in the same paper. For some reason everyone picked the same birds in trees wrap yesterday. This is wrap we’ve had for a year, which we love, but it seldom gets chosen.
- Kids help their dads find cards. It’s actually very sweet to see a grown man checking in with a five-year-old about whether or not he’s picked the right card.
- And, on Monday, we will be full of women discreetly returning the books they got on Sunday, for things they wanted more.