Best Friends at the Store

Josie Leavitt - May 16, 2011

Last week, there was a half day of school for two local high schools. Usually, that means it’s a slower than normal day for us. But Thursday saw the store graced by several sets of best-teenage-friends.
There is something immensely gratifying about teenagers choosing to come your bookstore. All the kids had to drive to the store, and they chose to spend some time with us. One of the kids, Maggie, has been coming to the store since she was two. She would come for story hour and she still remembers my reading of On Your Potty by Virginia Miller (sadly out of print), which had her in stitches every time I’d say, “Nah,” like the potty-training Bartholmew. Maggie’s sixteen now and came with her best friend to kill some time and really just look around. They pored over the fun stuff section, bouncing balls, spinning tops and generally just being silly. They each were making mental lists about who in their families would like what. If one found something really cool, they would come running over to the other. They even found great teacher gifts. Clearly, stopping at the store was impromptu, as neither actually had any money, so they pooled their resources to get a belated $3 funny Mother’s Day present.
The next set of kids to come in were more focused. What made this visit so gratifying is Kelsey was showing off the store to her friend, Dana. That’s high praise to me. I always feel like teenagers are busy enough, but for one to take the time to show off “her favorite store” to her best friend just makes me feel like we’re doing something right. Kelsey knew exactly what she wanted, The Poisonnwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. It was also a belated Mother’s Day present.
I asked if she’d like it wrapped and she was thrilled. Choosing the wrap was a lot of fun to watch. We have a board that has samples of our ten different wrap styles. I showed it to them and immediately it turned into a game. “Guess which one I’m getting for my Mom?” Dana guessed right. Then Dana asked,”Which one would I choose?”  This went on for several minutes while I wrapped, with each girl asking the other what kind of wrap she’d pick for brother, her dad, etc. I couldn’t help but smile at their simple innocent fun. I gave the package extra ribbons and presented the book with a flourish. They practically clapped. I could hear them giggling all the way to the parking lot.
They left happy, and I stayed happy.

7 thoughts on “Best Friends at the Store

  1. AML

    haha… teenagers are so fun… looking back to my past, I was doing same things with my best friend. Now we still meetup but of course we don’t play games like that anymore. You have a great store, I would love to come by.

  2. Carol B. Chittenden

    And I also love the 12-year-old who comes in with his first girlfriend, saying “I used to come in here when I was a little kid.”
    And moms who come in alone. When they choose to spend any of their precious private minutes with us, I’ll do just about anything to make sure they’re welcome and happy.

  3. Ellen

    My bff and I ( now far apart ) met in freshman homeroom in a NY school. We stilla are bonded by books, and talk books, and surprise each other with new books

  4. Ellen

    My bff and I ( now far apart ) met in freshman homeroom in a NY school. We still are bonded by books, and talk books, and surprise each other with new books

  5. JessB

    I meet my one of my two uni best friends when I commented on the Harry Potter cover she had on her folder. It was the Gryffindor crest, and I knew straight away that anyone who was cool enough to love Harry Potter enough to source the crest, print it out and slip it in her folder – at university! – was going to be awesome.
    I’m still right.
    And meeting in a History class, our love of ancient things has continued with our friendship. I’ve just found a book about Ancient Egypt, and knew she’d love a copy too.

    1. Ange

      And for every birthday and every christmas we STILL get each other books. I think reading and our love of books has bonded us forever.
      We’re planning a big night for the Harry Potter release…. I’ll be wearing my Gryffindor hoodie.


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