Valentine’s Rush

Josie Leavitt - February 15, 2012

It happens every year, and every year I’m surprised. The day of Valentine’s Day we see a steady stream of men, and a few women, who come in with literally moments to spare to get their beloved a gift or card.
Perhaps it’s me, but February 14th is not a surprise date. It happens with amazing regularity every single year. It’s a universal date, so it shouldn’t really sneak up on people. But there are lots of people for whom it seems to be a shock. These folks come in somewhat sheepishly looking for cards and books on the 14th. We have no judgment and are all too happy to help find the right book for the person, or children they love.
All morning parents streamed in for a book with love in the title or cute cards. Younger siblings came in to help pick out cards for their older siblings. Everyone was very cheery and it was just fun. Noon happened and the tension with transactions seemed a little more fraught. The perfect book hadn’t been ordered, so compromises had to be made. Or in some cases they were just abandoned with a vow of being “better next year.”
Stupidly, I left the store around 3:30, right before it got really busy, leaving Elizabeth alone with a store full of the sincerely late planners. At one point she called me at home to see if I could remember the titles I recommended to a customer six weeks ago. Needless to say, I couldn’t remember. But Elizabeth said the store was full and handed the customer the phone. So, together we constructed what I might have recommended. Pretty soon, Mary Ellen was walking around the store picking up the titles I was suggesting. At one my point I told her to “take three giant steps to your right and look at the end of the top shelf.” It was actually really fun. Twenty minutes later we had traversed half the store and she was ready to get rung up with four books for her teenage son’s Valentine.
While I know now that we will never have one staffer working the afternoon of Valentine’s Day, it is nice to to know that help is only a phone call away. I hope everyone got the book they wanted for Valentine’s Day.

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