Thursday, June 29, 2006


On a hot, humid, nasty day like today, a girl's gotta get out of her apartment.

My electric bill for this month is probably going to rival Namibia's GDP and I've spent untold sums on takeout, the actual air conditioner itself, clothing, and so on. Not to mention, although I love my cats dearly, they do tend to crawl all over me as I try to study, which is of course adorable and life-affirming and all that, but also really distracting. Let's face it, I am distracted enough anyway. So I decamped for the wild blue yonder today, and by wild blue yonder I mean my local, neighborhood Starbucks.

This Starbucks has a wonderful basement. It has no windows and no wireless Internet; electric outlets and table lamps are generously distributed; and my cell phone gets no reception. It is like a beautiful, climate-controlled isolation chamber down there and I have used it to study for finals for a couple years now. The only problem with it is that it is so quiet that if someone so much as taps her nails on the table, it is extremely annoying and distracting. They need a good white noise machine or something. But it's still better than my apartment, so off I went.

At a certain time in the afternoon, the neighborhood day camps let out and the neighborhood moms who don't work go to get their little prodigies. They also like to swing said prodigies by my beautiful Starbucks. Usually the basement is kid-free, since it is totally boring down there. I practically want to tear my hair out down there unless I'm really into my studies, I can only imagine being six and not studying for the bar. I'd hate it down there. But today, as I was busy minding my own business and trying to understand property, no fewer than six dirty, sweaty, grubby, LOUD little darlings ran down to my precious basement and began chasing one another in a manner that might have been cute under other, non-bar circumstances.

Another girl who was down there studying remarked out loud, "Don't these kids have parents?"

About five minutes later, two Brooklyn Moms came downstairs with their lattes. They were charmingly dissheveled with expensive dye jobs and expensive glasses. I hoped they might be into discipline and would rein their kids in, seeing as how quite a few people were studying and enjoying what had been the silence of the basement, but no. Apparently they came from the whole-language, spare the rod and spoil the child school of parenting. Or maybe they were just idiots.

"Boy, it sure is quiet down here!" commented one of the Brooklyn Moms.

"Yeah, it's just like a library!" laughed the other, settling into the plush chair to enjoy her latte as her obnoxious children ran around screaming, "TAG! I GOT YOU! YOU'RE IT, YOU'RE IT, YOU'RE IT!"

WWRPD - What would the reasonable and prudent person do under these particular circumstances? Grin and bear it, I guess. What did I do? I gritted my teeth and tried to settle in and wait it out. I thought they wouldn't last longer than a few minutes.

I was wrong.

The children ran around unencumbered by discipline or a "Shhh, Madison, people are trying to study down here," or a "Keep it down, Drexler, and don't disturb the nice people," or a "Kyron, let's practice using our indoor voice!" Nope! Moms chatted and laughed about their charmed lives while their rotten offspring enjoyed MY BASEMENT.

I glared. I gave these two women the stinkeye from hell. I figured at least one of them was probably a lawyer for Legal Aid or the ACLU or something before she was artificially inseminated and might understand my need for quiet better if she saw the books clearly marked BARBRI on the table. Nope!

After three or four children had taken their turn as "it," I took my turn and packed my stuff up as loudly and angrily as I possibly could. Oh, I slammed those books, shut the computer with a bang, zipped up my bag angrily, and huffed and puffed and glared my way out of there. And not one of those bitches even noticed.

Yeah, I know it's not a library, but last time I checked, it wasn't a playground either.
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