I visited Barnes & Noble yesterday. I went there because it is one of my happy places. It has hot chocolate and books. Definitely a happy place. I needed a happy place visit. After days of endless togetherness with my dear family, (can you say wicked ice storm and snow days?), I needed a bit of “me” time. In addition, my educational experience has been just a tad demanding and uninspiring. I’m writing long papers on topics like power and leadership in groups. I’m participating in required weekly group activities (so NOT my thing). And I have been reading pages upon pages of text about the minutiae of group dynamics. Blah! I think my hubby is about ready to kick me out of the house for all the whining I’ve been doing. I ended up at Barnes & Noble because for a little awhile I just wanted to read what I wanted to read. Alone.
As always, a little while turned into a long while. I stayed at my happy place long enough that I needed to use the facilities. The ladies’ room at my B & N is always well maintained and clean. It is a condition I have come to expect, although I never realized that until yesterday. Imagine my shock and amazement when I walked into my chosen stall and saw – gasp! – graffiti, scribbled all over the one wall of the stall. Barnes and Noble must also have an expectation of graffiti-free stalls as well because an attempt had been made to paint over the eyesores. However, the paint color was wretched and transparent and practically screamed, “Look here, NOW!” I obeyed.
It was rather difficult deciphering the scribbling through the paint but curiosity pushed me to perservere. I just knew the stuff had to be repulsive to require such a hurried cover-up job. I began reading some of the writing. What?! This was no ordinary profanity or declarations of love. I found myself sitting on the toilet reading famous quotes and lines of inspiration. I laughed out loud. I couldn’t help it. I should have guessed graffiti in a bookstore privy would be more eclectic and philosophical than the standard public restroom offerings. Why shouldn’t we be enlightened while we take care of business? It makes absolute sense to me.
I was so intrigued with what I was reading that I pulled out a small notepad and wrote down several quotes. And when I was finished in my stall, I checked all the others for nuggets of wisdom and insight. Unfortunately, my stall was the only temple of focused contemplation. Below, I’ve shared some of the best things I came across.
Live, Laugh, Love.
Do one thing that scares you every day. ~Eleanor Roosevelt
Reality is something to rise above.
The boys and girls watch each other eat, when what they really want to do is watch each other sleep. (This one made me giggle)
It is a strange world, a sad world, a world full of miseries, and woes, and troubles. And yet when King Laugh come, he make them all dance to the tune he play. ~Bram Stoker’s Dracula
I was impressed by the breadth and variety. It was almost too much to digest at that particular moment and place. I was in the john, after all. Of course, my brain immediately started thinking of all the great morsels of wisdom I would share if I were a bathroom rebel. Then I realized I don’t need to scribble on the stall door. I have a blog. These are my top choices for bookstore bathroom graffiti.
Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.
He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death. Proverbs 14:26-27
Having money is rather like being blond. It is more fun but not vital. ~Mary Quant
Later in the afternoon I shared my experience with my kids, knowing they would appreciate the humor of it. (Yes, weird Mom = weird kids). I figured it would tickle them to imagine Mom sitting on the toilet jotting down sayings in the Barnes and Noble bathroom. They then surprised me with eager suggestions of their favorite quotes that they would love to share with the public bathroom world. And the quotes really do reflect their personalities.
Oldest, only daughter (14 years):
Life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away. ~ Hillary Cooper
Middlest, son (11.9 years):
I haven’t failed. I’ve found 10,000 ways that don’t work. ~Thomas Ediaon
Youngest, son (9.5 years):
Any baseball player who doesn’t sign autographs for little kids is ain’t American. He’s a communist. ~Roger Hornsby
And as my hubby (aka Jimmy Neutron) was editing this post, he thought he would like to put in his two cents.
There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. ~Albert Einstein
If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. ~ Albert Einstein
Don’t tell me about the world. Not today. It’s springtime and they’re knocking baseballs around fields where the grass is damp and green in the morning and the kids are trying to hit the curve ball. ~Peter Hamill
What quotes would you like to add to this virtual bathroom stall? Be brave. Be inspirational. Be silly. Be rebellious.