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Antics In The Library


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#1 supermom

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 08:47 AM

I go to the library quite a bit. I really try to encourage my children to feel comfortable in the library environment. Checking out books. Using the computers. Searching for materials. Studying at the tables. At least once a week we spend enough time at the library that we sack a lunch (even if it replaces a supper) and spend several hours at the library.

There are some odd things about the library. As if it has its own life and vibrancy inside. Its' own stories to tell. The library has its regulars, its occasioners, and what I call its excursioners..

I recently went down to the library and sat down at a desk in the reading room. I had a text book open and my laptop and was engaged in writing a paper. A woman probably in her 60's walked over to the table, sat in the chair right beside me (even though the desk is huge and she could have sat across from me and had much more space in the other two empty seats- then proceeded to take my backpack, writing utensil bag and laptop bag off of the table and place them on the floor. I took the items and rearranged them on the other side of my chair (furthest away from her), lying on the floor against the chair.

Only when she had taken her seat did she speak. She says, "o mind if I sit here?" I responded, "No, not at all". A few minutes later a man walks in and steps up to the desk, on the far side the desk. He looks lost and lonely. Quite suddenly the lady turns to me and says loudly, " would you mind moving over to the other side of the desk so that my husband can sit beside me?" I jumped. I wasn't expecting someone to talk so loudly in the library. I admit, the sudden behavior put my nerves on edge. I looked at her- then said," you are more than welcome to move elsewhere. I was here first. Go find a different seat if you and your husband cannot quietly sit at this table."

She says,'Well!" and then she got up and walked out of the reading room. Creepy, right?

But then, it happened again! Except that I was at a small setting table and a chair by the window, in the same room. She asked me to vacate the chair and the table so that she could sit down and put her purse on the table (my laptop was on it- and I was typing at the time). That time, I told her to go find someone else to bug. She and her husband walked out of the room. Again, there had been plenty of other seats in the reading room that were right beside each other.

Creepier, right?

So, one day...I go into the new library cafe. I order a veggie wrap and a milk shake and set down at the couch and table. I pull out my laptop and start reading an article on racism in police procedures....

Again, the same lady and man enter. There is a nice chair empty beside me. On the other side are two table that each have two chairs. They are empty. In front of me is another table with two chairs...

This woman walks up to me, stands over me and asks me if I will move so that her husband can sit beside her. This time she has a distinct unpleasantness to her tone. almost like a wee bit of dementia..... I look up and recognize her. I sigh. She says,"what is your problem, just move!" I decide a bit of aggressive response is necessary to get this lady to stop harassing me. I say, NO! Back away from me! Get away! I will not move. I will not change seats. There are plenty of other seats for you and your husband. Stop bothering me and stop asking me to accommodate you when there are other seats available you , you crazy lady!"

Her husband is just standing there. His shoulders seem drooped. I realize even though she was being outrageous in her assertiveness toward me, that I should have just ignored her. I feel badly. She stays seated in that chair beside me for about thirty minutes. Her husband stays standing beside her the whole time- except to go order her a tea and bring it back to her. She complains loudly and bitterly that he never gets it right. That she had wanted iced tea, not hot. ( which she had not stated). The lady behind the counter offers to replace it. She says no. Then finally she stands up. I hope she is going to leave. But instead, she goes to a table to the left of me. Her husband stands in front of the table for a few minutes, until she invites him to take a seat. He does. I finish reading my article, and my meal, then I hightail it back into the library. I pray they don't follow me. And they don't.

On my way out I step through the cafe. I ask the woman working there if she knows the lady that I had yelled at. If she had any idea if the lady was a regular or not.
The woman shrugs and says she doesn't know. I feel even worse. I wonder if that man is beaten when he is at home. And, I wonder if my responses had been different that I could have made a difference.

There are other times when people have irritated me in the library. But this unsettles me. I'm not sure if it is because of the woman's aggressiveness, or my response to it.

To that man out there, wherever you are.... I hope you didn't get beaten that night. It didn't really compute to me, until hours later ....that you may be a victim. If you are, please ask someone for help.

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#2 4thgenFolsomite

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:11 AM

they seem to be regulars and she seems to fixate on you, maybe because she is slightly demented and you are familiar. I would go in next time with something nice, a little something sweet, like a box with two truffles from Snooks, and when you see them, go up and give them to the man and say, "you're such a nice man, I think you deserve something in appreciation for how nice you are to your wife." If nothing else, he gets a little recognition, even if she gets mad. He'll know in his heart of hearts.
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#3 supermom

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 09:54 AM

You are probably right. If I see them again I should focus more attention on the man; and communicate to him that he is noticed. I feel badly that I did not respond the way I realize that I should have...

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#4 nomad

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 10:02 AM

Reminds me of the Seinfeld where Kramer is making fun of the people in the library who "Shhhhhhhhh" everyone "while reading the free newspaper attached to those big wooden sticks!"

#5 (The Dude)

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 10:34 AM

Sounds like the lady is just crazy, I feel for the guy and give him credit for putting up with her and staying with her.

Don't let her push you around supermom, she needs to be taught she can't be pushy and rude and get her way all the time

#6 steph77

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 02:43 PM

That would scare the heck out of me! You can forgive one encounter, and maybe (doubtful), maybe two encounters. But not three.

Reading your original response, I thought, good for you! But, then, like you seem to understand in hindsight, there seems to be more to those people than what's on the surface. Don't feel bad for how you responded, I think most people would have done the same.

But, I worry about the poor guy - he sounds like he needs a friend or some help. Even a kind gesture my do wonders! Good luck with such a tricky and scary situation!

#7 4thgenFolsomite

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 03:05 PM

That would scare the heck out of me! You can forgive one encounter, and maybe (doubtful), maybe two encounters. But not three.

Reading your original response, I thought, good for you! But, then, like you seem to understand in hindsight, there seems to be more to those people than what's on the surface. Don't feel bad for how you responded, I think most people would have done the same.

But, I worry about the poor guy - he sounds like he needs a friend or some help. Even a kind gesture my do wonders! Good luck with such a tricky and scary situation!


yeah, like a couple of truffles.
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#8 sat

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 03:10 PM

Sounds like a woman I have encountered there. I sometimes hang out there for an hour while my son is at baseball practice. I was there reading, when she came up to my table and sat right next to me. I looked around at all the empty seats and wondered why she chose next to me. Her husband did not sit down, but there was room. He just stood there. She never spoke to me, but I felt uncomfortable and left. I have since seen her again, but avoided her. I have noticed her also going to the garbage cans at the park, retrieving recyclabes. She has short, gray hair, more straighter than curly.

#9 (The Dude)

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 03:23 PM

yeah, like a couple of truffles.


Maybe a 5th of Jack Daniels would make him happier :)

#10 (MaxineR)

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:02 PM

Sounds like a woman I have encountered there. I sometimes hang out there for an hour while my son is at baseball practice. I was there reading, when she came up to my table and sat right next to me. I looked around at all the empty seats and wondered why she chose next to me. Her husband did not sit down, but there was room. He just stood there. She never spoke to me, but I felt uncomfortable and left. I have since seen her again, but avoided her. I have noticed her also going to the garbage cans at the park, retrieving recyclabes. She has short, gray hair, more striaghter than curly.



That sounds like a manipulation tactic to me. You played right into her ego, because you became uncomfortable and left your chosen seat, after she sat down beside you.

It sounds like a very sad situation, with an elderly woman being more mentally OFF than she should be and her poor husband might be just as emotionally handicapped himself.

I wonder if they are residents of Folsom. Maybe a care home that is for more independent retired seniors?

I think if that were to happen to me, Id report it to the Library supervisor. Maybe even file a complaint, so these two can be watched. The public has a right to have peaceful time at a public library.

Something very fishy about this.

#11 Deb aka Resume Lady

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:34 PM

Based on your description, my thought is that the woman has some sort of dementia. If that's the case, the husband may know it, may be trying to give his wife a relatively safe outing (maybe she has always enjoyed the library), and may know that arguing with her will get him nowhere. Your becoming aggressive with her won't help the situation either. You can move to another table; if she continues to follow you around and it is unsettling bring it to the attention of library staff so they can monitor her.

Dementia is cruel. In early stages the person who suffers from it may have anger, aggressiveness, mood swings, paranoia, and/or auditory and visual hallucinations. I can't imagine the fear and confusion of knowing something is wrong and that things don't add up.
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#12 supermom

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:35 PM

Sounds like a woman I have encountered there. I sometimes hang out there for an hour while my son is at baseball practice. I was there reading, when she came up to my table and sat right next to me. I looked around at all the empty seats and wondered why she chose next to me. Her husband did not sit down, but there was room. He just stood there. She never spoke to me, but I felt uncomfortable and left. I have since seen her again, but avoided her. I have noticed her also going to the garbage cans at the park, retrieving recyclabes. She has short, gray hair, more striaghter than curly.


The woman I dealt with had short gray hair with a soft natural wave around her face. She was well dressed, and groomed. The man however seemed to be about 10 years older - or more- and was dressed in sort of frumpy chino slacks with a tshirt and tennis shoes. They seemed an odd couple when seen together.

I did not follow her outside, But she did have a nice purse. It was a medium rich hard leather tone to it. Rather pretty.

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#13 4thgenFolsomite

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:36 PM

Sounds like a woman I have encountered there. I sometimes hang out there for an hour while my son is at baseball practice. I was there reading, when she came up to my table and sat right next to me. I looked around at all the empty seats and wondered why she chose next to me. Her husband did not sit down, but there was room. He just stood there. She never spoke to me, but I felt uncomfortable and left. I have since seen her again, but avoided her. I have noticed her also going to the garbage cans at the park, retrieving recyclabes. She has short, gray hair, more striaghter than curly.


yes, public libraries are public, so people who have no where else to spend their time often find themselves there. I often see it when I do research at different libraries and my friend, who is a librarian in Placer County, says its a regular thing. She doesn't sound like she's harming anyone. In a strange way, she seems lonely and is trying to connect the only way she knows how. Maybe a flyer about the senior center over at 48 Natoma would be a nice gift for the Mr.
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#14 supermom

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 05:44 PM

yes, public libraries are public, so people who have no where else to spend their time often find themselves there. I often see it when I do research at different libraries and my friend, who is a librarian in Placer County, says its a regular thing. She doesn't sound like she's harming anyone. In a strange way, she seems lonely and is trying to connect the only way she knows how. Maybe a flyer about the senior center over at 48 Natoma would be a nice gift for the Mr.


That is a good idea. I wish I had thought of that the last time I saw them.

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#15 sat

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 05:54 PM

yes, public libraries are public, so people who have no where else to spend their time often find themselves there. I often see it when I do research at different libraries and my friend, who is a librarian in Placer County, says its a regular thing. She doesn't sound like she's harming anyone. In a strange way, she seems lonely and is trying to connect the only way she knows how. Maybe a flyer about the senior center over at 48 Natoma would be a nice gift for the Mr.


I guess I took the easier route, I just got up and left. She never spoke to me, so I had no conversation with her. She was not harming anyone, in my opinion. I just thought is was a little strange that she sat right next to me (maybe 6"), when there were empty chairs everywhere. Her husband standing behind us was a little uncomfortable. Maybe next time, if there is one, I will try to engage in conversation.




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