Saturday, March 13, 2010

When Found, Take Note Of

Reader’s Corner is a used bookstore on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. In addition to books on every subject, the ends of every set of shelves are covered with amusing and interesting scraps of paper and other detritus that were stuck into the books by their previous owners. There are postcards from the 40s, news clippings from the 20s, family snapshots, paper money from countries all around the globe, grocery lists, cancelled checks, letters, electric bills from when a KwH cost less than a dime.

I always take time to browse the latest finds. Yesterday, I saw a scrap of notepaper. The first part, in a masculine scrawl, read “Will there ever come a time when you will love me enough to trust me and take me for granted?” Below, a feminine hand had written, “I do love you and trust you and I will never take you for granted.” Wouldn’t you like to know what that was all about?

The next handwritten sheet that caught my eye was dated 4/16/91 and was labeled “Dad’s Rules.”

1. No going to a house where boys are present. For an exception, have the chaperone call me.

2. No dating boys I haven’t met.

3. 11:00 p.m. curfew.

4. One night a week out – and not on a school night.

5. Sunday through Thursday, 1.5 hours of not talking on the phone. Pick a specific time and let me know when. Must be between 7 and 10 pm. (Ex: 7-8:30, 7:30-9:00, 8:00-9:30, 8:30-10).

6. Proper behavior only. Act like you’re worth something. Good-night kisses only – no making out, no touchy feely, etc.

7. Specific exceptions require my approval.

8. These rules will be hardened or relaxed depending on specific evidence of responsibility, maturity and good judgment.

I’ve known too many fathers with teenage daughters not to know what this one was about. (Most dads remember what was always on the mind of a teenage boy.)

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