"How much does it cost to scan and fax?", she asked.
I was at the library on Monday printing off some materials for a tutee. The library has a little work area for doing such things. While I was there happily printing, this random woman around my age was walking around checking the place out and asked me about scanning and faxing. Maybe she initially thought I worked there?
"Uhm", I replied intelligently, "the sign says 25¢ per page, but I've never used their scanner"
"Oh", as she seemed to realize then that I was not library staff, "How much is it to print?"
"It's 10¢ a page, and your first 10 pages are free". That I could answer.
She pondered this for a moment while watching my pages feed, then realized the cost could add up to quite a bit with a lot of pages. I mentioned the FedEx copy place just down the street that printed for 8¢ a page, so depending on how big her job was, that might be the better option.
"Welp", she continued, "there are a lot of documents involved in a divorce".
"Ah", my eloquent response.
Then she continued conversing with me about the niceness of the library. "I've never been here before", she said while taking in the digs.
As I talked with her, I got the impression that she was happily turning over some new leaves - checking out the new library after a session at the gym for instance. In our short conversation, I surmised that the divorce was good for her mentally and emotionally... if not financially.
And it is a nice library, but honestly, one of its drawbacks when I meet students there is that it's kind of... rowdy. Some of the worst offenders I've seen have been library staff members. And conversations like the one I had with divorce lady pop up often.
I think I can honestly say that, random strangers are much more likely to strike up conversations with me at the library than any other not-particularly-social place I visit - the gym, post office, grocery store, DMV, etc.
In fact, last week, I was there, again printing off some tutee materials. A different woman - another tutor, I think - was also in the work area. She told me she liked my hair, and then proceeded to ponder getting a similar hairstyle for herself. She asked where I get my hair "done".
I told her the place and added, "I bring a picture, and they somehow make my hair look just like the picture". Then I pulled up the current hair photo I had saved in Pinterest and offered it to the woman.
"Okay, but y'know, I think I like your hair better. Can I take a picture?"
Well, that was kinda weird, but okay. She then walked around snapping pics of my head from various angles. I covered my face for the frontal shot.
I didn't mention that I'd spent the morning mowing the lawn, then rode my bike to the library while wearing a hairdo-wrecking helmet. Apparently, that created a better touch than a Pinterest pic for this woman.
Needing a break from the quiet? Head to the library!