I know this is supposed to be a very male trait, and I am the furthest thing from male that there is, but I really, truly hate asking for help.
I would rather wander around aimlessly for hours, getting more and more lost with every step, then ask someone for directions.
I remember being in nursery school and pissing my pants in the playground rather than ask the teacher if I could go inside and use the bathroom.
This morning, I got to midtown way earlier than anyone should ever find oneself in midtown, and decided to get my ass to Barnes and Noble to pick up a new book to read. I've been obsessing about "Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood" by Koren Zailcas for a few days now, ever since my friend reminded me of its existence.
I walked into the store, and of course, got sucked into the new book smell. I don't know if it's because my mother is a librarian, or if everyone loves that smell of printed word on paper, but to me, it's intoxicating. For a moment I forgot about Koren Zailcas and ran around, touching, stroking and fondling all of the new fiction.
I definitely lost sight for a moment, but then I snapped back to reality after finding myself absent-mindedly picking up a Nicholas Spark novel. I flung it back to the table and set out on my mission...Smashed. Must find Smashed. Must read book about girl who's life is a mess, so mine won't seem so much of one.
I started out in the paperbacks section, thinking it'd be out and about on display. I circled each table and shelf like a vulture, but no Smashed to be found.
Now, this is where I could so easily have gone to the Customer Service counter, a mere inches away from where I stood. But no. No fucking way. I mean, if I tell them the book I am looking for, won't they come to all sorts of conclusions about me as a person in the 5 seconds that I am standing before them? I can feel them asking themselves, "why is this chick wanting to read this book? is she also a drunken floozy? doesn't she have better things to do with her time? like read wh auden and memorize each word?" No. I would not be going to the Customer Service counter. Forget it.
I searched high and low for this damn book. I went directly to the Biography section. No such luck. I tried non-fiction. I tried essays. No, and no.
After 20 or so minutes, it became apparent that I was not going to find this book. And it was the only book I wanted. So guess what. I had to ask for help. Hell, indeed, froze over this morning.
Had I gotten over my fear of asking for help 20 minutes earlier, I would have found out that the book is out of stock, not only at the Barnes and Noble on 46th and 5th, but at all the Barnes and Nobles in Manhattan.
Funny what one can learn when one reaches out.