Thursday, December 27, 2018
In my role as the supply person for the library I have been doing what I can to consistently acquire scented bookmarks to give away at the front desk. My first forays were supported out of the supply budget, but then Administration got a touch huffy about it and insisted on other funding. These weren't supplies. These were giveaways. I tracked down this funding from out of our branch budget, and the supply line of scented bookmarks began to flow once again. We just opened the "Candy Canes" and "Gingerbread Men" that recently came in the delivery. I've managed to resist opening "Popcorn" and the fascinating "Pizza", keeping them in check for later, darker times.
The original idea of these bookmarks was to mollify children, or maybe delight them. My original impulse was that I just wanted scented bookmarks, for fun and to smell, but the children thing was an excellent justification too, and I looked forward to giving to them. I find kids like them in a shy, sort of surprised way which is fun to watch. It's a tiny bit of magic- a bookmark that smells! The bookmarks also make for great conversation pieces among co-workers and bring a bit of festive fanfare to the front desk, which can sometimes dip into somberness.
But my favorite thing with these bookmarks I did not expect: I love giving them to cranky grown-ups! The older, grimmer, more closed down and grumpy looking the better! There is nothing quite like seeing some sour man or woman in the midst of some mundane bit of business with one of my co-workers and being able to ask them, only a little ironically, "Do you want a candy cane bookmark?"
They raise an eyebrow at me.
"They smell like peppermint!" I add.
They take one. They half cautiously put it to their nose. I love watching that part. I always feel they enter into at least a tiny piece of whimsy by doing that. They smell it.
"It's a candy cane bookmark!" I exclaim.
They may or may not say something back. They don't usually smile or anything like that. Though it's splendid when they almost do. And they always seem to tuck the bookmark carefully away in a pocket. Theirs.
"Or would you rather have a gingerbread man one?" I ask, handing over a gingerbread man bookmark for them to smell.
This they take with less hesitation. They smell. And this part always surprises me because of how I said "would you rather have...". They quietly tuck the second bookmark carefully away in another pocket. That one is theirs too.
It's a lot of fun.
I don't think these people get given a lot of stuff.
Eh, not many people do. Good thing we have libraries for it.