I went to the Borders on Boylston the other day. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two months, you’re probably aware that it’s closing AND EVERYTHING MUST GO INCLUDING ALL FURNITURE AND LIGHT FIXTURES AND OVER-PRICED COFFEE TABLE BOOKS ABOUT GLORIA VANDERBILT! *sign for sale as well.
And it was quite the sad sight, that place. I had a lot of fond memories at the Borders on Boylston, mostly of looking at piles of fashion magazines for hours and then walking out without purchasing anything. Still, seeing that behemoth of a shiny red and rich bookstore reduced to it’s most shameful scraps and desperate pleas—a true graveyard of American Pie 3 DVDs and fishing magazines on sale for 80% off—well, it’s enough to make any book-store lover choke up a little bit. It felt more like I was wandering around a Building Nineteen, complete with the requisite needs-to-shower crazy person elbowing you in the stomach so she can snatch the last Anne Geddes calendar out of your hands, then a classy place you once went to to get coffee and browse cookbooks and feel all in-a-bubble and smart. Kindle schmindle, I say!
But I was more focused on the mega-sale of all mega-sales that day, and not so much on e-reader politics or why Borders had decided to go bankrupt all of a sudden. Instead, I was determined to leave the store with a library-changing purchase, and for next to nothing, if possible. The signs had infiltrated my brain. Of course, I was too late. Notoriously late on the uptake, (I just discovered that song “Home” by Edward Sharpe, like, last week) most of the gems had been pillaged out of Borders weeks ago. And the sections that I looked in—history and food and health and memoir—were complete wastelands of Tai Chi for dummies and Scott Brown’s smiling mug. Feeling totally dejected by the lack of Ina Garten’s cookbooks available for eight dollars, I made a last-ditch stop at the humor bin before exiting. “Why hasn’t Tina Fey’s memoir arrived yet??”, I moaned, out loud, to no one in particular. Finally, two books caught my attention: Nora “otherwise known as God” Ephron’s I Remember Nothing, and Samantha Bee’s I Know You Are But What Am I? Hurray for the ladies! I pulled them both down, sat cross-legged on the floor like a six-year-old, hummed Beyoncé, and began to decide which one to rescue and bring home.
Now, I’m a big fan of Her Highness Ephron’s, and I loved her last book, I Feel Bad About My Neck, immensely. (Why I relate so much to a woman pushing seventy who writes mostly about her fear of death and distaste of wrinkles, I do not know.) But on this occasion, I felt myself gravitating more towards Ms. Bee, and it wasn’t just because her book’s cover was a lovely hot pink, and thus would make not only fun reading material, but a great accessory for spring. (Bright colors are very in, FYI.) It was because her book was cheaper. And also, unlike Nora’s, her book was the only one left in the ENTIRE Borders, so I felt like I was kind of a bad-ass in getting my paws on it. Then there was the fact that literally every essay in Nora’s book was about the fact that she was old and dying and forgetting everything she ever knew about her life, and you can only take that ‘ish so far in your twenties before your friends start fleeing you in public for being such a morbid jack-ass. So I went hip and happy and bought Samantha’s book, and so far, it’s quite enjoyable—it’s like eating witty cotton-candy before bed every night. Super Jon-Stewarty yum! However, there was something in Nora’s book that I caught during my tear-filled Border’s floor-reading, and that I’ve been thinking about it ever since; it wasn’t even an essay of hers, but a list of all the things Nora will miss about earth when she’s gone. (Ha! Crazzzy, right!) Don’t worry, though. Instead of thinking all doom-and-gloomy like her—old people are sooo dramatic sometimes—seeing that list just made me think about spring instead (it’s been on my brain as of late) and about how much I love it, and also, how much I like making lists.
So, in honor of Nora, here’s a list about spring.
(Also, please buy someone a book for a present next time you buy a present. If all the bookstores in the world close I WILL GO NUTS and start breaking people’s kindles on the T.)
What I love about spring
Seeing girls tanning by the Charles in bikinis when it’s still only 52 degrees out
Men wearing shorts and flip-flops when it’s still only 52 degrees out and possibly hailing later
Beer in general
More excuses to eat ice-cream/gelato/pinkberry
The swan boats
Pedicures having a meaning again
Smelling someone’s grill as you’re walking down the street to home
First trip to Fenway
Saying F the T and walking the whole way there cause iiiit’s sunnnny ouuuut!
Little kids climbing all over the duck statues
Crying because you realize you can’t find your expensive sunglasses from last year
One day all of a sudden the tree branches having stuff on them
The smell of grass
The smell of mulch
Lemonade and sparkling water
Actually enjoying a shower again
Your roommate’s boyfriend making home-made crab cakes
All those awkward engaged couples taking their save-the-date photos in the park
First meal of the year eaten outside
Very cold white wine
Would you like some more white wine?
Buying the super-cheap flowers for sale at the MGH stop and putting them in your IKEA vase at home and pretending you’re Gloria Vanderbilt
Cape Cod Potato Chips
Drinking Diet Coke out of a can while sitting on the grass and fantasizing about summer
Listening to this song while emptying the dishwasher with the windows open.