I think I made a colossal misstep.
So, when we were milling about the gift shop in the Gettysburg Visitor’s Center, I rummaged around the (surprisingly) small historical fiction section. Several books caught my eye, oddly enough one of which was Gone With the Wind. I resisted. I picked up another one that sounded interesting, After the Rain, and put it back too. Took a free tour.
Later that night–and I’m fairly certain it was that night, though it might have been the next–The Hubs and I were at the local bar, drinking Miller Lite on draft. Because we’re cheap. And when I say local bar, what I really mean is the one bar in town.
The bartender was talking to this guy about the upcoming insanity that will be the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and the horror the event is having on the general populace. And I realized, the guy was an author. Not only was he an author, but he was the author of the book I’d bypassed earlier, After the Rain. John M. Archer. Author. Licensed Battlefield Tour Guide.
By the time I’d figured all of this out, I’d also consumed two White Russians. So. Erring on the side of caution, I kept my mouth shut and enjoyed my beverage. Beverages. Whatever. He ended up leaving early, but the bartender was talking about his other books and the time she’s spent making calls to place his books in bookstores across the country. She also mentioned the name of his publisher, a local publisher named Ten Roads Publishing.
“I’m going to buy that book.” I announced to The Hubs.
When we went back to the Visitor’s Center to purchase odds and ends, including not one but two wedding presents and a “thanks for watching our maniac children” gift for my mom, I picked up the book. Held it in my greedy little hands. Then I snagged an amazing t-shirt for myself (and I never buy Gettysburg related clothing items, so you have to believe me that it was amazingly awesome). Then, I stormed around the gift shop trying to figure out what to get The Rowdy Boys. Everything for kids was ridiculously priced (says the gal who spent thirty-two bucks on the above referenced shirt). Then I picked out two stuffed horses wearing Gettysburg shirts for the kiddos. Mentally added up our purchases.
And I put the book back.
What. Just. Happened.
I cannot for the life of me figure out what I was thinking. “I’ll just put this back! Awesome books fall on my lap all the time!”
I walked away. Just walked away.
And now, I firmly realize the error in my judgment. Never put the book back! Argh, it’s so flipping frustrating! The book was literally in my hands. I carried it around for like, twenty minutes! Of course, now I want to read it. Really bad. I feel like Willem Dafoe at the end of Platoon. Arms up, shaking in tortured agony as the helicopter takes off without him. Noooooooooo……
On the bright side, we’ll be headed back to Gettysburg in a couple of weeks. But then, so will about 35,000 other people. Logistically, I’m not sure how feasible getting into the Visitor’s Center will be. Am I willing to try? Yes. Am I convinced that book will be there? No. No I’m not. I mean, yes, obviously I can purchase it off Amazon. But I’m cheap and I hate paying shipping. Especially when the silly book was in my pocket and I was getting ready to stroll on up to the cash register. Fail. Fail. Fail.
But the shirt is still awesome. In the bitter agony of defeat, I maintain the awesomeness of the shirt. And, in a couple of weeks, it will be awesome-er when I’m wearing it and reading After the Rain. No doubt.