Like things aren't bad enough.† I just broke up with Barnes & Noble.
I'll give that a moment to sink in.
I was loyal and faithful and gave everything I could give, and B&N abused me and made me feel small and stupid. I deserve better. And it certainly doesn't deserve me.
But I'm still very, very sad. I loved it so much and for so, so long. In the beginning, we seemed to have so much in common. First, the charming mailings, vast lists of sweet discounts printed on newsprint‡ that kept me up all night, fantasising about the possibilities. I was caught up in the romance of the distant and untouchable.
Then B&N moved to Denver. I knew things might change, but I was so excited.
Here, close to my home and heart, it made me laugh§ and cry.¶ I got wonderful emails almost every day. B&N taught me about worlds I never knew existed and offered me discounts unequaled anywhere else in the metro area.
It even made me feel special by offering me a membership. My very own card to keep in my wallet to remind me of it every day.#
Sure, there were a few people who told me it was a poor match. "Giant corporation," they said. "Pushing out independent booksellers," they said. But bigger isn't always badder, you know?
Time passed and I guess we started to take each other for granted. I assumed B&N would always be there for me, books in hand, DVDs on sale... and B&N began to think I would never leave, that even when it pushed me around and ignored me, I wouldn't go because we'd been together too long, I'd invested too much.
And I missed the first signs. Here we both were, downtown together. I'd just drop in on my lunch hour now and then. B&N always seemed to welcome me with open arms, but I guess there was a lot brewing under the surface.
I know, I know. I was stupid to believe the fairy tale. No white knight is going to bring me books when I want them. No prince is going to forgive me my bad days†† and appreciate me for who I am.‡‡ No hero is going to rescue me without great cost.
There are other fish in the sea. I just have to get back out there and find mine.
Meanwhile, I'm seriously considering calling the ex-.
What do you think Amazon is doing tonight?
†FOOTNOTE (crossed): Don't get me started. You wouldn't like me when I'm started.
‡FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Remember when? Good times, good times.
§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Dave Barry, Erma Bombeck, Bil Kliban...
¶FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Dog books.
#FOOTNOTE (pounded): I should have known something was wrong when it turned out I didn't even need the card -- just tap my phone number into the computer.
††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I know I'm old and feeble. Nobody has to TREAT me like I'm old and feeble.
‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): A chick with a credit card and a book problem.