To the Family Hogging the Aisle in the Biography Section of the ILM Barnes & Noble Last Night

pet peeves



Was there no other place your entire family of seven could congregate?

There I was in “New Biography,” quietly surveying the selection of recently released tomes, when you all decided to have a family gathering/literature discussion in “Biography,” right behind me.

As much as the former English major in me enjoyed your amusing and thoughtful discussion on the merits of the biography of so-and-so, the sane person who appreciates her personal space felt a tad crowded by your teenage progeny hovering 6 inches from my right ear weighing the ins and outs of your family’s gift list.

Now, I realize that makes me sound like a snob, and I don’t doubt each one of you possesses intelligence vastly superior to mine.


There were other people in the store also interested in access to the Biography aisle – I know this because when I looked up from the book I had my nose buried in, I saw them peer hopefully into the aisle trying to gauge the best route in, then abandon the idea because it would’ve been next to impossible to navigate your family’s  literature pow-wow.

You know, your decision to camp there for half an hour probably turned away some sales.  As hard as book stores have it in this day and age of the Nook, the Kindle, and any other reading device that may someday be invented, this is a real shame.

This habit of people treating public spaces as their home turf, while remaining oblivious to pretty much anyone else near, around, or next to them has always been one of my biggest pet peeves.   I’m willing to consider that I may need therapy and/or meds to combat this problem, as there’s no getting around the fact that it happens whenever you enter a public space of any kind, and getting bent out of shape about it regularly is really not very good for my mental health.  At the very least, I may need to sedate myself before venturing into Barnes & Noble anytime soon, or at least until the holiday shopping season is officially over.

Funny, not 20 minutes after the Barnes & Noble “incident,” I went to Target, where there was a guy in the cereal aisle with his enormous shopping cart clogging up half the aisle, while his wide stance in front of the fortified bran section took up the other half.  Even when I edged close to him to reach for a box of Special K just ever so slightly beyond where he was standing, he did not move.


What’s a girl to do?

I hear there are places on the interwebz you can order books and supplies online.  It’s called Amazon, maybe you’ve heard of it.  Maybe I’ll check that out next time I want to do some hassle free book shopping.  Especially since I can shop in my pajamas, all while enjoying an adult beverage.  Hmm, very civilized.


  1. Yes – this!

    A few days ago I was trying to purchase some cheese at the grocery store – and it was like a high council had been called at that exact location for two couples cooking dinner together. No, I absolutely respect the need to discuss and examine different cheeses – this is a serious business (much like biography choosing) but this was insane. Guys – stand at the end of the aisle! At least be aware of other people.


    • I know, right?!

      Sheesh, indeed. You said it — just be aware of other people. Doesn’t seem like too much to
      ask. : )

  2. Reminds me of when my boyfriend and I were trying to walk through Target Friday night. We were coming up to where the aisles cross in the middle of the store and a family stopped right in the middle blocking both aisles trying to decide what they wanted to do. My boyfriend stopped and looked right at them, and they really didn’t care that we couldn’t get around them to go left, right, or forward. I was amazed by the rudeness.

    • I know, that kind of behavior stuns me too, Meghan! I hope I’m not that oblivious when I’m shopping or otherwise in public. Target seems to be a magnet for this kind of thing for some reason. : )

  3. This kind of thing is very common in the small town where I live. Walmart is the cool place to hang out on Friday night, and in a town of 6,000 people, you can’t hope to go there without running into everyone you know. People stand around in groups of 4 or 5 (all with shopping carts) and chit chat in the middle of the aisles, then look up in shock when someone is waiting to walk past them. It never seems to occur to them that they should (a) move or (b) wrap up the conversation. Drives me insane!

    • Oh my gosh Andrea, that’s hilarious. In a really, really annoying way. ; )

      Speaking of Walmart, there’s one about 2 minutes from my house, but I only ever go there if I’m, A., very, very desperate, or B., it’s late at night. (Or C., both.) Such as when I recently needed Drano at 10:00 p.m. one Saturday night. Didn’t love that experience. : )

      I think I’ve come up with an idea to disperse a crowd quickly though — I’ll talk on my cell phone as if reporting to a friend on a recent doctor’s visit, saying, “the doctor’s pretty sure this flesh-eating bacteria is not contagious.” Ha ha.

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