You know how you can be at the library and a particular book will call out your name? You might spend hours wandering up and down the aisles of books, but you keep going back to THAT ONE BOOK, the one you really have second thoughts about checking out, but invariably, you will pull it out and stick in the pile in your arms. That was the case with this book: 'Becoming a Woman: A Biography of Christine Jorgensen (Sexual Minorities in Historical Context).'
For those of you who might not be familiar with Cristine Jorgensen, here is an editorial blurb from Amazon.com:
The most famous transsexual before the term came into use, Christine Jorgensen caused a sensation in the 1950s when newspapers headlined her as the "Sex-Change Freak." She would now be treated very differently, and the hook in Docter's thought-provoking, smoothly written biography is its portrayal of troubled young George, who struggled to accept what he first thought was his homosexuality and, later, gender identity issues (another term then unknown). So intent was he on denying attraction to men and suppressing "perplexing thoughts" that he presented himself "as a far more typical young man than he ever acknowledged to himself." After 30 months of surgery and hormone treatments in Denmark, "Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Beauty," the New York Daily News screamed on December 1, 1952. Pioneers, for that is what 26-year-old Jorgensen was, by definition descry no easy paths and must forge them. Nowadays, former NBA superstar Dennis Rodman can ride his motorcycle to a book signing while wearing a stunning wedding gown. A thoroughly understandable, believable retelling of a once-extraordinary story. Scott, Whitney
I was young and I decided the hell with it; I was curiouser and curiouser about his transgender business and I decided to find out what this lady..or whatever...was thinking. So, I took it with me to the librarian, turned it face down on the counter and checked it out.
This was years ago and I honestly have to tell you that I remember next to nothing about the author or her story. I do remember not wanting anyone to know I was reading it, however. But read it I did.
A day or so after I finished it, I came home and was horrified to discover that my new puppy had chewed off the entire cover. This was just my luck; I always checked out a fairly large stack of books. Why did this little beagle puppy have to pick that particular one to tear apart? I knew I would have to replace it.
I finally got up my courage and phoned the library.
"My puppy chewed up one of my library books." I said.
"Okay what is your name and the title of the book."
No way was I telling her the title.
"Oh, I think I have the wrong number.." I hung up the phone.
There was only one thing to do. I would buy the book and just turn it in with the others in the book return slot at the library. Whew. Problem solved.
Yeah sure it was. I had to go to the bookstore and buy the book. Unfortunately, they did not have it, so I had to order it. and I did, with much embarrassment.
This would not have been a problem for me today; I would have simply told the librarian, laughed with her about it, and written her a check. And then have waited a long time before going back.
Life is sometimes so much easier for a grown up.