So hey... remember when I trashed the Brooklyn Public Library in a public forum? Well, the Director of the Central Library of the Brooklyn Public Library does. Yeah. Turns out when you publish on the Internet, PEOPLE CAN READ IT. Whodathunkit?

Allow me small moment of justification because I feel like I need to stop a moment here and explain myself. I'm a big fan of Sesame Street, mainly because it debuted when I was just under two years old (I'm hoping that no one actually does that math on that one and I can still get away with convincing you all that I'm twenty-nine), just about the exact time I started to be old enough to watch television. This was in the dark ages before there was cable and there was very little children's television programming so I pretty much grew up with Sesame Street. I remember when Snuffleupagus was a kind-of-scary reclusive monster that disappeared whenever an adult walked in so everyone (except for Big Bird and us wise children-viewers, of course) thought he was Big Bird's imaginary friend. I remember when Mr. Hooper was alive, before Gordon changed faces twice, when Frank Oz and Jim Henson still did 90% of the voices, and when Bob was just a young dude who couldn't get a date (OK, maybe I made that last part up).

I also remember when there was no Elmo, before darkness covered the lands of Middle Earth. I know Elmo is a bit hit with the kiddoes, but I can say without hesitation that he is my least favorite Muppet. I think he represents Sesame Street's misguided attempt to cater to the Barney crowd. His voice annoys me to no end and I've really hated how in recent years, a good twenty-five percent of the show is dedicated to "Elmo's World," which he always ends by singing the word of the day to the tune of Jingle Bells, "Nose, nose, nose, nose, nose, nose, nose, nose, nose, nose, nose."::shudder::

But as big a Sesame Street historian and fan as I am, it's nothing compared to Monica. I mean, I actually stopped watching it sometime into early adulthood; I'm reasonably sure she never did. So I wanted to go to New York to see the Sesame Street 40th Anniversary exhibit, but nowhere near as much as she did. And she tried to make me go with her three or four times, but I kept putting her off for one reason or another until we both realized that if we didn't go up Presidents' Day weekend, we'd miss it entirely -- and it'd be my fault. If you've been following along, you'll know by the time that we got there, we learned that the whole library was closed Presidents' Day weekend.

We did check the website, but here's the thing: we never knew to look at the MAIN PAGE of the Brooklyn Public Library, which clearly stated that the library would be closed Presidents' Day weekend. We only looked at the Sesame Street exhibit page and since it had the hours of the exhibit clearly posted (weekends included), we assumed that was good enough. As it turns out, the exhibit pages may have the exhibit hours posted, but they don't necessarily reflect the hours of the library and the special closings of the library itself. So it wasn't our fault we missed the fact that the whole library would be closed. But it wasn't really the Brooklyn Public Library's fault either.

So after we realized we weren't gettin' in through the front door... and when all attempts to sneak in the side door past the security guard failed... (wait, wasn't there something I was supposed to have learned that about publishing stuff in the Interweb and other people reading it? hmmm... escapes me now), we sat around looking despondent and staring up at those big, beautiful doors.

At one point, a hipster mom with a kid in an expensive stroller came up and tried to open the doors. "They're closed," we offered.

"But they're supposed to be open on Sunday," said Hipster Mom who looked more put together than I've ever been in my whole life.

"I know, but it's Presidents' Day."

"Oh, well that's a shame."

"No kidding," we commiserated, "We came up here all the way from Washington, D.C."

She looked perplexed, "You came from D.C... to... go to the library?!?!?"

Clearly, she had no idea of the significance of this moment.

We got over it quickly and had a great weekend anyway, because, as it turns out, Monica and I can't have a bad time in New York City. Then I came home and wrote a big, sarcastic thank you to the Brooklyn Public Library, got it all out of my system, and forgot about it completely. The next day I logged into my email and saw a most unusual comment on that post: from Richard Reyes-Gavilan, THE DIRECTOR OF THE BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY!

Ummm.... Whoops?

Also: Crap!

It was a nice comment, apologizing for our troubles and pointing out what we'd finally figured out: that the closing was noted on the main page of the website but he was sorry nonetheless and was offering to send some Sesame Street stickers and other items for our troubles. I would have written it off as fake except for the fact that he included a phone number and dammit if that phone number wasn't actually real! (I've since deleted the phone number from the comment so the entire Interweb wouldn't have it and make all sorts of crank phone calls - I like to have that privilege all to myself.)

I called a couple of times with intents to apologize, but I could never find a time that Mr. Reyes-Gavilan and I were near a phone at the same time. In the end, I finally just left a message with my information, stammered and stumbled all over myself trying to explain that I wasn't really angry but that the post was really written tongue-in-cheek and I was sorry if it came off any other way and how I love libraries and books are great and if I actually lived in Brooklyn, I'd totally go there all the time and support the library and why don't I just stop talking right about now because I probably sound kind of like an idiot and hey my kids actually would love it if they had something to send but he shouldn't feel like he has to do that because it was probably our fault but it really did say the hours on the exhibit page but not the closings and we didn't know we should have looked at the main page and OH FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY IN THIS WORLD, MAKE ME STOP TALKING.*


After that humiliation, I figured I should just cut my losses and assume he'd written me off as a crazy person with a mental illness who was just having a conversation with the voices in my head and it happened to occur over his voice mail.

I forgot about it until last week when I came home from work to a package on my doorstep from The Brooklyn Public Library.

::cue sound of needle scratching on vinyl record:: **

Inside the box was, as promised, Sesame Street swag: stickers, bookmarks, empty library card holders (still trying to figure that one out, but the girls love them so whatevs) and an Elmo doll and DVD. There was a handwritten note apologizing (!!) for the lateness of the gift but explaining that his assistant had broken his leg (this just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it?) and a lovely letter from Mr. Reyes-Gavilan, saying that he'd guessed that my post was meant to be humorous but he still felt it would be nice to send what was enclosed in the box and he hoped that my kids enjoyed them. He wanted me to know he'd talked to the IT department to look into the possibility that closures might appear on every page of the website so that this wouldn't happen to anyone else and he ended by thanking me... THANKING ME... for blogging about them.

OK - now I feel really bad.***

In a day and age when the concept of customer service doesn't even mean looking up from your personal phone call while you ring up someone's purchases at a cash register, I was completely floored by this whole experience. Even after he knew that I wasn't upset, and was probably wrong to boot, he still took the time to comment, listen to my voice mail message (again, Mr. Reyes-Gavilan, sorry you had to hear that), and send me something. I think he probably had better things to do with his time and I'm certain his assistant did.

So, to the Brooklyn Public Library: You guys are awesome. You are so much better than any library in D.C.**** To Mr. Reyes-Gavilan's assistant: I'm really sorry about your leg. I hope you're feeling better now and if not, I hope you at least got some good drugs. To Mr. Reyes-Gavilan: Thanks. It was awfully nice of you. My two-year-old sleeps with the Elmo doll each night and requests the video constantly... and I'm gonna go ahead and forgive you for that.

*I don't actually remember anything I said; I just know it was long and rambling. Sorry Mr. Reyes-Gavilan, but the fact that I actually picked up the phone and tried to speak to another human being is really a feat in and of itself.

**Does anyone reading even know what that sounds like anymore?

***I don't really have a footnote for this; it just seems like these things should come in threes.

****Does this mean I'm gonna hear from the Library of Congress next?*****

*****I should probably change that ***footnote now, shouldn't I?