Neither a Borrower or a Lender Be!

Posted: July 11, 2013 in Community, Family, Humour
Tags: , , , , , , ,

librarian with book cart

Since 2004, my wife and I have been living life on the edge. Daily, I keep expecting to open the door of the house on my way to work, only to find the S.W.A.T. team awaiting to ‘take us down’. I never thought life could be both exciting and fearful. You see, I am living with a wanted fugitive.

     I know, I know; you’re shocked. Believe me, I wish it wasn’t true, but alas, it is. At the same time, I have made the choice to stand by my woman. So I guess that in the eyes of the authorities, I’m as guilty as she is.

     Allow me to pave the way for you on the road towards understanding just what this is all about, perhaps to curry favour with you, in hopes that you will sympathise with our cause. We could use the support.

      It actually starts way before 2004. It goes way back to the 70’s, when Anne was but a wee slip of a girl. You see, Anne has always been an avid reader. And, luckily, she lived close to the public library, where a virtual plethora of books can be had to those who sign up for a library card. You sign, you borrow, you read, you return. It’s all quite simple. It’s a system that not only allows us to read more, but also encourages those without the means to purchase books to still enjoy them.

     I myself love to read. I have made use of public libraries all over the country, as we moved a lot. Libraries can be lovely buildings, some not so lovely, but their premise is universal. Sign. Borrow. Read. Return.

      It’s the ‘return’ component of this premise, this simple yet elegant concept, which is what has led us to live this dangerous double life. Anne is not a returner. Oh, if badgered enough, she will reluctantly return what it is you have lent her.  But, unless you go to extraordinary lengths to reclaim your items, Anne will stow away her ill-gotten booty with the fastidiousness of a squirrel collecting food for winter. I think she has separation anxiety.

     I remember not returning a bike I had borrowed from my friend Robert after we returned from Germany. I had it for over two weeks, and he had to come to get it. I still feel guilty about that. But, as bad as that was, it has NOTHING on Anne.

     I suppose I should have known this was a problem much earlier. All the signs were there. Old library books popped up everywhere in our first years together as boyfriend/girlfriend. She would get all sweaty when we drove past the library. Every time we’d see a movie where a library was in it, she’d excuse herself to ‘freshen up’. I’d assumed she had to pee, but apparently not.

     After we married, there was a period of time, initially, when it was no longer an issue. I suppose it’s much like a serial killer that doesn’t kill for a number of years, she went underground and bought books instead. But, eventually, the lure of free reading materials became all too difficult to ignore. The call of the library was just too strong.

      In 2004, after a few years of borrowing books and sporadically returning them, we received, by mail, ‘the notice’ from the library. They weren’t just a little upset. Anne had amassed a fine of $33.48 at our library. I’m told it’s an all-time record. Shamefully, I rooted through our closets, finding books which had accumulated like flotsam and jetsam, and returned them back by wheelbarrow. There were enough books there to start our own library. Some of the books hadn’t been seen in years.   

      I’ve since had to get her a Kindle account. It’s just cheaper. What gets me is that she’s a speed reader, burning through a book a day….so to speak. You can visit our home, and if you do, rest assured that the hundreds of books we’ve amassed in our marriage are all bought and paid for. No more borrowing for us!

  1. to this day … I still purchase them …..

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