I was sitting in our home office the other day, trying to figure out what I might write about, when I saw it: a paperback copy of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon. Someone – I remember who – lent it to me three or four or five years ago. She figured since I used to work at a comic book store, and used to read comic books, I would enjoy it. She gave me the book to read, and I got to about page 59, but never got any further, and never got back to it.
Now I have this book that I haven’t read and have had in my possession way too long. I feel that I OUGHT to read it before I return it.
There is this coffee table version of a book called Baseball by Ken Burns that came with 10 VCR tapes. A guy I knew at the YMCA, Lou, offered to lend them all to me, and I had them for a couple of years. The big problems here were these: 1) My VCR player ceased working, and in fact started eating tapes, so I didn’t want to ruin HIS tapes. I got a NEW VCR/DVD combo player, but for some reason, I couldn’t get the VCR part to work correctly. 2) My local Y closed, and I didn’t know how to get hold of Lou. Fortunately, he joined another Y, in north Albany, I tracked him down and returned the videos, unwatched. But he told me I could KEEP the book, so I did. Haven’t read it, but have picked out sections to peruse, now and then.
My friend Norman lent me tools to knock down the old shed. Hey, buddy, you can get them anytime you want! I’m done with them.
I ALWAYS remember that I have other people’s stuff. Other people aren’t nearly as locked in about these things as I am.
My position about lending things, whether it be money or objects, is this: I don’t expect to EVER get it back. I’m quite OK with this. I’d much rather lend cash than something with emotional value. That way, I’m not so bummed out if it’s lost to me forever.