Friday, July 23, 2010

Late Books and Library Fees

I guess I've always had a mischievous side. I've never been rebellious or what some would call "bad"--I have too much natural remorse for that (and I like to think I have too much moral direction, too). But mischievous is a good label.

My mom and I have always had too much in common in that way. Now she's mischievous! Just take one car ride with her and listen to her ideas and schemes and you'll know what I'm talking about. Listening to stories of her when she was my age: HA...we would have been best friends! As a elementary school teacher, my mom would often come home and complain about the stupid things her students would do, but I could do the exact same thing and she'd think it was funny. It was because she trusted me, and she knew I had a lot of energy and ideas (not to be used for evil). ...Like the time my friend and I went to Vegas instead of a sleepover because we wanted some cheap crab legs. My mom laughed after she heard about it (I told her about it myself) because she knew I wasn't trying to prove or get-away with anything! "Just never tell me before you do these things." ...Or like the time I tried to sell the house while she was working late at parent-teacher conferences. (I figured it would be good money. And I can split responsibility with Zack Morris. It was half his idea!!!).  "It was a good idea, I'll give you that!" she said. "What were you gonna do with the money?" She still trusted me.

It's good to have familial trust. ...But I will never, ever have the library's trust. The library and I have what marriage therapists would call a dysfunctional relationship, filled with neglect, hostility, and stonewalling--a veritable disaster to any type of relationship.

It's even more like a marriage in that I know what I'm getting myself into. When I swipe that card, I'm making a vow: "I, Dallen Johnson, take you, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, for my lawful library checkout, to have and to hold, for the next three weeks, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until three weeks do us part."

I fail in my vows every time. I never hold the book. I never experience the better/worse crap (what the characters go through, I suppose), and three weeks inevitably turns into three months. The library is so giving and I am so taking. This is clearly neglect.

(Charlie Brown fails at a lot of things too)

Because of my neglect, I ensure myself the late fine. It's not the library's fault. It's mine. I've realized that my library card has become more like a credit card. I scan it, take my "merchandise," and secure to myself at least a dollar or two of debt later (for each book).That's where the hostility comes in. I get sad and upset because of the imposed fine that I am now responsible for--that was really all my fault.

(This fee is now up to about $2.50 I think)

And now I'm stonewalling. I'm not going to read their stupid books anyways, so why go there? Why even think about it? ...I'll read books my mom suggests and gives me. I always keep my vows to those.

Well I don't know where to go from here. ...I just decided to write about it because I took back late yet another book. Actually Sara took it back for me because I was too lazy. And no I'm not going to tell you what book it was either. I'm embarrassed.


  1. I know your pain. . . I always get library fees. I try really hard to stay on top of it. Somehow that never seems to work.

  2. look how brave you are, sharing with the world that you were trying to read Anne Of Green Gables, no need to be ashamed!

    i laughed the whole way to the library...what?

  3. You just need to stop it right there. You are making me feel like I need to jump off of that plane wing to the right of your blog. I just paid the library $37 in late library fees yesterday!! Ridiculous! It's because both of my sons want 1,000 books each and I let them check that many out. So, if you are even 5 seconds late, you have to hand over your firstborn as payment. I'm starting to hyperventilate over here at the thought of having to give up my next son when I return to the library. On another note, I laughed out loud at your comment on my blog about how you call girls you like on the hour every hour. I don't think that's creepy at all! Good-bye! [I am quickly running off and accidently hitting walls due to trying to leave too fast]


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