Books Make Me Happy, Parenting

Skeletons in the Card Catalog

I received a notice (A NOTICE!) from the local public library saying that LilZoot had TWO overdue books out and they needed to be returned ASAP. I called him immediately and was incredibly irritated because he said he returned ONE and just didn’t bother to alert me to the fact that the other one was missing. He tried the “maybe I only checked out ONE” technique to which I shot down IMMEDIATELY because I remember him bringing home BOTH books. He said he has searched High and Low and could NOT find the elusive book ANYWHERE. He SWEARS!

To which I said, “Fine. But YOU are paying the penalty with your OWN money and if I find that book in your bedroom somewhere, where you’ve SUPPOSEDLY looked EVERYWHERE, you’ll be grounded FOREVER.”

I was a TAD flustered and frustrated and did a lot of mumbling to myself. A LOT of mumbling. And shaking of the head. And heavy sighs. I’m BIG on the heavy sighs. They’re my fave.

But do you want to know a secret? I have an outstanding library book still out from when I was eighteen. Yep. EIGHTEEN. I checked it out my first year in college (I was doing a paper on E.B. White) when my boyfriend drove me to the library (I had no car) to get it. But I ended up dumping that boyfriend and no longer had a ride to RETURN the book. So, instead of asking someone ELSE to drive me (that would be WAY too logical for an 18-yr-old) I INTENTIONALLY lost the book to DESTROY THE EVIDENCE because the library kept sending me horrible letters asking for their damn book back.

Soon after, I moved from that town to attend college 80 miles away. I considered myself in the clear and hoped my crime would never be discovered. It’s now TWELVE years later and I’m back living in the SAME town. And I’m scared to DEATH to step foot anywhere near that library. Even though my name has changed TWICE since then, I’m just SURE they’ll track me down and charge me like ninety MILLION dollars in overdue charges.

Note from 2020: I am a proud patron of the library and actually currently have 7 books checked out. They never found me! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

But that won’t keep me from grounding LilZoot if I find that book in his room. You watch me. Hypocrisy is my M.O. in terms of parenting. Well, Hypocrisy and Bribery. I like to mix things up every now and then.

18 thoughts on “Skeletons in the Card Catalog”

  1. You know, I owe some guy from middle school ten bucks. I will never forget it. I saw an article somewhere yesterday, I iwll look for it, where a lady in her 60s wrote her alma mater that she cheated on the last english test before high school graduation and that she has felt guilty her entire life. Sigh. I guess I will always remember the ten bucks, but not the name of the guy that lent it to me.

  2. It always comes back to haunt you. They probably have the FBI on it and they are trailing you to see if that book shows up… drive a different way to work on Monday.

  3. I still have a library book I checked out when I was 9. Haven’t returned it, and I never will…but I also don’t feel right getting rid of it, since technically it doesn’t belong to me.

    So, there it sits on my shelf. And in a few months, it’ll get boxed up and moved to a new place, yet again.

  4. I still have a book from my high school library… It’s a rebound paperback of Brave New World. They never even asked me for it when I was filling out my graduation paperwork.

    Hey, as a mom, I’m all about the Bribery and Hypocrisy.

  5. Wasn’t there a Seinfeld episode–or some TV sitcom episode–about an unreturned library book from way back when? This sounds similar. 🙂

  6. Heh…I hate it when things like that happen. Did you ever think about buying another one and making an anonymous donation?

  7. Have you tried renewing the book (LilZoot’s) to buy you more time? Favorite that my wife uses.

    And you’d better pay that old library fine because the Office Of Homeland Security now monitors book use at the library. You are so dead meat.

  8. Hypocrisy and bribery in parenting? Well, duh! You say that like it’s a bad thing. Oh, okay, it’s a bad thing, but sometimes it works. And if hypocrisy means we don’t want them to do the same bad things we did at their age, then so be it. Someone should coin a new word that really means ‘hypocrisy’ but has a self-sacrificing, almost holy, connotation having to do with parenting.

  9. The library at home has a period of amnesty where they forgive all fines once a year. I would pretty much check out books, have them overdue, turn them in, and wait until they forgave my fines.

    but, you are still way better than me and my friend from HS. She has a copy of every book we read in english (they belong to the school). I still have a book I accidentally took from my teacher in fourth grade, among other things like a textbook…

    They’re gonna come pick me up now, aren’t they?

  10. Let’s see, I’ll start with the Berenstien Bears RECORD and book set from when I was seven. Move on to the fifth grade history book, followed closely by a weird text from high school history and close out with the four books sitting in my closet that were due to the library sometime last year.

    I would like to point out that I still have all these items, execpt for the Berenstein Bear thing, which has gone the way of the wind.

  11. As my father always said to my sister and I growing up, “Do as I say, not as I do.” 🙂

    I bet they have a Wanted poster of you in that library and they’re just waiting for the day you make a mistake and set foot inside… LOL

  12. I remember I checked out a book on David and Goliath from my Hewbrew School library that somehow ended up on a shelf high above my mom’s stereo. It was there for years. I knew it was there but maybe the hebrew school library wasn’t sophisticated enough to track me down. My mom has since moved but I’ll bet that book is down amongst all the other books on a shlef in the basement.

    I don’t know why I never returned it. It wasn’t that compelling but who knows why nine year olds do anything 😉

  13. You’d better watch out for those library police. Remember what happened on that episode of “Seinfeld”?

    Some day an older man in a cheap looking trench coat will show up at your office damanding that book back. ;^)

  14. Okay – silly psycho babble mom speak here. How about you buy the library a copy of the book you “lost”, tell lilZ the story – and then have him come with you when you give the library the book…call it a “teaching moment” or some crap…okay thats enough of that psycho crap. (clearly my body was taken over by ailiens)

    Stick it too him, make him clean toilets to earn the money and NEVER tell him your story 😉

  15. Oh you poor girl, you had to carry that dreaful secret around with you all these years. Aren’t you glad it’s out in the open?

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