Thursday, November 19, 2009


Hi, my name is Jen and I am a semi-thief.

I can almost NEVER return something I've rented on time.

This might sound like a minor problem to you, and of course in the grand scheme of things, it is. But guys, I'm seriously bad. I can name two libraries and three video stores that I can no longer borrow books or rent videos from and I'm thisclose to adding another library to the list.

I've mentioned before that I am the queen of procrastination, so that has something to do with it. "Oh I'll return it tomorrow." There are only so many tomorrows before you get a letter or email stating the ungodly amount of money you owe and a suggestion that you "Fine just keep the damn thing, but send us our money!" I mean, I use the library because I am broke and I can read their books for free, so how is it that on more than one occassion I have ended up owing them more money than the book is worth? How does that happen?

This all started when I was a teenager. I would borrow books from the library and then forget to bring them back for over a month. This resulted in me being unable to borrow from our hometown library anymore, and because I used my mom's card...she couldn't go either. Sorry Mom!

I managed to rack up a couple of late fees at the local video store as well, but I usually kept it under control. Until my freshman year of college. I was home on break and rented Basic with John Travolta. I left it in my closet at my mother's house and returned to school later that week. I couldn't remember where I'd left it and my mother kept calling to complain that the video store was calling her house wanting the video. It ended up being returned about 9 months later. What with the large sum of money I owed, I also can't go back there anymore. And for Basic? That movie wasn't worth a toenail. Sigh. Also, because I used my mom's card...she can't go there anymore either. Sorry again Mom! My younger brother went there with his girlfriend about a year after the video got returned and tried to get a movie. He had a card from my mom's account as well...and they practically tossed him out of the store. When he called my mother to see what the hell that was all about, she explained that his sister is hell bent on getting the whole family banned from every rental place in the area. I didn't know my plan was so obvious.

As the years went on I opened up my own accounts at video stores and libraries and similar things happened. If it wasn't them banning me it was me being too embarrassed to face the people behind the desk. I know what they were thinking. "You owe us money, lady. You owe us retribution! How hard is it to return something ON TIME?? Loser." I mean, it does get old to be reminded that you owe money every time you reach the circulation desk and have to mumble an apology as you thrust some singles at the librarian and push your way through the crowd head down, red-faced, as they glare at you, shaking their heads in disgust.

I thought I could start fresh after our move to Rhode Island...but I don't know who I was kidding. I had been doing so well at our local library...but I just got an email reminding me that the three books I took out are two weeks overdue. I could go home after work and take them to the library but I have a bunch of other errands to run, and I see the same thing happening tomorrow. Hopefully I'm still allowed in there by the time I finally drag my ass back over. It's doubtful though.

Do they have a help line for this?


Unknown said...


Semi-thief!!! LOL. I don't know what to tell you... I'm usually pretty good about this stuff. When I hear people say that they always return stuff late I tend to think "... so YOU'RE the one who has had the 6 Feet Under Season 2 box set for the last five months???!!!"

hehe glad we don't live in the same town I guess. LOL! (kidding - we could go for beers if you lived here! but I wouldn't let you borrow any of my stuff. heh)

Hope you're having an awesome Thursday!

KT said...

Hmmmmm, myb "semi-thief anonymous"? STA?? jaja, "Hi, my name is (insert name here) and I'm a semi-thief. Mostly due to procrastination. jajaja. IDT so.
I'm not sure if i;m good with returning stuff. My hubby has always returned everything for me. I GOT IT! get a hubby (if you don't have one) and make him do it for you. And if you do have one tell him to do it for you. There you go, problem solved. I know I'm a genius.

Lauren said...

Why do you think I fell in love with blockbuster online? I think I have a movie on my desk from 5 months ago that I STILL need to watch. They make it too easy :)

Chelsea said...

Can't you renew your library books online?? I don't ever go to the library but I've heard that you can do that.

Unknown said...

I was once two years late with a book... at the Library I worked at.
Can you even imagine the ribbing I got in the breakroom?

Áine said...

I'm the same *but not as bad* I nearly lways return things but they're an annoying amount of time over one or two days,it's so annoying especially if I still have to pay the fine

CLR said...

Oh Jen, I wish they did! I too was banned from a video store because of movie never returned. It was a Stephen King horror flick. Luckily I got married and changed my last name. Then some time later the store went out of business.. I felt kind of bad about it.


Natalie said...

Is it still considered a semi-thief if in the end you pay up more than the movie/book is actually worth? I think they are making money from you. They are the semi-thief.

And, I, an enabler. Sorry!

I am also a fan of Blockbuster Online... no late fees! Not sure about advice on the library. I am really bad with that.

Dreamfarm Girl said...

I'm afraid there really may not be cure. I'll just leave it at that.

kathryn said...

Well. I don't know what to say, Jen. I am VERY disappointed in you. (Said in my best no-nonsense Mommy voice)

They say admitting you have a problem is the first step towards recovery. Do you think they have a 12-step program for this sort of thing?

I suggest you have 12 of your friends borrow something from you, with promises to return them in one week. Then they won't, you'll be pissed and then you'll be CURED!

That'll be $350, please. Oh, and I don't take checks.

Jen T said...

Picture - I'm actually a lot better when I borrow stuff from people I know. But when it comes to libraries and the like...I suck.

book*addict - I have a boyfriend, and he's better at this stuff than I am...but it doesn't seem to help.

Laurnie - I actually have Netflix now so that helps with the video store problem. But the library still hates me.

Chelsea - I can actually renew them on the phone. But you have to do it the day before they're due. By the time I usually realize I have to renew's too late.

Zoe - Haha, that's awesome. Yeah, at least I don't work there. But the place is only a few miles from home...and it could be on the way home from work if I went a different route than normal. Yeah.

Smileyfreak - Oh I hate that! Especially for me returning something only a day or two late I want to say "But guys...I did SO good you have no idea! I should be rewarded for this!"

CLR - Haha! That one made me laugh out loud. I know, I too harbor feelings of guilt for this.

serendipitous - While I always pay the library fees...I don't pay the video store ones...yeah I'm bad. This is why I can't go back!

Dreamfarm Girl - I'm afraid you're right. Oh well...

Kathryn - Thanks...and can I just pay you with a bottle of Cloudy?

Anonymous said...

It's because you're a Sag (who has a birthday coming up!!) :)

Courtney said...

LOL. I am a frequent offender of this crime. Who actually remembers to take things back unless the clock is ticking away with money on each day?

Debbie said...

I am terrible with returning things. Especially things I borrow from people. They should get smart and start charging me, they'd make a fortune!

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