Thursday, November 09, 2006

whatever you do, don't lend it to me

I've come to the terrible conclusion that I have evolved into something that I never wanted to be: a bad borrower. Too often of late I've found myself making the mental note, "Oh yeah, I need to give _______ back to ______ . I've had it for too long." I've decided that I need to quantify this trend, to unveil the extent of my "bad borrowing" in empirical terms rather than perpetuating my denial via abstract admissions (e.g., "I have a lot of stuff that I need to return to some people").

After a brief attempt at closing my eyes and making a mental list, I began walking through the house with a pad and pencil like a health inspector in a restaurant kitchen. I became increasingly embarassed as I spotted borrowed items in almost every room.

So, as a public confession, I'm publishing a list of items that are currently on loan to me. I fear that this is by no means an exhaustive list. In fact, it really only covers books and movies at the moment and completely ignores the fact that my next door neighbor's lawn mower is still sitting in my shed. It also does not take into account the old Gibson bass guitar that I borrowed from Patrick Sweeney in 1994 or the Birmingham Baron's baseball bat that I borrowed from Mark Erdberg for our Mountain Brook High School production of "Damn Yankees" my senior year.

Anyway, you're likely to spot something of yours on here. Or maybe you're expecting to see a book you lent me two years ago and it's not on the list. If that's the case, please leave a comment or send me an email and let me know. My goal is to start returning these items in the near future (ah! another vague abstraction! I probably promised to return these "in the near future" the first time around, too, didn't I?). Here's what I've got...and yes, I remember who owns each item - I'm just not posting it:

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
Annie Hall
Lost, Season 1
Freaks and Geeks, The Complete Series

The Omnivore's Dilemma
The Spiral Staircase
God's Funeral
The Irrational Season
Assassination Vacation
The Partly Cloudy Patriot
Take the Cannoli
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Barrel Fever
The Shadow of the Wind
Early Christianity
Showing Mary
The Secret Life of Bees
The Solace of Leaving Early
The Known World
Clapton's Guitar: Watching Wayne Henderson Build the Perfect Instrument

(note: I did return a copy of Tom Robbins' "Skinny Legs and All" to its rightful owner a couple of weeks ago, but the return was offset by the fact that it had been almost a decade since I borrowed it.)


lauren said...

i love that you're posting more often, and with pics to boot! lovies...

Anonymous said...

But if you have friends as forgetful as we are, you can keep the books as long as you'd like, then give them back to us as gifts. Really! We'll be totally blown away at your generosity! "Wow, Chris. Thanks so much for all of these great books that I can't even remember if I've read or not! They look vaguely familiar, and look! You've even written my name in them for me. Thanks, pal."

Sarah K. said...

(Laughing) Yeah. . .I remember this about you. Do you want me to summarize or triage any of the books on the list? You've gotta read The Irrational Season and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, at least.

BTW--your photography is really lovely. I'm impressed.


Mark Erdberg said...

I have no way to post a comment without admitting my own egocentricity. (Yes, I did find this page by googling myself.) I had long forgotten about the bat. While I'm certainly willing to help your version of a "My Name is Earl" list, consider this theory. If the loaned item were that important, you probably would have heard from the lender. Thus, perhaps each borrower should get a new item from your stash, sort of like a Secret Santa 15 or so years in the making. As many good times as I had with the Baron's bat (it made a great wiffle ball bat), I have always wanted to see Annie Hall.