The Library Card

[The first instalment in a series of somewhat-related-nonevents]

Though I do enjoy trying to navigate the chaos of the Superstore with three boy-children in tow, I’ve found a rather more desirable solution as of late: drop the professor and his spawn off at the library while I get groceries next door.

The youngest two boys sit in front of a computer while the Gort peruses books on rocks and spiders. [Side note: ‘Mom, Grandpa and Grandma might die now that they’re in Mexico,’ he informed me last night. ‘Oh’, I questioned-replied, waiting for context to show up. ‘Yes, there are venom[ous] scorpions there. Very venom.’] All while the professor gathers armfuls of Bjork CDs. [Side note: Have you listened to Bjork?  My cynical self tends to think the intelligent, artsy crowd like to let it be known that they listen to her; that her music really speaks to them. But frankly ever since she showed up at the Oscars in that swan outfit, I knew we could never be friends. Call me ‘impatient, easily distracted, or obtuse’, but Bjork [and the Tree of Life]: these are the things I just don’t get.

While the Johnson boys are increasing their intellect at the Signal Hill Library, I’m cruising the aisles of the Superstore, Groundhog-Day-style, for more. More cereal. More fruit. More Lindt Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt. Didn’t I just spend $150 like three days ago?

I shop in a fraction of the time [it’s crazy how fast I can go when I cut out the whining, slow-walking middlemen] while silently criticizing the cart-driving skills of my fellow shoppers. Seriously: keep to the right, pass on the left. It’s just like driving.

But there are no perfect solutions in life and this books-and-groceries-at-the-same-time is no exception. Because it involves loaning the professor my library card. In theory it should be a straightforward affair: hand him the card, he checks out some resources, he returns the card to me. Like one of those ultra-basic organizational flow charts from the 90’s.

Instead, three days later, when I’m waiting to check out books for the second time that week, I open my wallet and see nothing in the slot normally occupied by my little blue card. When I get home, I ask the professor: ‘Can I have my library card back?’ And he says something like ‘I gave it back to you.’ And I say ‘no you didn’t.’ And he says ‘yes I did’ and he flips through the stack of expired cards in his wallet. Nothing. I turn my wallet inside out, and my purse, and the cup holder in the car where we seem to keep all manner of important items. Nothing.

I ask at the library. ‘I think my husband ‘accidentally’ left my card here last weekend.’ They flip through their stack of left-behind cards. Nothing. Another week goes by and I resign myself to forking over another $5 for a replacement card.

‘Are you sure you want to do this,’ the librarian asks before processing the replacement. ‘It might still turn up…..’

2 thoughts on “The Library Card

  1. What is it about husbands and cards? My mom buys all her groceries at a store that offers discounts on gasoline. She also buys all her gas at a different chain where she gets monthly rewards, so she gave me her duplicate card and I reap her gas rewards.

    This worked swimmingly for months. Then Jim borrowed the my almost-on-empty car, so I handed him the discount card for when he filled the tank.

    A couple weeks later mom calls to let me know I can get 30 cents off each gallon(!), so I ask for the card back.

    “I already gave it back to you.” Uh, no, but a bag and wallet check later: “I left it in the car.” Nope.

    “I don’t see why it matters because I used the entire discount last time.”


  2. Adrienne, that made me laugh. I love the ‘I gave it back to you’ excuse. They’re counting on us questioning our sleep deprived brains’ difficulty in remembering details.


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