Thursday, August 23, 2012



I'm not talking about borrowing money....because we do have a mortgage and a relationship with American Express.

I'm talking about borrowing things that we do not own but have a need for. 

There have been numerous times when we have borrowed something successfully and returned items intact.  But there are three instances that stand out in my mind where I firmly believe God was telling me "DO NOT BORROW THINGS."  Well, God or one of his angels.  Like the angel in charge of thumping us on the head when we make the same mistake continually. Sadly, it took me a while to catch on.

First story:

When I was pregnant with Will, Chuck's brother was graduating from college.  I needed a maternity dress to wear to the ceremony and just happened to mention it in a "small talk" conversation with my neighbor, who was also pregnant at the time.  (This was 1990, a dress was required for a graduation ceremony...I guess)  I didn't ask her if I could borrow one, I just mentioned I was going to have to go shopping for one.

A day later, this neighbor showed up at my back door with one of her maternity dresses.  I thanked her kindly, told I would try it on later and hung it up on the rod in my laundry room.  Here's the thing...a) it wasn't really my style, b) I really wanted to buy a new dress and c) I didn't want to hurt her feelings so I told her I would try it on. 

The next day, I head in to the laundry room to grab the dress to try on.  I pull it off the rod and as it's now facing me I see a huge bleached spot.  HUGE.  BLEACHED.  SPOT.  This spot wasn't there when she handed me the dress.  And now it was.  I had no idea how it happened....just assumed I must have had some bleach on the washer or dryer and the dress touched it as I swung it up on the rod.  Only me. 

I have to tell her.  So I practice my speech....including how sorry I am and that I have no idea how it happened...I would even offer to pay her for the dress...that I she could at least buy another dress to replace this one.

I tell her all of this and she says, "okay, it was about $50." 

This was 1990.  Fifty dollars is like a hundred now.  For a used, not my style, maternity dress. High frustration level here because I did not even ask to borrow this dress.  She showed up at my back door with it.

I paid her the money and still had to go out and buy a dress.

Broker than I started.

Second story:

Our daughters were going on a ski trip with the church youth group.  We are not a skiing family so have no closet full of ski clothes.  My sister-in-law and her family are a skiing family so have a closet full of ski clothes.  I buy one jacket for one daughter and ask my sister-in-law if she has an old ski jacket that we could borrow....trying to save a little money here knowing we won't be using these ski clothes again.  She has one I can borrow. 

Fast forward to the trip.  My daughter has on the borrowed ski jacket and is skiing when she had a severe accident.  She is rushed to a local hospital where they immediately cut off the jacket.  CUT.  OFF.  THE.  JACKET. 

My daughter is okay but suffered a broken arm, is very banged up and suffered a mild head injury.   The jacket is the least of my worries at this time.  However, I do tell my sister-in-law about the jacket....and offer to pay for it.  She says, "okay, it was about $150."

I paid her the money.

Broker than I started. 

Of course, at this point all I cared about was that my daughter was okay.  Still.  Only me.  Only us.

Third story:

Will was getting his first apartment in college and we were rounding up furniture.  He is lent a white leather sectional from my daughter's boyfriend who found it by a dumpster and then used it himself for a year......with other college boys and Labrador retrievers abusing it even further.  This was "offered" to Will not asked for by Will.  But accepted, nevertheless. 

The sofa was huge and heavy and filthy.  We (mostly me) spent hours scrubbing it with Magic Erasers to get it clean.  Turns out only one part of the L shaped sectional will fit in Will's tiny apartment.  So the other half is up in my game room...otherwise known as The Furniture Cemetery.

A year goes by...the boyfriend is now an ex...and he needs his sofa back. 

Oh.  My.  Goodness. 

Will tells me he (the ex) wants to come get it but he has a love seat Will can use.

And it is at this point that I go in to another orbit.....verbally. 
Because Chuck has to rent a U-Haul trailer and he and Will drive up to Nacogdoches (round trip in one day...$$$ for gas and meals) to get one half of a sectional that was found at a dumpster, heavily abused, lent to us, cleaned by us and now costing us time and money. 
Broker than we started.
So don't even think about lending me something. 
Or my husband. 
Or any kid that I'm still financially responsible for.
The answer is no.

1 comment:

  1. It is only you. When we went skiing every year at Christmastime, for the first few years, we borrowed everything. Everything. And we always got it back in good shape because we borrowed it all the next few years. Great stories and storytelling as usual. You might be a little too nice, but really, is there any such thing as too nice (aka, doing the right thing)? BTW, just finished Wife 22 on Kindle, I think you'd like it. She has a very similar wit as you.