#553 When a friend returns something they borrowed so long ago you forgot you owned it

We’ve all been there.

Sometimes good friends draft the first season of your favorite DVD or stuff your tattered paperback in their saggy backpack before heading into the trenches. When you say goodbye that night you smile strongly and act brave but there are hot salty tears in your eyes.

Because you never know.

In the first few months Season 1 of ALF is serving the nation you think about him constantly and try to make sure he’s safe. You casually ask about him at parties or dream up plans to steal him back from your friend’s cold, dark basement.

Sadly, despite your best efforts, eventually the gappy bookshelves and empty jewel cases at home get dusty and memories get lost in the swirling swallows of time. It’s a funny thing but I suppose after enough calendar flips and changing seasons your thoughts just slowly fade away.

Maybe one year you upgrade your DVDs, stash your CD collection in the attic, or move apartments and put all your books in storage. Maybe one year you eventually just … forget.

It’s sad but it’s true.

Flash forward a few years later and you’re quietly making grilled cheeses for the kids on a sunny afternoon. Dogs bark in the backyard and kids play in the street when suddenly the doorbell rings. You’re not expecting anyone so you wipe your wet hands on your thin flowery apron and swipe your bangs behind your ear while rushing to the door.

You swing it open and as sun splashes into the house your eyes pop wide and your jaw drops open like a mailbox. You can hardly believe it! It’s your old book, slightly tattered, slightly battered, but finally home. Tears well in your eyes, a lump forms in your throat, and you pick it up and hug it like no time has passed at all.

Sure, your life had moved on, your kids had grown older, and all the framed photos on the fireplace mantle were slowly replaced. But although your mind moved on your heart just never ever forgot.

So even though it took forever today we say thanks, old friend. For finally bringing it all home.


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30 thoughts on “#553 When a friend returns something they borrowed so long ago you forgot you owned it

  1. I have lost track of all the things I have ‘lent’ out, never to be seen again. I have thought of developing a system to keep track of loaned items, but in the end, they are just things. It’s not worth losing a friend to get a thing back.

    We can always get more things. Of course, we can always get more friends also, but that’s another thread.

  2. Borrowing video games was the best when I was younger. Borrowing and lending is awesome. Maybe I will get some of my books back. I really want my Heinlein and Alan Watts.

  3. I don’t think this has ever happened to me. I’m in the “never to be seen again” camp. But awesome to those that have gotten their goodies back !

  4. Hmmm.. Not much love for this post, though I’m not sure why.

    This is something that happens far too rarely, but that makes it all the more awesome when it occurs. Too often I’ve lent things out, never to be seen again (O, where art thou, complete DVD box set of the British version of The Office? Why do you forsake me?). But when it reappears after you’d given up all hope! Hallelujah!

    You know there is going to be a celebration in my house if the British Office DVDs ever return! *Kegger at Freddo’s place!*

    Btw: What is NOT Awesome? When you find out a friend has done the “re-loan”, and lent out something of yours to someone else, diminishing the chances you’ll ever see it again by at least a factor of 4. You’ve GOT to be kidding me.. People that do that go on my list.

    1. DUDE. that happened last night! (To my boyfriend)he lent all 3 seasons of his Arrested Development to our friend, who then went and left it at his friend’s. We were (and still kinda are until it comes back) devastated. =(

      1. Kelley – you just describe the worst case scenario… not only did they lend out something you’d lent to them, but they did it with Arrested Development. All 3 seasons to boot! Ack!

        If your boyfriend is really depressed about it, I’ve seen an advertisement for a support group that might help him – it’s called The Blue Man Group.

    2. Right now in a bookcase in my house is a copy of “Rabbit, Run” by John Updike that I believe belongs to a friends father-in-law, or something. It’s been there for about 8 years.

      Yeah…he’s never going to get that back. AND no one in my house has ever bothered to read it. I’m still not sure why our friend gave it to us.

  5. This post makes me want to go through my house and see if I have anything I can return just so my friends/relatives can experience an AWESOME today.

    Great post, keep up the good work.

  6. Finally peeing after having held it in for hours on end!!


    Ear orgasms – cleaning your ears with q-tips :)

  7. This post seems to recieve a large ammount of visitors. How do you get traffic to it? It offers a nice individual twist on things. I guess having something useful or substantial to say is the most important thing.

  8. I’ve learned several times the hard way, “possession is 9/10ths of the law.”
    I’m more carefull for these experiences.
    But yes, definately so awesome when something comes trickling back into your life like a stream of sunlight; like somebody cared to remember and respect the deed.
    This post reminds me of Richard Bach’s poem from Jonathon Livingston Seagull~
    “If you love something, set it free.
    If it comes back it’s yours,
    if it doesn’t, it never was.”

  9. Freshman year, for my birthday my best friend gave me a big sized Macy’s shopping bag of stuff. As I went through the bag she was giving me a knowing look until I looked at her with a questioning face and she was like, “Yep, everything that I ever borrowed from you since we met is in there. Just thought I should finally give it al back.”
    Granted the fact that most of those things were given to her three years prior, it I did make for a nice, if not cheap ad last minute, birthday present.

  10. That reminds me… I have some things that need to be returned. Betting that would maker feel awesome as well. :)

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