Posted by: fullandbye | December 11, 2006


Very few things in the world bother me more than lending something out and having that thing get lost or broken.

I am not sure why, but having this happen grates on me more than almost anything. Perhaps it is because I am so careful with my things, and I foolishly expect others to exhibit the same caution? Maybe it is because I take being allowed to borrow something with such gravity and gratitude, that I feel it feels like an affront when this consideration is not reciprocal? I think it might be that I really want whomever broke or lost my stuff to just replace or fix it without any sort of pressure or reminding from me.

When I was 20, I house-sat for one of my high school teachers, and I ended up putting a pot through the dishwasher and fucking up the finish. Turns out that pot was worth nearly a hundred bucks, and even though I did not really have the cash, I felt so terrible that I bought a pot that was close to the original (now discontinued) as possible and told him what happened only after I had a replacement for him.

I guess I must either become less attached to my things, or just more assertive about not lending them to people unless I am really and truly willing to part with whatever I lend.

Goddamn I am in a bitchy mood.


  1. I feel you on that one. I get worked up over people treating their own stuff like shit. I know it’s their’s, but I mean WTF? You just bought the “expensive thing” and you’re beating on it like it was on clearance at the 99 cent store.
    And THEN they have the NERVE to wonder why their shit wears out so fast. Sometimes I wish I had instant replay…

  2. Not just you. It especially grates on me when the borrower doesn’t seem to care. This happens with my books a lot … bindings broken, pages and covers creased, coffee spills. For some reason, people don’t even recognize that this is returning the book in worse condition than received. Irks me to no end.

  3. I am 100% with you on expecting people to treat borrowed things with respect. I have a mental list of who I will and will not lend things out to, and the pro list is rather short.

  4. I guess I must either become less attached to my things, or just more assertive about not lending them to people unless I am really and truly willing to part with whatever I lend.
    I definitely have my possessions mentally categorized into things I could deal with loss/damage to and things I could not, and I generally do not lend things of the latter category.

  5. I still have your david sedaris book. I haven’t forgotten. there just never seems to be a time to get it back to you

  6. I appreciate where you’re coming from, but I generally lend things out with the knowledge that it’s entirely possible I won’t get them back in the same condition, or at all. I do expect people to at least acknowledge that they’ve failed to show the proper care, and hope that they’ll at least offer to make some sort of restitution (even if I am going to turn it down). But I find I’m much happier not being especially attached to the things I own, with a few notable exceptions (e.g., the Bob).
    Actually, this makes me think of one of my favorite Fight Club quotes: “The things you own end up owning you.”

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