Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Biggest Secret

Today I am taking a break from blogging about adoption. I'm going to write about something else instead. I'll probably start doing this from now on, every so often, just to cleanse my blogging palate. I thought today was a good day to start, because I have something I need to get off my back.

I have tried very hard to keep this blog from being a place where I re-hash all of the mistakes I've made and list all my sins. The past is firmly behind me. I've never been the type of person to have a lot of deep, dark secrets but on the rare occasion where I have one or two, I keep it to myself.

But lately something has been bothering me, making my brain itch. It's my own personal tell-tale heart, and I'm afraid one of these days I'm going to just snap at work and the whole sordid tale is going to come spilling out. Sometimes I feel it on the tip of my tongue, biding its time until the moment when I'm less vigilant. I can't let that happen, not in public. And so I feel the need to unburden myself. This may not be the appropriate place or time, but I don't know what else to do.

Okay. Deep breath. I can do this.


I work at a library, and I don't have a library card.

Phew. There, I said it. It's out.

I used to have a Maricopa County library card. I had one, and I used it all the time, and I still have the 13-digit card number memorized. I went to the library all the time, and I checked out hundreds of books. But what with school and work and other things, I got lazy about returning them. The fines piled up on my account. I went to the library less frequently in an attempt to incur fewer fines on my account. But going less frequently meant that I wasn't turning books in as frequently. Three times in six months I paid astronomical sums in overdue fines. I felt sick about it. I thought to myself, if I'm going to spend so much money on books, I might as well be buying them.

That was when I started going to the book store, and that's how I ended up with more than 45 boxes full of books by the time I moved. I lost count of individual books somewhere in the thousands. I always meant to go back to the library at some point, but it just never happened.

Last October, when I applied for the library job I have now, I thought to myself that I had better go back to the library and get a card and get myself re-acquainted with the stacks. I never did. I got the job, so figuring out where different parts of the collection had been moved to was taken care of. But now I've been at the library for six months, and I don't have a library card.

I cannot possibly get one now. How would I ever live it down? My co-workers all know me by name. I don't mean to brag or anything, but I'm very good at what I do, and my hard work has been noticed. I have a certain reputation at work. If it got out that I don't have a card, I would be ruined. I have considered going to one of the other county libraries to get a card there, but mine is the closest by far and I'm not sure I want a card badly enough to drive 12 miles out of my way for one.

I thought at first that maybe I could get by without one. But my co-workers keep recommending books and asking me about bestsellers. I keep seeing books I want to read but can't afford to buy. Something's gotta give. I'm afraid this won't end well for me. I am going to end up completely humiliated. But the good news is, there are books written about dealing with that kind of embarrassment, and we have them at my library, and when all is said and done, I'll finally be able to check them out.


Unknown said...

I've just discovered your blog and I think it's amazing. What a wonderful attitude you have! Thank you for sharing your story.

Black Betty said...

Haha! I thought you were going to confess that you take books to read without checking them out through the system. My local librarians are so rude, huffing and puffing at me if I don't attempt to use the self checkout, which almost never works on all of the items that I want to check out!

Deanna said...

Jill, I love that you wrote about this. I have so been in your type of situation before. Glad I am not the only one...I love that you love to read... It's not often I hear of someone that, like me has a book reading addiction. Don't you just love that feeling when you can say " yeah I've read that!".

Lara Zierke said...

That is bad, Jill. Bad. But it happens. Like the person at work who has been calling me by the wrong name for 2 years and I can't correct them now. Yeah, it was also a Friends episode, but it is also happening in my life. You can never tell. Never.

hope2adoptbaby said...

I loved this! You made me giggle more than once about it! :) Shelby

Que and Brittany's Adoption Journey said...


still figgurin' said...

Love your blog. Surely your library has a fine free day or fine free week? That's how I survive! If not, ask that they instate one in your honor!

Unknown said...

Hello Jill, this is Alexia. I stumbled upon your blog and love it. You could always come to me to get your library stuff taken care of. Everyone that works at the library cheats a little. I can get you a library card when I start working again.