Friday, June 19, 2015


A few weeks ago, my husband and I went to the library together.  Almost immediately, I found two wonderful books that I couldn't wait to read, so since Dave was still happily perusing the magazine section, I checked out my items and went back to the car and opened one.  I was so deeply absorbed in my reading when he returned, that I never even noticed what items he brought out, but I did remember him saying that he had both books and magazines.
After finishing my books about a week later, I told Dave I was taking mine back and would return his items too, if he liked.  After considerable thought, he decided I could return his books, but said that he hadn't finished with his magazines just yet, so even though he might have an overdue fine, he wanted to wait until he was done with them.
Time went on...and on...and on.  Despite several reminders, one thing led to another and it wasn't until yesterday, when I mentioned that I was going to the library again, that he finally acquiesced and agreed I could return them.
"Where are they?" I asked, as I surveyed the room looking for the two or three magazines he had borrowed.
"I set them on the kitchen table for you." he answered, very casually.
As I turned towards the table, an audible gasp escaped my lips and my eyes widened in disbelief. I was looking at a pile of magazines; a very large pile.
Apparently, my reaction alarmed him, because, before I could utter a word, I saw Dave standing in the kitchen doorway with a very worried look on his face.
"Why did you do that??" he asked, apprehensively.
"Why, you ask???"  I said.  "Why did I do that?"
"Yes, why did you do that?"  He repeated. "Why did you make that sound?"
By that time I was too busy counting to respond, but I knew he was beginning to feel uneasy.  When I reached thirteen I paused to look in his direction, before returning to my task. It was the look of a woman who has just had the last shred of doubt that she is married to a crazy person completely erased from her mind. I finished counting.
"Dave, you have 18 magazines here. I am not kidding; you have eighteen of them."
"I know," he said as if this was not the least bit out of the ordinary. "The library had a lot of magazines that I liked."
Again my eyes widened, because, knowing how fond Dave is of money, I was surprised that he was handling the idea of parting with so much of it, this easily.
It was then that I mentioned that, while I was not familiar with the specific late fee charged for magazines, I was confident his fine was going to be a substantial one.
"I better call the library and find out," he said quickly.
After a polite inquiry, worded more as a hypothetical than a real concern, he returned to tell me the fine was 15 cents.  He looked relieved.
"I will need a calculator for this," I said, and his look of relief quickly dissipated.
"18 times 15 cents equals two dollars and seventy cents."  I said. "I can't remember how long you have had these, but it could be a month.  Let me multiply that by 30 days... that comes to 81 dollars.  No, that can't be possible. Let me do that again. No, I was right.  It really is 81 dollars.  You owe $81 in overdue fees for these magazines, Dave."
At this point, I began to laugh very hard.  In fact, I am laughing just as hard as I type these words a full day later. It is my very favorite part of being married to Dave. Whether it is my own mishap or his, the laughter has always belonged to us both.  Sometimes though, only one of us laughs first, and on this occasion that person was me.
I noticed at this time, that all the color had drained from Dave's face as he struggled to process the idea that he was going to have to spend $81 on 18 magazines that he wouldn't even own when all was said and done.
"I didn't even read all those magazines!"  He shouted, by way of defense. "I only glanced at a couple of them, so it isn't fair to charge me that much!"
"That isn't how it works, Dave.  Although your magazines might be delinquent because you are a juvenile delinquent, that does not result in a lower overdue fee. You are 56 years old.  You understand the concept of "borrowing" items from a library."
"No, I do not. I thought she meant that it would be 15 cents a day for all of them... not each of them. That would be about $5.  I am okay with five dollars.  I don't want to pay $81 dollars."
Feeling pity for him, I suggested he call back up for the actual total since I was not sure the exact amount of days the items were overdue. I waited at the door for the answer. I heard him say almost jubilantly that the amount was only (only?) $36 dollars and how happy he was to hear that news. As I was leaving the house though, I heard him as he was apologizing for the delay and explaining, truthfully, that between the clinical trial he was participating in, as well as numerous visits to his doctor's he had gone to, that he had simply let time get away from him.  As always, he sounded charming. 
Upon reaching the return desk, I set down the hefty pile of magazines I had carried in. Before I could even explain myself though, she asked me if they were David's returns. When I said that they were, I was informed that although it was not the policy of the library, she had secured permission to reduce Dave's fines in half if I returned with documentation from the hospital.  
I was genuinely touched, although not surprised; Dave has a way about him with women. I thanked her for her kindness and then politely declined the offer.  I explained that as lovable as he was, he was still a delinquent, delinquent so he would need to pay full restitution for his crimes.
The most amusing part of this whole story though, is that upon returning to my car, I glanced at my receipt and noticed what all the magazines were...Kiplinger's Finance Magazine.  When I got home I told Dave I had a way for him to save money and I didn't even need to read one of those...just return your magazines on time in the future. :)

Blessings ~ Amycita~