What I MEANT to Say…

I bought a new pair of pants. They fit comfortably, were on sale, and look nice.

There’s only one problem—I keep forgetting to cut off the electronic tag the store left on them.

It doesn’t bother me when I’m wearing them, and the only time I remember it’s even there is when I walk through the sensors on the way in or out of a store and set off the shoplifting alarm.

You’d think after the second or third time I’d remember.

Heck, you’d think after the first or second MONTH I’d remember.

Sadly, no.

Every time I set off the alarm, I vow that TODAY! will be the day I finally rid those pants of that stupid shoplifting tag. I mean, it says “REMOVE BEFORE WASHING OR WEARING” on it in huge letters. You’d think I’d be able to remember that.

Again… sadly, no.

Aarenex? This one’s for you.

Last Friday I decided to man up and make my way over to the library to pay off my library fines. I had a long drive ahead of me, and there’s nothing better than listening to a book on tape to make a long drive seem short.

For the record, I *highly* recommend TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY . It’s a little raw and it’s definitely not a happy book, but it’s a beautiful, extremely well-written story. To top it off, the actors they chose for the audiobook were some of the best I’ve ever heard. Heck, it was so good that on the way home I missed my offramp off the freeway by, oh… six or seven cities.

Anyways, back to the library.

After making my selection from the audiobooks I made my way to the front counter to settle up and check out the items. The librarian was a courteous, somewhat reserved blue-haired lady and my attempts at small talk and self-deprecating humor fell completely flat. It quickly became obvious that she did not find overdue library books to be a laughing matter. At all.

At ALL.

We fell into an uneasy silence, and as she handed me my books she gave me a pointed look. “These are due on the TWENTY-SEVENTH.”

I nodded, blushing and properly chastised. And as I do whenever I’m feeling uncomfortable, I began babbling.

“Twenty-seventh. Yup! Definitely gonna have them back before then. I mean, it’d just be embarrassing to have to pay more fines. Nope. Not gonna happen!” I continued to edge my way to the exit. “ Twenty-seventh. Gotcha. I’ll write it on my calendar. Not gonna be late! Nope! Twenty-sev…”

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

I felt my face grow instantly beet-red as I set off the sensors with my STUPID pants tag, once again.

The librarian arched an eyebrow at me.

“It’s the, uh, tag. I’ve got, uh, a tag. I’m not stealing anything. Uh, why would anyone… I mean, that’s just silly. I mean, it’s just clothes… uh…. the tag’s fault…” I trailed off, desperately.

What is it about setting off those stupid sensors that makes me feel like I really DO have something to hide? I know perfectly well I’ve never shoplifted a day in my life, yet every time one of those shoplifting sensors goes off I feel like I’ve crammed an armload of merchandise down the front of my pants and have been caught trying to make a break for it.

I decided to try to explain my red face and stuttering one last time to the librarian.

What I intended on saying was, “Pardon me, Miss Librarian, but I have neglected to cut the tag off of this relatively new pair of pants. This tag, designed to be removed upon returning home has accidentally tripped your sensors. I am not attempting to hide anything from you, despite my blush and apparently guilty countenance. If you would like, I could return to the counter to prove my innocence. Thank you for your patience with my bumbling. I appreciate your courteous service, and I thoroughly respect you.”

Instead, I turned around, looked the blue-haired librarian straight in the eye, and loudly wailed, “I feel like I have something in my pants!”

The librarian stared at me in disdain, prim eyebrows hiking up slightly.

Horrified, I tried again.

“I mean, I feel like I have something DOWN my pants. I don’t. My pants are empty.” Oh, geez. C’mon, Becky. You can do this.

The library was silent. All eyes were on me— the babbling, red-faced woman. I had one last chance to set the record straight.

“I don’t have anything in my pants, but it feels like I do! But there isn’t. I’m not stealing. It’s a tag!” I finished, loudly.

I gave up. I turned around, strode through the sensors again (BEEP!BEEP!BEEP!BEEP!) and practically ran to my car.

Stupid library. Stupid librarian. I’m going to have to sneak back under the cover of darkness to return those audio books. They’ve probably got a restraining order against me now.

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4 thoughts on “What I MEANT to Say…

  1. I should count my blessings that Bad Pants prefers to buy books rather than just check them out. This keeps us from having fees and from any embarrassment.

    However, as you can imagine, books are a large part of our budget. My elementary school librarian used to say “Books are our friends”. I took it to heart and my kids are following in my footsteps.

    Then add in marrying into a family of writers, and the problem quadruples! I'm glad we have a big house. I'm glad they make tiny boxes for moving books. That's all I've got to say about that. 🙂

    Like

  2. BAH Ha hahahahahahahahaaaaaaaa!

    Thanks, Becky. I printed out your post and taped it to the reference desk.

    BTW, that picture of the snarling librarian? Looks just like my library id photo. Srsly. The hair, the glasses. Oh yeah.

    Except in my photo, the hair is purple and green. Other than that, though.

    Like

  3. Just cut the damn tag out already!!! I guess I am lucky that I have to PAY to have a library card. They do not add insult to injury by charging late fees. Thank you, Lord!! Take that, townies that do not have to PAY for a library card('cause I guesss they already did in their taxes–old farmers out here see no need to support the library with taxes, so we country kids have to PAY for a library card). I guess I am lucky, too, that my library is only seven miles. (Word Verif is Hanker–take that and run with it!)

    Like

  4. I have a library book my daughter checked out when she was in the second grade. She is now 19.
    Every time I walk past I vow to face the music and return it.
    But I just can't make myself do it.
    I haven't been able to check out a library book for 11 years. It's worse now because I have to admit to the librarians I haven't been in a library for more than a decade.
    Sigh.

    Like

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