Wednesday, October 28, 2015

When I Do Not Care to Share

try not to be a negative person. I strive to be a happy, compassionate person. I'm usually pretty open for an introvert, but there is one thing that I just can’t stand doing...I am not a sharer of my things. I never have been. My mom blames it on my being an only child (um, that's kind of her fault), but I think it's psychologically deeper than that for me: I don't like the expectations it creates in the person I share with.

Expectations get set when you share. People expect you to continue to share with them. Letting someone use your microwave once does not mean that will be the only time they'll want to use it. They get the expectation that, because you have a microwave, and you let them use it once, they can come use it any time they want! Same goes for storing items in the fridge, or making a cup of coffee.

You'd think, being a librarian, I would have a problem with the inherent business of my job: sharing books. When they aren't mine, I don't have a problem. When they are…well, there is a reason I am hesitant to loan books out to people, even my closest friends! I rarely ever get them back! I have to hound! I have to beg! Even after doing so, the friend has either: loaned it out, dropped it in the tub, left it in their trunk (where trunk gunk destroyed it!), gave it away during a clean out, or just doesn't bother to respond to the request. I love my friends, but I don't trust them with my things. They don't usually come back in the same condition as they left.

Professionally, while I have no problem sharing library books, don't like it at all when someone asks to borrow something else of mine- even tape. I once had an administrator who would come into the library for meetings and never have a pen on him. He would always ask to borrow my pen. The one I was writing with- I use good pens, usually gel ink, which I purchase for myself. It wasn't just so he could sign off on something, he would take it for the whole period! Sometimes he'd try to sneak off with them. I would hunt him down, though. That's when I learned…pick up the free, give-me pens and give one of those every time he asked for one. I also started keeping boxes of red pens to hand to anyone asking for one. They didn't always like having a red pen, and some still wanted to use mine, but when I explain that it's a pen they can keep, they tended to not have much of a problem with it.

Sad to say, this sharing problem I have even happens with my romantic relationships. One ex-boyfriend still has a set of folding chairs, an outdoor table and a hair drier. Okay, I admit, I left all those in my rush to get out of the relationship and cut them as a loss. The one that really hurt was the ex who ended up losing two Pyrex dishes and three writing books. How do you lose this stuff in your own house?

There are some things, like those with the Exes, that I know I will never get back. I loaned a small rolling table, with stools once, to a “friend.” The relationship ended, but my stuff stayed at her place. No offer to give it back. I work with her now and I still don't get acknowledgement of the loan. It's as if she felt she earned that in the friendship. 

It's not that I don't want to build relationships. I do. I just wish it didn't involve me sharing my things. I think, because I am so conscious of making sure things get returned in a timely manner and in just as good of shape as they were when I received them, it hurts that people I care about or need to develop relationships with don't do the same. I respect others property. I wish they respected mine, as well.