First, before I launch into this - once again - negative post, let me say that I am a little horrified by myself. As I noted in the comments to the below post, I have felt pretty self-conscious about being a mess, in this forum. R always used to tell me how together and even-keeled and "well-adjusted" I was...(She noted this because it made her feel like a fuck-up.) Well, ever since about six months into this blog adventure, life has been pretty damn up and down for me. So you all have had to witness this months-long sense of crisis. Since it's come to a head, lately (witness the continued - but not so acute - crying jags on the street on Friday and Saturday), I feel some hope that things will get better...I am doing "all the right things," as my friend M told me today. Therapy, socializing, etc. I'll get through it. And more importantly, figure out some really crucial...stuff. I just worry that I seem endlessly in a mess...that's embarrassing, frankly.
Anyway, so here's some bitching of the non-existential variety. I just need to vent about it.
I have a friend here in Scary City, F, with whom I was "set up" by a friend from Home City/Dream Uni. F and I see each other every few weeks...usually - like today - we go for a long walk.
On the second occasion that F and I socialized, I invited F in for dinner after our walk. While I got dinner together, she perused my bookshelves, calling book-related observations to me from the living room. When I emerged from the kitchen, I discovered that she had a rapidly growing pile of my fiction books at her side. She asked me about several author collections I have..."What is your favourite of A.S. Byatt's novels?" she asked. I would tell her, and stare as she pulled out all of those favourites and added them to the pile. Note that she hadn't said anything about what she was making the pile for. After she had a pile of at least eight books, she asked, "Can I borrow these?" I was a little taken aback - don't you ask before you start pulling books off the shelf? And why were there 8-10 novels?
So I sent her off that night with a collection of the books that are most important to me. Feeling bugged, but not wanting to admit it to myself. I mean, sharing books is the right thing to do, of course. Why should I hog my books? It's not like they're rare editions, or anything.
The next time I saw her, 3-4 weeks later, I asked her how the novels were going. "Oh, she laughed, "I haven't had any time for those! Maybe I'll get to them at Christmas!" More irritation - why take 8+ books from somebody if they're just going to sit there for months? This was October. But I've tried to be bigger than that feeling. I know how selfish and unnecessary it is.
Flash forward to today. Early in our walk, she told me she'd spent all of yesterday holed up with a great novel...not one of the ones she's borrowed from me. What's more, she is currently packing to move, and so my books are being just packed up in her stuff, unread.
I can't tell you how much this pisses me off. Yes, I'm selfish, yes, it's petty, but these are some of my favourite novels! And yet, I find it really hard to address this. We're not close enough, I feel, to weather the awkwardness that would ensue if I brought it up. I've long since resigned myself to simply asking for my books back, just as "naturally" as can be, when I move away from Scary City, whenever that is. As if I hadn't been obsessing about them for the last number of months.