Friday, September 17, 2010

Neither a Borrower

This week of recouperation has been really good for my soul. Thankfully I'm having a textbook recovery, the pain levels have been minimal, the analgesia levels are down to a couple of panadol a day when I remember and I am getting around without any problems, so much so that today I was out doing "quiet time" things like visiting a friend, sampling chocolate and watching a movie at a nearby cinema. The only limitation I have is sitting in a chair for long periods of time - I have to get up and wander around regularly as it gets rather achy after twenty minutes of sitting upright. Lying down and standing up are good. I'm thrilled at the recovery I'm making - much better than I expected.

It's also shown just how great my friends are. They've been calling, dropping in, bringing food, coming over to watch dvds and generally been exceptional. I couldn't ask for more. I'm normally very self sufficient and somewhat reclusive a lot of the time, so this has been  an exercise in letting people in. Yes, it's pushed a few buttons, but in a good way. Maybe my boundaries are beginning to allow a few people in. Stranger things have happened.

One friend made the comment, "You're just getting back what you put in. You're the one who's there visiting people in hospital, taking care of people, hell you're the mother of twenty five engineers, it's good that people are looking after you for a change."It's a nice sentiment. I like to think it's true.

The only disappointment I've had over the time off is that I haven't really been able to write. The concentration hasn't really been there. The first few days I stayed in bed, then when I was up and wandering around it was all too hard being slumped over a table looking at a computer screen. I've got halfway through my book group book for this month and caught up on some veiwing. It's still strange that you can tune into Days of our Lives once every three years and you still know all the characters by name. I also find it interesting that Hope appears to have fewer expression lines on her face than she did ten years ago, and Marlena - hell, does that woman have formaldehyde in her veins?

So the last week I've been dredging the bottom of DVD basket, watching some films I haven't seen for a while, worked my way through all six Harry Potters, revisited The Talented Mr Ripley whilst writing Italian holiday packages - nothing like looking at Sorrento and Positano whilst writing about the real deal. Donnie Darko still stands up after thirty or so viewings. It's been great.

The only thing missing - the first season of Six Feet Under.

When it comes to possessions, though I am not obsessed by things, I'm also rather attached to what I have. I will own objects because I want to own them. It's a conscious choice. I tend to look after my things, and if they do get damaged or lost, no biggie. They get replaced.

Also, over the years, I've been pretty particular about who I lend my possessions out to. Just as I rarely lend or borrow money, there are one or two friends who I have a rotating twenty dollars with and at work there is a floating tenner in our pod - that's it. I'm fairly careful about who I give my things to. Books are the only exception to this and then they get loaned to friends and I can't think of an instance where I have either not got the item back, or I've missed the book (and if I can't remember who I've loaned it to, then tough to me, go buy a new one). Books are loaned to me - eventually they make their way back to their owners - and if I'm asked for it, I make a point of returning it as soon as I can.

My copy of the first season of Six Feet Under I loaned to a friend late last year in good faith.

Six Feet Under has to be my favorite ever television show. Superlative television. Five series of exceptional writing, acting and storylines. Love it, love it, love it.

So when earlier in the year I asked for these DVDs back, I thought sure, coming soon. It's now mid September. I've asked regularly for the return of these items since Easter. Okay sure, I haven't seen this person since Christmas, though we have tried to catch up for lunch on numerous occasions, ultimately one or the other, normally him, has to blow the other off. About a month ago I finally asked if he could post the them back, as daft as it sounds, it's my favorite show and I'd actually like to watch them again.

No sign of the DVDs.

I bit the bullet on the weekend and bought a new set on ebay on the weekend. For the last few days I've had Nate, David, Ruth, Rico and Claire back in my life. I'd forgot just how good the first series was. It's like having an old friend back in my life.

I know Polonius, that old fool from Hamlet said it best,

'Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.'

I was relating this to Merijn, Glen Waverley's wife. She said, "You have a thing with unreliable men in your life." I disagreed. I sometimes think lending something to somebody is the mark of a solid friendship and most of the men in my life a reliable.

In this case I think it's more the feeling of being disrespected when having to ask for something back, and not having the request acknowledged. Having this small trust, no matter how small, broken in such a way is what is most disappointing.

Do I consider this person my friend. Hmm, probably no, a solid aquaintance. He was nice enough to call to see how I was last Thursday. He's a decent enough fellow. I hold no animosity. I'm just been disappointed by his actions, and this is what I will remember, the guy who didn't return the DVDs.

All remedied by spending $20 on ebay.

It's just the principle of the matter.

Oh my, I can hear the Collingwood supporters singing from the MCG - two kilometres away. They sound happy. The hubcaps of Richmond are safe for another week.



Kath Lockett said...

Aw bugger. This was such a lovely piece, Pandora and after every paragraph I thought, 'Oh yes, I need to tell her that....' and so, after laughing at 'The hubcaps of Richmond are safe for another week' I forgot 'em all.

Writing will come back. Keep an old fashioned paper notebook by your side so that you can at least scrawl down the idea(s) that pop into your head. This can be done standing, walking or sitting. :)

Jackie said...

I reckon he has lost the DVDs and doesn't have the guts to tell you.
Also I agree with Kath, your writing hasn't suffered at all - nice post!

River said...

I suspect I could tune in to Days of Our Lives and see the very same characters that my mum watched 30 years ago.
Bugger about your dvds. I only lend mine to my dughter, she's like me, treasuring her own dvds, so returns mine as quickly as she can and I do the same for her. I have one son that I can't lend anything to. Books, dvds, clothes, money,all disappear never to be seen again.