I am a librarian's daughter. I've also put in my time as a Circulation Monkey (a term coined by Elizabeth, who has also served hard time behind the desk). Therefore, I experience profound library-shame when I rack up library fines. Of course, this is an inevitability due to my absentmindedness combined with my tendency to check out ridiculously large stacks of religion books.
All throughout the holidays a certain missing book has been hanging over my head: God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible. Right before Thanksgiving I received a notification that it was still checked out under my name, even though I knew it had been returned. I called and spoke to the Circulation Lady (I don't call other people Circ Monkeys; that seems like a term best used self-referentially), who purportedly checked the shelf to no avail. I knew I had to do what Mama Librarian had trained me to do in these situations: drive over there myself and find the book for them. I didn't go, though, busy as I was with Advent and whatnot. On New Year's Eve an owl flew through the window and pummelled me with approximately four hundred notices - oh, wait, that's the scene from Harry Potter. But it did seem like they might be overdoing it in their attempt to remind me that the grace period given to those who stubbornly insist that they've returned their books had expired.
Yesterday, I marched into the library, walked straight to the shelf, did a happy dance as the book was right where I knew it would be, and sweetly explained to the librarian that I'd found it. I still had to fork over some cash to clear my name completely, but not the $45 they wanted for the lost book (which, incidentally, I never had a chance to read).
The reconstructed conversation back at home:
Wife: I knew I didn't have that book, and you didn't believe me! (accompanied by more happy dance)
Husband: Well, you still had a fine. You should return your books ON TIME.
Wife: Maybe YOU should return my books on time. This is a marriage, right? A partnership?