Matt Watson

That awkward moment when… you give library checkouts as gifts

Matt Watson

It sounds like a cheapskate move. I am aware of this, but let me explain.

I have gone back to college to get a Ph.D. It’s not that I’m poor and can’t buy something nice for my girlfriend like a gentleman on occasion. It’s just that said occasion usually takes place on the first of every month. Seriously though, money wasn’t an issue the day I went to the library to do this deed. You see, my girlfriend always asks me how much what I got her cost. Unlike many girlfriends, if it cost a lot she is just OK, but if I got it on clearance, she is completely dazzled and proud that I tried to be frugal like her. Furthermore, I was trying to think of something new and quirkily romantic.

There are many pros to checking out a gift from the library. You’re best bet is to look in the multimedia section. Because giving people a book to read is like giving them homework, especially if you say, “Hey, I gotta return this by the deadline stamped on the inside right there. Snap to it.”1 So my plan was to check out all the seasons of a Chinese drama of some sort. We had talked about watching some together to help me learn my girlfriend’s first language but had not gotten a hold of any. Sure enough, they could be easily acquired from the library. I spent a good hour looking for the best TV series and made a fairly decent choice, considering I couldn’t read any of the titles.

I brought two boxes of DVDs back to the apartment for a surprising evening of TV together time, and the conversation went something like:

Anna: “What are we gonna watch them on?”

Me: “Wow. I just remembered I haven’t owned a DVD player in at least five years.”

[Awkward silence]

Anna: “It’s fine. The best ones are on the Internet, anyway.”

Me: “Oh yeah, the Internet.”

Moral of the story: Check out library materials for gifts in very limited scenarios. And remember the Internet.

June 4, 2015, Byram, Miss.

Disclaimer: Checking out library materials to give to others likely breaks some rule somewhere. This author does not condone illegal activities. This story is fictional and any resemblance to real people or events is entirely coincidental.

  1. The Gorgas Library at The University of Alabama actually prints the return date on receipt paper instead of stamping the inside. To me this takes away from the fun, but the times are a-changin’. Back