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I, too, get helpful little reminders from the world at large when I’ve forgotten to do something that I was meant to have done. These days, it’s generally from the student loan people who have, thankfully, stopped ringing The Mom’s house and leaving vaguely threatening messages on the answering machine. Though The Mom and everyone else in the house have long since ignored these messages, I still feel sort of bad that they have to listen to them. That and I worry that one day one of them might pretend to be me and cause no end of grief to the poor fool on the other end of the line.

Instead of ringing now, the student loan people have taken to sending me emails. They aren’t vaguely threatening, they make it seem like the house has burnt to the ground and that there are no survivors. The first time I had one of their emails through (emails that of course you cannot reply to) I immediately picked up the phone and called them. Are you okay? I shouted in a panicked way to the person on the end of the line.

They were, to say the least, shocked.

“Yes, why wouldn’t we be?” the person responded with a tone that said, crazy lady, I am at work and we are not pals.

“Well, it’s just that your email sounded so dire, so grim, I thought you were on the verge of doing something foolish.”

“No, we just want our money.”

“Oh yes, well, fine but you know, international wire transfers take time for reasons only HSBC is fully aware of and even then I’d question them, I mean, I know they’re the bank that all the Mexican drug cartels use, which is why I’m with them of course, because if they’re good enough for the cartels then that speaks highly of their dedication to customer service.”

At this point, the person on the other end of the phone, I imagine, is pressing all the red buttons he or she can find and I expect, in a matter of minutes, MI5 or MI6 is going to turn up at my door and arrest me for being bat shit crazy.

This is why I’ve decided to take a note from Crazy D’s playbook and stop opening my post from anywhere that sounds vaguely official. I don’t think they actually care, the people who write these letters. They don’t want to know what’s going on in your life, they have one question and they want it answered.

Which is also why I don’t go to the library so much, at least with my own library card. There’s just something tricky about taking the books back because once I’ve read them I feel a sort of kinship with them and the idea of taking them back is not unlike returning the new puppy you’ve just got from the pound. You bring it home, name it, give it a nice life and then three weeks later grow tired of it and return it. What does that say about a person? Nothing good if you ask me.

So I stay away from lending and borrowing as much as possible. It’s just easier and saves me getting nasty little messages.

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