I Am Delinquent

I have a confession to make. I am a people pleaser. I like people to like me. I don’t like it when people don’t like me. It gives me hives.

Now, I know this is not healthy. I know this is not good. I know this is not Biblical. But hey, I have lots of issues I’m trying to sort out and people-pleasing happens to be about Issue #5923 and seeing as I’m only on Issue #297, it may take me a while to work through it.

i am delinquent

So, yesterday. It was library day. Before we left home, I checked our library account online to see which items we needed to return. Unfortunately, I was 2 days too late. We had 56 overdue items. Yes, 56.

But that wasn’t the worst part.

The worst part was the notation on my account which read, “This account is delinquent.”

Delinquent. Me. Delinquent. Let me just let that soak in because, until now, I have never been delinquent on anything and now there it is, in plain writing, that yes, in fact, I. AM. DELINQUENT.

Do I need to mention that being delinquent does not go well with people-pleasing?

So naturally, I do the one thing any reasonable person would do in my situation. I panic. (And I might want to throw up.)

I worry how my delinquency will affect my stellar borrowing status. I immediately throw every last library book in the car and rush to the library.

I make the conscious choice to return the books via the drive-up book drop as opposed to walking into the library because I do not want to have to explain to any clerk or patron standing in, on, around or near the indoor book drop that the reason I am frantically throwing 56 books into the bin is because, well, I’m delinquent and I’m hoping no one noticed and maybe I can have a clean record once again.

Because I’m a clean record type. I am not a delinquent type.

At this moment, I am quite overjoyed that there is in fact a drive-up book drop because the person in charge of picking up my returned books on the other side of the drive-up book drop cannot connect my face to my gargantuan (delinquent) pile of overdue books. Yet I still purposefully pause after dropping in about 10 books so that anyone watching 56 books come through the chute thinks 56 books are actually coming from 5 different cars and not from just one car occupied by one delinquent woman.

At this point, you may be wondering why anyone would check out 56 books at a time. Well, we’re homeschooling and using library books is one way we avoid paying for expensive curriculum. Although, I am fully aware that THIS MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL WHEN I NOW OWE THE LIBRARY ABOUT $269 IN FINES.

But really, I can’t blame my delinquency solely on my children’s homeschooling books.

Because there was one (just one) book of mine in that pile. A book I had checked out for myself, which, SO UNFORTUNATELY, I never took the time to read.

That book? Approval Addiction: Overcoming Your Need to Please Everyone.

You think I kid.

Share on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on FacebookBuffer this pageShare on LinkedIn

P.S. Got information overload?

I can help. I wade through the internet, find the best stuff and put it in a short weekly email called the Useletter®. It's free. Sign up & I'll send you a sample...


  1. Shari Kalous says

    OMGoodness! That is to funny! Yet at the same time a relief! I am so the same way! I have LOTS of issues and not sure how to deal with them most of the time! Like today I went to Wlamart to get groceries! I ended up with an aniexty attack! Wont get into it. Just wanted you to know your not alone! There are more of us out there than anyone will ever know about! Hugs girl! Your fine! Nothing wrong with you! Your human, and thats it! By the way, dont know you personally, but I LIKE YOU! lol

  2. says

    Oh, library books!! I am a reformed people pleaser, but being on a budget made me realize that I cannot please people at the price of library fines.

    A few years ago we figured out a way to avoid most library fines: we have one day a week designated as library book return day, and we always double-check that all the books we returned have actually been checked in. Sometimes that requires assertiveness, and learning it is worth every ounce of effort.

    To read how it works for us, check out my post, Reducing LIbrary Fees: http://anniekateshomeschoolreviews.com/2009/11/reducing-library-fees/

  3. says

    My son, with head hung in shame, often asks before going to the library, “Mom, do we have any books that are late or any fines?” I finally had to sign up for email notifications at my library.

    Thank you for allowing us to laugh WITH you! :)

  4. says

    I LOVE this story and can so completely relate! People-pleasing is so addictive and difficult to stop, and I appreciate how real you are in relating your automatic response to being “delinquent”. You made my day :)

  5. says

    Wow. This is so me! I could have written this post, except I’m not witty like you so it would have been more boring and less fun :) I have always struggled with depression, and one of the horrible side effects is a major loss of motivation and energy…and definitely mojo, which is not good for a girl whose life revolves around being “creative” in some form or another. I remember in college, this was a horrible thing for me to try and balance with my need to please and not disappoint people…still is actually.

  6. Cher says

    I’m the lady on the other side of the drive-up drop box. Just so you know, when you drop 56 books, we love you and say, “Thanks for using our library”. It’s book lovers like you who keep libraries open. As to the late fees, try using ‘Library Elf’. A free service that will send you notices every single day you have books due for all the library cards in your family.

    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss

  7. MM says

    I’m another people pleaser. Actually, I could have written nearly all of your posts. It’s just a little freaky. LOL!

  8. says

    I’m just impressed that you found all 56 books and they were only 2 days late. Reading this really made me laugh. Thank you!

  9. says

    I like to think our family’s fines keep our local library from further cutbacks :) I am sure we contribute enough through fines and lost books to provide one full time librarian’s salary!
    I am not sure how I stumbled upon your blog, but it is great!
    Linda (fellow pastor’s wife)

  10. Jill S says

    “People-pleasing” seems to be a common personality trait in Pastors’ wives. hmmmm. But Tiffany is right; the “church folks” can cure you of that. :-)

  11. says

    This was a great one to read! Very funny! I am a recovered people pleaser. Oddly enough, being a pastor’s wife knocked most of it out of me. Thanks for the laugh today!

  12. Misty says

    I have never felt so at home..haha! I am the biggest people pleaser. I feel your pain. I have spent the last week of my life taking care of everyone else! Monday..Paint friends bathroom/move furniture…Tues..Garden all day at Grandma-in-laws…then skate night..Wed..Church staff meeting…Clean children’s ministry..AWANA. Thurs..Continue cleaning..buy easter outfit(have to look nice)..Fri Work all day..Sat work all day… Tomorrow is Easter Sunday where did the week go! Needless to say I am so thankful I have found all of you ladies. It is nice to know I am not alone :)

  13. says

    He he! I figure that my library fines are like a donation. Think of how many NEW books the library can buy with all that money?

    We have a library nazi here. She harasses me, by mail and phone, until I return books that are out on interlibrary loan. I’m not joking. I actually avoid the library when she’s there. I feel like she’s picking on me. I feel like I have a right to pay fines if I want to. :)

    All that said, I LOVE THE LIBRARY! And I’ve heard that some of them are putting in coffee shops. What a great idea!

    As for people pleasing–I think a lot of women struggle with that, but there’s also a sense in which it’s not bad to want to please people. Paul tried to be all things to all people, so to a degree, I think it’s important to put others’ needs before our own. Not a fan of Joyce Meyer myself, but let us know what you think of the book. I’d recommend Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, personally. That book changed my life and gave me a biblical view of womanhood that has helped me focus more on pleasing God than man.

  14. Jill says

    LOL!! We now live about 15 minutes from the nearest library and I am always, always reminding myself, my daughter and my husband to return the books by “this date” or “that date!”
    I circle it in red practically. My daughter and husband think I am nuts!
    But, it is too bad they do not give you more time to check out items. My daughter had just read half the book when it was to be returned two weeks later after she checked it out!

  15. says

    I guess this is true confessions….When I was a kid, I checked out the book “Electricity” from the public library where I grew up. It’s probably buried somewhere in a room in my parents’ house because I never returned it. In my mind, I can still see the due date stamped on the inside cover of the book: Aug 10, 1976.

  16. says

    Similar story as Jill. The day we got our marriage license, my husband went to the downtown library and checked out 2 or 3 books. He never returned them, and since we were married and he no longer lived with his parents, they never gave him any notices that might have been mailed. When we moved to Indiana 11 years later, we found the books on the shelve and also dropped them in the drop box. YIKES! Where we live now, we are consistantly late in returning books – thankfully it is 5 cents a day, and we don’t check out 56 books! Great story:0)

  17. Jill says

    LOL!!! That is just too funny, Amy! I am a people pleaser, too. But, I am learning more and more that I should not give a “fig” any longer when someone from one of the churches “gripes” about my husband. I just hand the phone over to him. There are a couple of ladies in the church that just hate it when I do that! They would rather gripe to me! I am not going to hear it!
    Speaking of library fines, here is a story. When my hubby and I were first dating,he admitted that I was getting involved with an “outlaw.” I just freaked out. I could not imagine what he could have done because he was so clean-cut and seemed nice and wholesome. I imagined that he must have committed some horrible crime in the past. He hadn’t except to explain to me that he once checked out a reference book from a very small little library in the little town of 1,200 he grew up in and had forgotten to return it then lost it! Between the move from his parents house before and after college graduation to his grandmother’s house when she past away, he lost it somewhere in between. Then, about the same time we met, they were planning to build a brand new library in town and the little dinky library was going to move all of their library collections; everything from books to audio cassettes from that tiny little place(about the size of a breadbox, I would say as I was in there just once before they moved to a newer and larger location). He and I went to the old library because he wanted to know if by chance they would have had this book on file still as he did not recall ever getting a fine for it being late. This book was missing for over 5 years! Think of the book fine! Astronomical!) The librarian said that they did not have this book on file any longer; for some reason, they lost the original listing of the book. I cannot recall if my hubby, told her that he had checked it out a “million years ago.” He just smiled and then we left. He was fortunate indeed! But, we still laugh about his being an “outlaw.” A library outlaw, no less! He is just very lucky that they lost the entire listing of this book, including who checked it out and when. We think that the librarian at the time forgot to list that he had checked it out at all so they first forgot to list this book among their collections and then, second forgot to list who actually checked out the book! And, you aren’t really supposed to check out reference materials anyway. Although my husband has tried to a few times in the past. Old habits die hard, I guess.
    When we were moving, I think he came across this book in our attic! It was some kind of Plat book on the town he grew up in. I can’t believe that this library didn’t miss a Plat book but then again, which would you rather check out at the library; a Plat book on a town of 1,200 or less population(Yea-rah!!) or a book about Anna Nicole Smith???? I rest my case! LOL!