It's a funny thing. Some people remember faces but not names, some people names, not faces, etc. Me, I'm terrible with birthdays but good with numbers. Case in point- I have my library card bar code committed to memory.
And yet, the library managed to pull a fast one on me. I have never, I repeat, never, had a late library book. Until today. I was so sure that my books were due today that I didn't even bother looking at my slip. Besides, I had taken them out on a Wednesday, so why wouldn't they be due on a Wednesday. You get them for 3 weeks.
But no, I was quite mistaken. When I logged into my account to renew my checked out items, there was the prompt in red for each book- FINE TO DATE. As a Yekki, it is quite traumatic. Seriously. So traumatic, in fact, that I called up my husband, who proceeded to do his best to understand what the heck the fuss was about. "I've had books overdue by months", he said. Try as he might though, it wasn't any help.
So I'm going to put on my Wellies and head out in the rain to pay the outstanding fines. Sniff. Not fees, mind you- fines. It's definitely the end of the world as I know it...
Update: I arrived at the library 15 minutes before closing and diligently waited in line. When it was my turn, I passed the lady my card and told her I had fines I wanted to pay. She looked at me and said "Oh, you pay it at the machine" and pointed across the building. I'm just too old to understand that automatically though, since I'm still used to paying a person. So she saw my blank look and inspected my card. "You use your card to pay", she said. So I asked if the machine gave change. The answer, of course, was no, but it does stay on your card. In other words, like the MTA and all other local government authorities in NYC, you need to throw away money to pay for things, because you inevitably don't have exact change on you and put more on your card than you need for the transaction at hand. Case in point- I've been transferring the same 35 cents from Metrocard to Metrocard for over a year. Sure it's only 35 cents, but you get my point. She then noted that I needed a new card and asked if I wanted to do so now. I didn't bother asking *why* I need a new card, since I only got my present one last year. Instead, I politely declined, informing her that my top priority this evening was to simply pay my fines. She seemed a little peeved, but what can you do? I then proceed to go around asking the remaining patrons if they had change. B'H', one Boro Parker did!
I suppose Hashem decided I needed a long lesson in humility today. ;)