Neither a borrower nor a lender be

I lend a lot of my things to other people but I don’t seem to be getting them back. I don’t have time to write down everyone’s name who borrowed something from me. I lend it to them and hope that they return it with a few days. I don’t think it should take that long for them to be finished with the item. Thinking about this, I’m reminded of a quote of Shakespeare from the play ‘Hamlet.’ It’s a quote that Mr. Banek, my English teacher made us memorize and recite during class for marks. Because of that, I still remember it to this day.

Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch’d, unfledged comrade. Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear’t that the opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are of a most select and generous chief in that.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Hamlet, Act I, Scene III

It’s a fatherly advice that Polonius gave to his son, Laertes before he left to attend university. They are some very good advice but the one pertaining to this entry is the one about borrowing and lending. Polonius warns Laertes that lending or borrowing money can cause more problems than it’s worth.

I don’t mind lending money to help out a friend and I’m not expecting it back right away. They wouldn’t need to borrow money from me if they can pay it back the next day. But I will start to mind if I find out that they are spending their money on something stupid like gambling rather than paying me back. It’s the kind of things that will make me think the next time they ask me for help.

It’s not just money that I lend out to people. I once had an extensive collection of DVD movies. Before, my collection would take up the entire length of my upper shelf. Now, it’s only taking up half as much. Where did all the movies go, you ask? Well, I lend them out to people and they haven’t returned it yet. These movies are no longer than two hours long so I would think that it should take no more than a day for me to get it back. If that person does not have time to watch the movie, why bother borrowing it in the first place?

I also have a book collection that I’ve started in the last year or so. So far, when I lend out a book, I usually get them back because most of my friends don’t read much. So having a book in their room is something out of the ordinary and it reminds them that the book doesn’t belong to them. Where as a DVD movie is something a lot of people have in their house so after they watch it, they add it to their collection and I will never see it again. Currently, I have three books but they are accounted for. I lent out ‘The Historian’ by Elizabeth Kostova to Ellen a while ago and I haven’t received it yet. I remember lending it to her while there was snow on the ground. Now, the grass is green, the birds are chirping and people are walking around in shorts and t-shirts. I still haven’t gotten that book back yet. Looks like I’m going to have to hunt someone down.