I was once eager to loan my clothes or other paraphernalia to my sister or friend or acquaintance. Somehow, having someone cooler or more popular than me wear endorse my attire made me feel a little more hip. It also created, however superficial, a connection between me and the other girl. For similar reasons, I loved borrowing other people’s clothes, a habit that was relatively easy in boarding school.
Issues tended to arise when the borrower turned out to be a bad returner. I hated putting myself out there and asking for my clothes back. And for the real acquaintances who I rarely saw again, well, my clothes disappeared with their friendship. I also remember borrowing (and loaning) items to casual flings in the hopes of prolonging the relationship; it was rarely successful.
In retrospect, it does come across as slightly pathetic that I would swap my goods for a fleeting chance at friendship, but it was one of the few currencies that I had.
Old habits die hard. I recently loaned a *friend* (note the asterisks, because she is not a good friend and has often been lame about connecting for a play date) some of my daughter’s fancy dresses which she has probably outgrown in the two months that they were on loan. My mom encouraged me to get them back now. The longer one takes to return an item, the likelihood of it being returned diminishes. I felt badly asking for my items back, having the mom trek to my hood when we couldn’t figure out a convenient playdate option, and was frustrated when she did not drop them off when she said she would. And these clothes are MINE!
On a good karma note, I did, reluctantly, return a friend’s baby carrier even though I knew she never used it. But we had it for most of the summer and it was the right thing to do. I just wish she returned the doll and the book I had loaned her, or at least made a half hearted attempt to do so. Oh well.