I have this problem with people thinking I have taken their stuff when I haven't.
One time, this lady I know came up to me and asked me for her old black-and-white family heirloom picture back. She said she had loaned it to me for a project I was doing on period costume. I was stunned. I did not have her picture nor was I doing a project on period costume. When I informed her of these facts, she was insistent that I indeed had borrowed her picture and she needed it back because it was very important to her. What was I to do? I couldn't produce her precious picture, and she was not happy with me about it. It wasn't until later that she remembered it was someone else she had loaned it to.
Another time, I got a call from a friend of mine who wanted to use the Halloween costume she had loaned me for my daughter. I was at a loss because she had not loaned me a Halloween costume. She was so sure she had that I began to doubt myself and started digging through all of Allika's clothes looking for a bumblebee costume. I was relieved when I got the call that my friend remembered it was her sister-in-law she had loaned it to - not me.
Still another time, I returned a bowl and lid in which someone had given me some food. A few weeks later she asked me if I still had the lid to her bowl because it was one of her favorites and she would really like to have it back. I was horrified because I knew for a fact I did not have it, but there was no way to prove that. Fortunately, she did find her lid tucked away somewhere a few days later.
And do you all remember the incidence with the academic adviser, who believed me to have the schedule that I never received from her and proceeded to make it very difficult for me to get another one? I guess that's kind of a different category, but I'm still a little sore about it.
I actually have a few more stories along these same lines, but I'm sure you are getting the picture.
I don't know if this phenomenon happens to anyone else, and if it does, whether it bothers you, but I can attest to the fact that it causes me great stress and discomfort. I do not like people thinking that I am deliberately or irresponsibly keeping something of theirs that I never had in the first place.
I have thought about a policy of never being in possession of anyone's property. That way when someone accuses me of having kept their valued possessions, I can simply say, "That couldn't possibly be me. I have a "anti-other people's property policy." The only problem with that solution is that it doesn't work. You cannot exist on this earth and never borrow anything, have a loan thrust upon you by some well-meaning friend, or somehow come in contact with another person's stuff.
I guess, technically, you could if you wanted to be really mean and grouchy to everyone, but I don't. Thus, I came to the conclusion that I shall valiantly suffer this burden of being falsely accused of keeping one's heirlooms and the like. I will smile, try to reason with them, and endure their anger with me.
This was until yesterday, that is.
My daughter and I made the twelve-hour trip to Oklahoma this weekend to attend a friend's wedding in which my daughter was a flower girl. It was a lot of fun to see old friends and visit a little bit. I just wish we could have gotten to spend more time with people. That's just not possible when there is so much going on during wedding preparations and all. I enjoyed the little bit of time I got, though.
What does this have to do with the pocketing of people's possessions policy (PPPP)? I am about to tell you.
My daughter was an absolute angel for the whole trip. I couldn't have asked for a better traveling buddy. She was nigh unto perfect. I say "nigh" because there were no issues the whole way down and all the way back until we got a little way from home. It was then that we had our first incident, and would you like to know what it was about?
She had been listening to her Ramona books on tape (which I secretly enjoy, as well). Instead of putting them back in the tape case, however, she was tossing them around the car and getting the next tape out to listen to(not in order, mind you, much to my chagrin). Finally, I insisted that she give me all her tapes strewn around the back seat, and I put them back in their cases. I distinctly remember that their was one tape slot which remained empty because I had not been given the appropriate tape for that slot. This is a very important piece of information.
A short time later, Allika said, "Mom, why did you lose my Romona the Brave tape?"
"Yes, you did. I gave it to you, and you lost it."
Then, something happened that I cannot explain. It was like all the emotions and feelings came tumbling out which had been bottled up inside of me for all those years of being accused of keeping something I had never had. It was both an extremely traumatic and healing moment for me.
"I did not, Allika, and don't accuse me of losing a tape that you lost because you didn't put it away."
"No, I gave it to you. I know I gave it to you."
This is about the time that I snapped and became overly emotional about the whole situation. "How on earth do you think you can know that you gave me that tape? Did you read every single one of those tapes before you gave them to me? I'm the one who knows what tapes you gave me, and you did not give me that tape. Now, you better sit there and be quiet and don't talk about it again or I'm going to take every single one of your tapes away, and you won't get to listen to anything!!!"
So, I figure it was a great trip other than that one little psychotic display by this very delusional mother.
My poor daughter is stuck with me for a long time. Bless her heart.