If you’ve ever found your generosity tested by a friend or neighbor, you know the annoyance it can arouse. Author Vickey V. seems to attract more than her share of extended hands, and she’s collected several notable stories about the borrowers in her life into You Wanna Borrow What?
The author writes in the confiding tone of a girlfriend as she relates these stories. For example, she recounts how a neighbor once stole water when her own was shut off for nonpayment of a bill, then turned around to ask if she could bootleg electricity as well. She describes choosing the perfect stylish ensemble and getting props from fellow parishioners at church, only to have a woman ask to borrow her wig. The title refrain is her response to these moochers.
Occasional dropped words detract a bit from the otherwise fast pace, as do speculative passages where the author imagines certain situations. Her chapter looking at the history of borrowing by hippies, for example, reads more like a rant against the hippie era than the humorous effect the author seems to be going for.
Additionally, the way the author looks down on many of the people she describes can be offputting. A neighbor who has had her utilities shut off with kids in the home is a vulnerable target to go after, regardless of how annoying she might be. And regarding the woman at church who asked for the wig to attend a job fair: Would Jesus side with the author’s vanity or the person in need?
Despite the book’s drawbacks, there’s a cathartic quality to letting it all out when we feel our generosity has been taken advantage of. You Wanna Borrow What? mines the situation for a few genuine laughs that some readers might appreciate.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.