Monday, July 04, 2005

Look real close…

Go on, right there across my forehead. Do you see it? Look harder! Yep, that’s it, the word MUG in big black letters!

I swore I wasn’t going to repeat this sorry tale of idiocy on my part, but today, I’m feeling so shitty (or should that be shat upon?) I have to let it out!

I’m sat here, unsure whether I want to shout, scream or cry. One the one hand I keep telling myself it’s only money, but it’s not, it’s friendship too. And I refuse to take the blame for this. It wasn’t me who caused this, but I’d bet a tenner she’s not feeling this bad. No, in fact she’s swanning around pretending to be an air-head. Well I know her better than that, and she isn’t an airhead.

My tale of foolishness began last December. A good friend called me and asked advice on buying off eBay. I told her the things to look out for (feedback rating, payment terms, postage costs, etc) but then she said the seller only took paypal. Not a problem I told her, but she began panicking because the auction was up in three minutes and she was desperate. So I got the details, and won the item for her whilst we were on the phone. A few days later she came around to pick the item up, and told me about three other auctions she wanted to win. We looked at them together, and she asked if I would do the bidding for her ‘coz I knew what I was doing.

I had no qualms with this. I’ve known this person for six years, and she’s such a good friend that she’s J’s godmother. We see each other a couple of times a week and share a school run. What possible reason would I have for doubting that she’d pay me back?

When I handed over the items I gave her a sheet detailing win and postage amounts, but didn’t hassle for immediate payment as the amounts hadn’t come through on my credit card.

A month or so later, I mentioned that the bill was through and that was when the excuses began.

For months I’ve kept my requests for repayment light, not wishing to seem like someone who goes on and on about something. And she always had an answer. ‘Oh, I forgot again! I’m such an airhead!’ or ‘I meant to get to the bank, but the baby woke and wanted feeding.’ I said a cheque was okay, but she was going through a messy divorce and changing her name and was able to convince me the bank hadn’t sent her a new cheque book.

But I reached the end of my tether, or put more honestly, I’m broke and I’ve got three kids birthdays to pay for in the next five weeks, and I explained I’m now desperate for the cash. And I had hope because she said she’d bring it with on Friday, when we meet for afternoon tea. But on Friday, she dropped my boys off without stopping her engine and shouted an excuse about having to rush off ‘coz she forgot the baby’s feed.

She’s been avoiding me since I stepped up my requests, but I still had hope because she was bringing the boys home today and could hardly avoid me. What a mug I am. Of course she can – all she has to do is leave a message on my answer-phone saying her son has a temperature and so she won’t be doing this afternoons run. No mention of the money.

And that’s pretty much it, because I’m not due to see her again this week or next because of all the after-school activities with the end of term approaching. Then we have the six week break and I’m not holding my breath that I’ll hear from her!

I’m so angry. And I don’t think it’s even the money. It’s the total dismissal, like me and my worries don’t count. And I’d even be forgiving if she would just say out loud that she can’t afford to pay me back, but she cut me off when I broached the question. I’m also mega pissed at what the items were! My boy, P, has been desperate for a portable DVD player, fat-chance I told him, and yet – haven’t I (in a round about way) bought one for her son? And remember how R wants a mini-iPod for his birthday next month? – HA, You guessed it! I can’t afford to buy him one but I’ve already paid for her son to have one! Did I say anything when her son received two playstation games for Easter (from her), and all I could afford was three eggs for a fiver, for mine? Did I comment on the fact she and her new partner bought a new kitchen, a new car, or threw a fancy party for over one hundred people? No, I stayed silent because it none of my god-dam business what other people spend their money on!

You’ll have to excuse this post, and I may come back and delete it. I’m in a foul mood because I’m losing one of my best friends, and I don’t know what to do and I can’t see a way back.

I feel like an idiot, and I’m mad as hell at her for it.


Blogger Karen said...

Oh well, YEESH. How horrible. However:

1. You SHOULDN'T feel like an idiot -- it's not like this was some stranger who took advantage of you. This was a friend. I only see one idiot in this scenario, and it ain't you. And

2. Damn right you should be mad.

Hope you get through this okay.

Karen @ Chookooloonks

Monday, July 04, 2005 3:37:00 pm  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Hey Debi,

I'll bet she's a shop-aholic. Which only makes you an enabler, not an idiot. (Doesn't that make you feel better?) But seriously, you've recognized the problem now and you won't be taken in again.

Any way you can shame her into paying you back? How about sending a copy of the bill to her significant other?

Somehow, I suspect these are NOT useful suggestions. Sorry. I'm beginning to realize how terrible I'd be in a situation like this.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005 1:47:00 am  
Blogger Jona said...

Thanks for your kind words, Karen :o)

And Doug, LoL, if you hadn't noticed -- I'm pretty terrible in this situation too! Though I have learnt a rather horrid lesson.

I'm planning on calling her tomorrow with one final ditch effort, wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005 11:06:00 am  
Blogger MarkD60 said...

That even pisses ME off. I sold a car to a friend once and he gave me part of the money and I signed it over so he could get insurance and drive it. DId I ever see the rest of the money? Nooo!
The same thing happened with a little old church lady who plowed into my car and promised she'd pay so I didn't call the cops.
ARecently, another friend called and says he wanted to see me to talk to me. I think "he wants to borrow money". So I see him, prepared in advance to NOT loan him money, and he has $3500 in cash he wants me to keep in my bank account until he gets a reference letter from his employer so he can open his own bank account. So I say OK and write up a reciept. I have to force him to take it!
Then he calls later and wants me to go stand in line at the bank so he can get $500. So we go to the bank and I gave him hell and never let him hear the end of it. "this isn't what you said, I'm not your banker and the next time you want any of the money, you're taking it all" Then I wrote a reciept, made him sign it, then gave him the money. He acted offended that I made him sign the reciept, but ask me if I care! Next time he got the rest of the money, and signed another receipt and that's been the end of it. This I learned the hard way.

A Poeeem:
Had a friend,
Had some money,
Loaned my friend the money,
Lost my friend,
Lost my money!

I would kiss the money good bye and don't hold the resentment, You didn't do anything wrong, so be at peace with yourself. Also I would utterly reject her until she pays you back and apologizes.

If you can't let it go and you're really pissed, tactfully publicize her ripoff to your mutual friends and her family and keep after her. But it's hard to not turn into an equally-as-bad-guy this way.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005 11:37:00 am  
Blogger Jona said...

Oh I'm glad it's not just me, Mark! (crikey, does that sound awful? I don't mean to say I'm glad you've had the experience! Just that I'm not alone, if you know what I mean...)
The chap giving you money is an odd one - do you suppose he's even more naive that us?! He was lucky it was you he asked!

I like your poem, but would rather I couldn't relate to it so well ;o)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005 7:42:00 pm  

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