Friday, May 15, 2009

Hyperbole, Anyone?

Don't you just hate those days when a deadline is reached and you aren't yet sure if those with the deadline will meet it?
I'm in such a position today.
But first, an adage.
Neither a lender nor a borrower be.
In February, I got caught up in a promising new friendship, and I loaned someone a large sum of money. Not large enough to buy a new car, but large enough to buy a really good horse, some hay, a saddle, tack, and a nice pair of boots.
The terms were great- 10 percent interest, and the money would be repaid in full within one week.
After a few half hearted payments, today is the deadline for the remainder to be paid- about 3,000 bucks.
The looming debt has all but ruined the friendship and dashed my hopes for a business relationship with him, which was a definite path for us back in February.

I can always tell when my serenity is compromised when it's 3 a.m. and I'm having a spirited conversation with someone who's not actually in the room.
"Where's my goddamn money?'
"Is your word no good?"
"But you promised."
"You know this promissory note will hold up in court, dontcha?"
"You can afford a $3,000 a month rent payment yet you can't pay me my dough?" nauseam.

I catch myself and remind myself that I can't drink the poison and hope someone else dies. I cannot will someone to do what they are unwilling or unable to do. I am powerless over him, and my own stupid decisions.

Funny thing.
I have a lunch date today with a good friend who's a successful life coach. She's happily married, wealthy, beautiful, talented and creative. She has a Ph.D in economics. She's also living with MS and makes it seem as manageable as a week-old mosquito bite.
Oh sure, I could lay all this on her, but we made plans to have lunch because we're friends who haven't enjoyed each other's company for far too long.
I really don't want to burden her with my drama, or for her to think I'm angling for some free life coaching.

So I gotta work all this out before noon.

Here's what I've come up with.
See, I thought the guy who owes me the dough was a perfect prospect as a business partner. We have a surefire idea and clients all but in the bag.
He has skills I lack and vice versa.
We make each other laugh and we share a million things in common--important things like spirituality, good food, political philosophies and a love of books.
But the son of a bitch's word is no good.
He makes promises he can't keep.
And I cannot, will not, go into business with someone whose word is no good. I cannot put myself into a position where I might have to explain to clients that they can't have what we promised them because my partner does not keep his word.
And I won't be put into a position where I have to beg, cajole, bribe or bargain with someone to just get him to do what he agreed to do.

I can appreciate irony. It's not even 9 a.m., and he could call me within the next few hours to tell me he's got my dough. And I'd happily drive over to get it and be perfectly charming and thank him for it.

But I still won't become his business partner, ever.
Friends, maybe, but that's doubtful because his wife has treated me like I owe her money ever since they borrowed money from me.
This loan has poisoned all of us in one way or another.

In the old days, before I realized I could experience emotions beyond just happy and angry, I would have been seething mad over this. I'd be a raging storm of resentment.
But I'm not mad or resentful. I am hurt. I am sad. I am disappointed that I made a bad decision that's ended up costing me not just money, but my naive, innocent faith in others. And a good friendship. And trust.

So at lunch today, I plan to tell my friend the process of how I got from there to here. And I won't even hope that she pities me and picks up the tab.


Distributorcap said...

there are some good things about age ---

we all learn the hard way -- never ever lend money to friends - NEVER - i won't -- you might as well just say to yourself, i am giving you this money. that is what my father used to tell me -- he would always "lend" his 2 brothers money - and they never paid him back = he would say to me - "i know they won't, but it makes them feel better if they think it is a loan." good for him to be such a good brother. but that taught me - do not lend to friends

and it is quite obvvious this person would not be a good business partner

Utah Savage said...

Dcap speaks words of wisdom. I often have some kind of transaction with a friend which involves buying something for them since I'm going to the store and they aren't. I'm always surprised when they pay me. Sometimes I buy a piece of art an artist friend of mine has made and I only have a fifty and the piece I'm buying costs $45. This person doesn't have the fiver and I don't want quarters. I never get the five and always forget about it. I think of this kind of exchange as the wages of friendship. But I will not enter into any sort of business deal with a friend or ever loan a friend any substantial sum of money. I just say if asked, "I can't afford to."

I'm really glad you're having lunch with this woman. I'll bet she can help.

deb said...

I wish I had known this, too, without learning it the hard way. I was foolish, too. What does it all mean? I keep looking for the deeper meaning. Am I foolish in who I trust? Are the people I trusted sociopaths? Are most people good, just not those? Are those people good, too, but something went wrong? If so, what went wrong? Have I been guilty of the same thing? There are so many layers for me.

nonnie9999 said...

i think everyone has been there. when you lend money to someone, you should always consider that you might not ever see it again. you have a choice. you can kick yourself repeatedly for being taken in, or you can applaud yourself for being a good person who tried to help a friend. it might have been much, much worse if you had gone into business with him. better to find out now instead of later.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you're talking about my brother! I wish I had a penny for every penny I ever "loaned" him.

Lisa said...

Dang it. I knew things had soured, but I didn't know this piece of it. When I have been told in the past to "borrow from friends or family," I've made the choice to do without, take the consequences, whatever the case may be rather than ask for a personal loan. I hate feeling beholden to people that I'm otherwise friends with.

I hope he can muster up some dignity and pay you back.

Fran said...

Bummer. That's a big chunk of change. I'd still pursue
asking for it back.

Damn! I'm coming p short for rent.... Oh right! You owe me $3000 bucks. So you gonna pay me back or give me the keys to your car???

Did this lesson have to be so expensive??? Argh!

Lulu Maude said...

oh dear. he's already written you off as a potential bidness partner, you can bet on that.

pay back in full in a week??

zippie, dear zippie--you've been had.

i am soso sorry.

KarenZipdrive said...

Thank you all for the feedback, support and words of wisdom.
Lunch with my pal Dee went great yesterday, but when I returned home my phone and DSL were dead.
Lemme see, in one week I have a dead iPod, a dead computer, three light bulbs burnt out, my watch battery died and my phone and DSL service went out.
Oh, and I apparently got burned for the money too, since I haven't heard from him.
They say these things come in threes, not sixes. Enough already!

bigsis said...

Dcap's daddy had the right idea. If you know you're giving them money you won't feel bad when you don't get it back.

You may want to look into some kind of "protection" Zip, sounds like too much going wrong around you. Even if you sue the bum he probably doesn't have a pot to piss in so its a loss all the way around.

Lulu Maude said...

a part of me is mad at you for being taken in by these swine, but a huge part of me wants to kick their asses. can i help you in any way? should all of us participate in a nasty-gram campaign?

(big sis, please weigh in with some legal wisdom.)

Fran said...

Yea-- maybe we need to send a burly guy named Guido & have him give a little pep talk -- something about "swimming with da fishes".


KarenZipdrive said...

As crusty as I may seem on this blog, in real life I gotta watch my karma.
So, no hitmen or ass kicking, but thanks for the offers. :]

Lulu Maude said...

how about what we in new england call a card shower--usu. for some shut in centenarian: lots of birthday wishes arriving in the mail on a pre-appointed day? only they'd be different wishes: i wish you'd pay back zippie; i wish you the satisfaction of a debt repaid; i wish you the deep end of a pool, i wish you lots of friends just like urself, etc


HelenWheels said...

Hey KZip, SO sorry to hear this!! I agree with Nonnie. Every book I "lend" or money I dole out is with the understanding I'll never see it again. I only did one sizable loan and fortunately, it was paid back and we are still friends.

What I suggest is at least making the move to small claims court. You can file a claim for free, I think, or very cheaply. Sometimes people will be frightened enough to pay it back w/out even getting as far as the courtroom. Just a suggestion.

Or you could take his horse & hold it for ransom 'til he pays. The boots, too.

Dee said...

It totally bites that he hasn't paid you yet! I agree that small claims court is a good idea, or how about putting a lien on whatever property he owns. That might work because couldn't sell the property with a lien...But all in all, like you said at our lovely lunch, it was worth $3,000 to know he is not the person you want to be in business with (Man, I hate it when I end in a preposition but I just don't feel like figuring it out. The hell with grammer)

Keep on blogging and pursuing your dream biz without the jerk. You're a wonderful, witty, charming woman, he doesn't matter.

Karen Zipdrive said...

Thanks, Dee!
To my readers, commenters and lurkers, my friend Dee has written a compelling crime novel I'm in the middle of reading.
Once I'm done and can write a proper review, I'll tell you all how you can buy your own copy on

All weekend I have felt a little gutted with disappointment about the loan, but y'all have no idea how much it's helped to be able to share my feelings with my Bloggy pals and readers.
Thank you.

Karen Zipdrive said...

Of course I have not ruled out small claims court, but in reality the court lacks the ability to enforce judgments against pikers, so it might turn out to be just a symbolic victory.
I don't want them to feel like they HAVE TO pay me back, I want them to want to pay me back because it's the right thing to do.
I like these people and want to believe they are honorable people deep down.

Fran said...

Well that's pretty nice of you to be considerate of their feelings.... I'd probably be more focused on wanted that feeling of the $3000 bucks back in YOUR bank account.

They are the ones abusing & taking advantage of you.

I was just kidding about Guido & swimming with da fishes.....

I don;t know any actual hit men named Guido, anyway. ; >

Dawn on MDI said...

you speak my language, Kzip. I remember feeling only rage and pain. You did the right thing by trusting. Now you're doing the right thing by keeping yourself from getting hurt again.If we put up walls, we get lonely. Good for you for being the decent person. Resentments are poison to us. Let it go. If the money comes back, consider it a gift.

Fran said...

Yea but it was not a donation & you are not a doormat.
Fences make for good neighbors.

Remind them they still owe you & you expect to be repaid.

Karen Zipdrive said...

He e-mailed me yesterday morning, saying he'd be calling after 5 p.m. yesterday. No call.
Am I surprised? Nope.
I'd call him but he wouldn't answer. Been there, done that.

Dusty said...

Small claims would be a waste of time..a hollow victory. You don't have an asset to go after..unless you count the horse, and I really don't think you want the horse right?

A judgment isn't worth the paper it's written on without an asset to attach.

What A Bag of Batshit that guy is.

Karen Zipdrive said...

He didn't actually use the money to buy a horse, I was just using it as an example of how much money it was, which was 5 grand.
He's paid me back $2,100 so far and I'm meeting him later today, hopefully to get at least a few more sheckles out of him.
This has been one helluva costly lesson.