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?"
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.
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.