Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Whiny Post to Commence in 5, 4, 3 -

You guys know I love animals. Yep, darn well giddy over animals.

You might not know that I also have a BF who is Bob's former wife who couldn't save a penny if her life actually did depend on it.

Not a red cent.

With that in mind, Bob and I have been the 'Bank of Cindy' - yes, we call it that. Things get financially rough and I get a phone call. Usually it's fine but there are times when it's not.

I think it's been a 1 1/2 years now since BF bought a used car and borrowed 3 grand. 200 bucks a month was to be paid back till it was done. I haven't had a payment since February. BF thinks she paid until April, I'm thinking she got confused with the normal ' I need to borrow 200 hundred till Tuesday' and the back and forth that that causes.

Hell, I get confused.

I got a call a week ago to borrow 800 till December 21st which hey, she needed to get her shopping done for her kids (my Godkids) so I'm fine with that and I made it clear it had to be paid back on time.

Hold on now because things are about to get bumpy.

BF has a dog that is about 2 years old (if). The other day he raced out the door to play with his furry best friend (has done this since he was a pup) and no one saw but he slipped on ice and fell.

I get a phone call and hear BF crying.

After telling me all this she tells me that the pup has broken his leg in 4 places and he will need surgery to fix his leg.

It will cost between 3-4 thousand dollars.

BF is a mess. I'm in shock and even though I know I need to lend her the money I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach for so many different reasons.

I tell her it's fine, we'll loan them the money while trying to figure out how Bob will react to all this.

Bob loves animals too.

But it's not the dog we're worried about.

Tonight I get the final amounts and call in to pay the bill - It was over the 4 grand estimate.

Money is a tricky thing to talk about with people and well BF and I have had a few problems over the years. She knows she owes money but will do things that are completely selfish like go on vacation (not that they are fancy vacays) knowing she won't pay anyone she owes for the few months before that because she needs to save.

I also need to say that I'm my own worse enemy. I don't bug her for payments because seriously, that just pisses me off. She's an adult and should act accordingly. This past summer she had to borrow money and I was told I would get paid back when the 'money' came in. That money was supposed to show up before she left for vacation. I heard nothing. I knew they were gone on vacation and I didn't even get a call saying 'the check didn't show up'. I heard later how she was furious and called and yelled at people but a simple phone call would have kept me from being angry for 3 days.

So here I sit, wondering how this new jolt to our finances is going to work out. She knows that we borrow the money and I have told her she's paying the interest. The minute she hears something like that she figures she's fine if she misses payments because she's paying the interest.

I tried to set up an understanding that 'this' time things had to be different and I got the 'of course, if you think it's easy to swallow my pride and call my ex-husband and his wife for money you have no clue'.

So even though I know Bob and I did the right thing there is that part of me that is stressed about it. I know I shouldn't be. I want to be a better person than that but sometimes it's hard.

The good news is the dog's leg is all wrapped up and he'll get to go home to his family. And I truly hope he has years and years of life in front of him.


Jessica W. (Book Bound) said...

I don't know if you've already received this award, but I gave you one at my blog Book Bound.

Here's the link:

Take care!

Amy said...

"wow" is all I can say, Cindy. Seriously, you're a better person than me. Truly, you have a heart of gold to go through this song and dance with this woman as many times, and still want to do a good deed again.

I'm not sure I could ever ask my best friend (especially if it was my ex-husband's wife) for the amounts of money she has. I have a hard time borrowing a dollar off of someone to get a pop out of the machine!

Katie Mack said...

I watched my mother go through a very similar cycle with my brother for 12 years. He'd borrow money from her, swearing up and down to make monthly payments. He'd usually make the payments for a little while, then stop or get very spotty until dropping them altogether. Then he'd call and ask for more money, swearing that THIS time he'd make the payments. Only he wouldn't. Over and over and over again this happened. And every time he called it was with the same story: something unexpected came up and he's desperate.

All the while, he's buying himself things like a fancy new computer, or a Nintendo, or [fill in the blank] expensive toy. He would buy himself all the things he *wanted* first, then not have money to buy groceries or pay the electric bill or the rent -- hence the desperation.

This went on for years. He was always in financial straits that he just couldn't seem to ever get out of. But Mom was always there to bail him out.

Until Mom just couldn't do it anymore. She literally no longer had any cash or credit or borrowing power to give him more money. Zip, zilch, nada. And at this point she had accumulated more than $50,000 in debt for him that she was struggling to make payments on.

So she was forced to do what my sisters and I had been begging her to do for years: She cut him off. And guess what happened? Once my brother realized that the cash cow was really all tapped out this time, he suddenly got a whole lot better about managing his finances. Way, way, way better. It's truly amazing to see what kind of changes people can make when they're forced to.

It's been nearly 2 years now since he borrowed any money, although he still hasn't paid back what he owes Mom.

Now, obviously I don't know your BF or her situation, so you can take my family's story how you will. But I do hope it gives you some food for thought. Some people truly just need a little help temporarily, but some people will take advantage of their loved ones as long as they're able to and bleed them dry. The trick is always in figuring out which group your loved one fits into.

I wish you luck. I know this is not a fun situation to be in, and my heart goes out to you.

Amy said...

Katie, your brother and mom's situation sounds eerily familiar to my own brother and mom. Maybe not to the tune of 50 grand, thank Heavens, but it's a repeating cycle and has caused my mother no small amount of heart ache.

The even worse part is, it not only affects the relationship between the parties involved directly, but also surrounding family members as they watch this go on - or it does at least in my situation. I know hearing my mom's distress and stress about my brother causes my blood pressure to go up in turn, and then I feel helpless because I'm not a millionaire and can't fix the problem. Right now I'm just trying not to feed into the drama.

CindyS said...

Amy and Katie - I know that 1/2 the problem is me. I know it. I remember once saying 'no' and thinking that would be it and had her ask me 'why not?' I remember stammering (it wasn't this kind of money at the time and there had only been a few slips - I was trying to set boundaries) and every time I came up with something she shot it down. She's actually got brass balls ;)

For me, this is it. She can't borrow money until she pays off all the money she owes. I'll know I'll get some blow back on that - 'I've been paying you and I don't understand why a week would be a problem and the check will bounce if I don't put the money in.'

Here's the heat of it. I know she calls the next person on the list and then THAT person gets paid back first. 'Cindy, you know ____ have to borrow off their line of credit to lend us the money and it has to be paid back fast'. Uh, yeah. I don't mention the fact that I don't have a whazoo that dispenses money for free ;)

"All the while, he's buying himself things like a fancy new computer, or a Nintendo, or [fill in the blank] expensive toy. He would buy himself all the things he *wanted* first, then not have money to buy groceries or pay the electric bill or the rent -- hence the desperation."

EXACTLY!! I understand food, bills etc but when you get an extra 100 dollars don't blow it on something trivial.

I do know that my friend equates money to love. I once told her that and offended her greatly but her father used to buy her off. He would get to be angry and inappropriate in his anger. Then he could go out and she could buy whatever she wanted. Yeah. Not good.

Ah well. I'm not nearly as good of a person as I wish I was. I think I can lean on Bob to help me say 'no' to things. Bob would happily take the blame but neither of us could be the ones to say 'hey, put your dog down'.

I was telling my other friend about it and she said 'I wouldn't have called anyone cause it's not anyone else's problem.'

I created the beast. Now I need to slay it. Or maim it.

Jessica W - I'll drop in - thanks for thinking of me!


Kristie (J) said...

Oh Cindy - I learned the hard way never to lend money to friends or family. A number of years ago my sister borrowed a sum of money from me, swearing to pay it off within 3 months. Three years later I had only seen a partial payment and it caused a real strain between my sister and me, Ron and me (he was against lending it to her) and Ron and sis. Some of it never healed.
I'm not sure if you are asking for advice or not, but first thing you should do is close the Cindy bank. No matter what - do not lend her another cent until she pays you back - and then still don't lend her any. As long as she knows you will come to her aid, she will keep using you.
Although we tell ourselves it's not really about the money - we are happy to help out how we can, what it really is they are taking advantage of us and deep down we know they are.
If she asks - just say - because - and leave it at that. I know it's hard - one of the hardest thing us 'softies' can do - but you do not owe her any explanation and if she really is a friend she will get that.

CindyS said...

Kristie - us softies can become easily abused can't we. It was different at the last house when the mortgage was paid off and such but we moved and now we have more financial strains so we need the money Bob works hard for now. So yeah, I'm going to have to practice the word 'NO' for a while and see if I can get her to listen

Thanks Kristie!


Mary G said...

Hey Cindy
You're such a sweetheart. We'd all like to help the way you do. I guess the line between needs & wants get blurred. It's tough especially when kids are involved but we can't always help. Then there is the enabling factor. When we keep bailing people out we are enablers. Katie Mack's letter proves it.Plus she's a bully if she does not take no for an answer the first time. She can always justify it. Just say "no means no". Happy Holidays to you, Bob & the kittys.

nath said...

Is this your best bud that moved to the West and whose son you are the godmother to? (I get a bit confused with your number of best buds :P)

In any case, it is very generous with you and I completely sympathize with you, Cindy :( But you're right in saying this time, you have to set boundaries and it has to be the last time till she pays you back... It really sucks because you're the one who gets all the shit and you're the one who "loses" a friend while you were doing them a favor...

I agree with people when they say not to lend money - to family or friends; even if I don't do it ^_^;

Core of steel Cindy! :) If you can say no to Bob to go to Home Depot, you can say no to your BF!

Holly said...

I'm all late to the party (sorry, I've been hiding in my cave), but I just wanted to say that this:

So even though I know Bob and I did the right thing there is that part of me that is stressed about it. I know I shouldn't be. I want to be a better person than that but sometimes it's hard.

Kind of struck me as wrong. You didn't "do the right thing" b/c there really isn't a right or wrong in that situation. I absolutely feel for the dog and your friend, but,'s HER dog. It wasn't your responsibility to take care of it.

Next time she wants to know "why", let C-Rex come out and play with her. That'll be fun. ;0)