This story doesn’t end well . Unlike a complete stranger, we often take a chance of those we love and may take a chance on someone when no one else will. A big fan of Judge Judy, I’ve watch through the years as long term friendships dissolved over money. The lender, becomes the villian, the monster for asking to be repaid, after the person we loaned money, breaks his/her promise to repay us
We are not going to fade away, and we will never forget what we loaned you and when you promised to repay us.
No one wants to feel like a fool! Through the years ,I have become as tough as leather. If you have bad credit or a history of not repaying friends and family, don’t look my way. I might take a small chance on someone, a hundred dollars or less, if they don’t repay me, I’m fine and hoping they have a good memory, as I always make them sign a promissory note. Finally, if your the person, who holds a grudge or gets angry when someone doesn’t repay you, your better off not lending anyone money. Paying an Attorney’s or spending time in jail could be expensive.
Sometime around 5pm,new years eve, the phone rings. Jan calls her friend Sharon, Jan is in tears. She and her boyfriend are at a posh hotel in San Francisco where she has reserved a large suite. They are unable to check in because neither she or her boyfriends have enough on her Credit Card to check in, however they have cash to pay for the suite. She needs someone who has an American Express Card. Sharon agrees to use hers and speaks to the employee at the hotel. The employee informs her, they cant take the card over the phone, Jan dissolves into a pile of tears.
Sharon is in a quandary, as she is preparing for a party at her home some sixty miles away. The traffic, parking, and the question of the pile of things she had to do. She tells Jan, she will have to call her back. She talks to her daughter in law and asks her for advice. Sharon tells her, Jan has had a very difficult year, recovering from a divorce, she lost her father last year to Covid, and finally, she has a man in her life ,and this is the least she could do for someone she has known since fifth grade. Her daughter in law says her son could drive her, and wait outside and she thinks she can handle everything until she gets back. Sharon calls Jan, and asks for the name and address of hotel.
Sharon, realized as the valet opened her car door, that she was wearing the same clothes she has cooked and cleaned in. Jan and her boyfriend Robert were standing just inside the door as she walked in. As the the three walked toward the check in area, Robert stuffed $1100 dollars in Sharon’s hand and mouthed thank you.
Sharon checked them in, and hugged them and wish them Happy New Year and everyone was off.
On Monday, Sharon checked her American Express card, she felt a little guilty as she rarely checks her balance and after all, she has $1100 dollars which is probably more than the what the room cost for one day. Her balance was $4134.11. Her heart started to beat and she said to herself said this cant be right. Opening the transactions it wasn’t right, the final hotel bill was 2802.78. The hotel must have did something wrong. She called the hotel and asked if there was a mistake on her bill?
The hotel reviewed the charges, the suite was upgraded to a larger suite $1700.00,then there were food and wine charges totaling, $591.00 and other miscellaneous charges, bringing the total to $2802.78. She told the person that she was doing her friend a favor and wanted to know how they were able to make charges to her credit card? The clerk told her by adding their names they were able to charge to her credit card..
Sharon, went into the family room and told her husband who was watching football. He dismissed it, as he to has known Jan for many years, and he knew she would pay them back. Sharon, didn’t share her husbands view, if the sides were changed, she would have asked Jan for permission before charging the card . The more she thought about it, the angrier she became, however she couldn’t stir her husband who dismissively said, then call her!
She went into the bedroom and thought about what she was going to say to Jan, and as she was dialing Jan, she decided to call a mutual friend Theresa instead. The three of them used to go out together but in the last few years, not as much. The three have all known each other for years, their children are all near the same age. Sharon, though it was Covid, that has kept them apart as fewer people are going out .
Sharon told Teresa, about the extra hotel charges.. Teresa, started to say something and then stopped hereself. and said I’m sorry. Sharon said, you hesitated,…. Teresa said, yes, I’m not sure I should tell you this, because I have moved on…
About three years ago, I loaned Jan some money to fix her car She said it needed a starter, then it needed other things, and before I knew it, the total bill was $2000, I drove to the auto repair and she asked for my credit card. She didn’t ask if she could charge it , it was like, give me your card!
For months, I didn’t say anything, you know me, I’m not confrontational. I sent her a text to see if she would make payments. She gave me eight hundred dollars, please don’t tell anyone about this. I’ve only seen her that one time after that. We were at lunch, I don’t know if your remember, but she deliberately turned her chair away from me,, I was being punished for asking for the money she owed me, I haven’t see or heard from her since and she still owes me money . Sharon, me and Paul don’t have a lot of money. and we didn’t go on vacation that year, we couldn’t afford it. Please don’t say anything to Jan.
Hanging up the phone, Sharon felt as if the wind was knocked out her. What did she miss? How did she miss? Is Jan a good person, or a user? She remember a comment made by some random girl when they were in high school about Jan’s loyalty, “she chooses people that will benefits her.” “She would only date boys who had a good jobs, who could buy her nice things” Thinking this cant be true, and then remembering the conversation she had with Teresa. Jan never said anything negative about Teresa, but she never said, where is Teresa? I miss her?
Angry, she thought if she took a nap, she could reset herself. Sleep didn’t come easy as the more she thought about Jan just charging up her credit card as it was an endless a prize and not repaying Teresa maybe she isn’t a friend.
Sharon poured herself a small glass of wine, before she called Jan.
Hey girl, Happy New year, I meant to call you, how was your party? Small, Sharon replied. We had a Great time at the hotel, it is very luxurious, thank you for saving us, you are a great friend. Well that’s why I’m calling, Sharon said. I just saw the hotel bill and it is nearly three thousand dollars, I wasn’t expecting any charges. $3000, are you sure? Jan said Yes, I have it right now can I can seen you a copy. No, No, I believe you, Robert gave you fifteen hundred. No he gave me eleven hundred.
Your sounding a bit hostile Sharon, its not like you and Dan are hurting for money, your driving that new Lexus. I’m not hostile, I’m surprised, I wasn’t expecting any bill especially one for $3000. Wow!, I didn’t expect this, Jan says, you’ve been encouraging me to do something nice for myself. Wow? Sharon says! I wasn’t expecting to underwrite, your good time! Your not the friend that you claimed to be, you will get your money, my boyfriend will get it to you? When, Sharon says, my Amex is due in a few weeks! Well, we wont be able to pay you all at once, Jan says. You didn’t call me, didn’t ask permission, Sharon is screaming now. I thought you were my best friends, apparently not, Jan says. Your friends don’t take advantage of you, Sharon. You will get your money, on my kids!
As of Tuesday, Sharon says, she isn’t sure there is a friendship……. even it she gets the money back