Re: Advice from my dad

1

You gave your college roommate $800? Wouldn't that be the big money, college freshman-wise?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:28 AM
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And, did she pay it back?


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:30 AM
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You parents gave you $800 to advance to a semi-stranger?

Hey, can I borrow $800?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:41 AM
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And thus did young heebie narrowly avoid the obligation to finance her freshman roommate's first house.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:44 AM
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Now I'm second-guessing the amount - was it really that much? Maybe it grew in my memory to stay what felt like a lot of money. I mean, I wouldn't have had $300 either.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:46 AM
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2: Nope.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:47 AM
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So, just to restate slightly: if somebody asks you for money, you should give it to them, because that'll save you money down the road?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:51 AM
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Is she still your friend?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:54 AM
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We got in touch about five years ago, and caught up with each other. Before that we hadn't spoken since my sophomore year. (She didn't come back to school that fall.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:55 AM
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I can't remember where I got it from, but I've always worked on a similar rule, which is 'don't lend anyone money if you wouldn't give it to them.' If it comes back, bonus, if it doesn't come back, then it's nothing you wouldn't have done as a gift. But this is a bunch tighter-fisted than Heebie's dad, in that there are plenty of people I wouldn't give money to.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:56 AM
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If someone asked me for money, and it wasn't a deeply beloved friend or relative, 'fuck off' would be the certain reply. This has been brought to you by: 'National stereotypes; sometimes true.'


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:57 AM
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The rule in 10 seems less likely to have me fighting off fits of giggles.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:58 AM
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I have often fallen back on the "if somebody asks you for money and you don't have any money, don't give them any money" heuristic.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:02 AM
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The Heebie-Daddy rule assumes that your friend would not be so shameless as to ask you for another loan while she still owes you money for the first. (I think I said this at the meet up) Of course, if the assumption turns out to be false, you have learned something important about your friend.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:05 AM
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Maybe the best solution to shortcut the heartache that comes from learning that somebody you were sort of close to isn't interested in returning the money you didn't have to you is to hand out money to random people on the street, and then befriend the ones that return it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:07 AM
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Do you have any idea what she needed the money for? I would generally not lend money, but there are things for which I'd make an exception.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:08 AM
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11: If I told you I was cold in your house would you tell me to put on a sweater?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:08 AM
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A bunch of weed or whatever?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:09 AM
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Any of you care what the money is for?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:10 AM
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18: Depends if she'd share it!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:12 AM
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Never borrow money from someone you wouldn't steal it from is my rule.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:12 AM
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re: 17

More salt in your porridge, oudemia?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:12 AM
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16: Yes, I am wondering too. Like, "I need an abortion!" would certainly have freshman roomies chipping in money. And helpy-chalk and I (and CA and probably others) were about to start withdrawing cash for a friend who needed a super-expensive same-day plane ticket because his father had just died (in that case saved by our oil-tycoon interim college president who just bought him the ticket and then, if I recall correctly, bought us all like one million pizzas.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:12 AM
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Bombing abortion clinics would be a dealbreaker.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:13 AM
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23: a valuable, if confusing, first lesson in ethics!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:16 AM
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24

Bombing abortion clinics would be a dealbreaker.

There are lots of things a college student might want money for that I would be reluctant to finance.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:23 AM
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"I just want to be fashionable like you, heebie!"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:25 AM
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The first example in 23 was one of the things I was thinking of in 16.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:26 AM
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28: And Baby's father gave her that money for her friend without even knowing what it was for!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:28 AM
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And Baby's father gave her that money for her friend

Wait, heebie's father got her freshman roommate pregnant?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:31 AM
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Nobody puts heebie in a corner.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:32 AM
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No no no, heebie's father is Jerry Orbach, not the douchebag suitor of heebie's sister.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:35 AM
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32: Of course! (Let's not forget the douchebag in that movie quotes Ayn Rand. That may be my favorite part.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:36 AM
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34

So is the big finale dance number on youtube somewhere?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:45 AM
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32: Ah, movies I've ever seen for $200, Alex.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:48 AM
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Hmm. Things I would loan people I liked a bunch of money for, that I didn't really expect to get back:

1. An abortion or other time-sensitive medical procedure.
2. Bail.
3. Paying off a loan shark.
4. Maybe taxes, depending on the exact situation.
5. Maybe tuition, again, if it seemed really urgent.

Of course, it depends a lot on the amount. $800 or whatever an abortion costs would be a pretty easy call. $3500 to keep someone in school for a semester would have to come with some really bizarre extenuating circumstances.

The most I've ever loaned anyone was $450 for rent, for a friend's place that I was couch-surfing at. Didn't really expect to get it back, and never did, despite the person in question having MANY opportunities to pay me back. To the best of my knowledge, and leaving aside loan/gifts from parents, I've never failed to repay anyone any debt over $10, except when I broke a (relatively inexpensive) piece of camera equipment that one of my jr. high classmates had brought in for a project we were working on. But I've googled him, and he seems to have a solid career and a hot partner, so I don't feel too bad about that anymore.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 6:54 AM
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I follow the "don't lend money that you can't afford not to get back" rule. I have lent thousands to my siblings over the years (not all at once). I am generally known as the Bank of Sir Kraab. Often it's been a short-term loan until a tax rebate comes or something. I've always trusted that they'll pay it back, and they have, but I wouldn't lend it if it would put me in a bind.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:10 AM
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|| Wade Mitchell Page's white supremacist record label: "'We do not wish to profit from this tragedy financially or with publicity,' the record label said in a statement posted online. 'In closing please do not take what Wade did as honorable or respectable and please do not think we are all like that.'" |>


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:15 AM
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and please do not think we are all like that.

Why not? They gave the bastard money for his poisonous drivel in the first place.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:18 AM
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I can't remember what reason she gave at the time, actually. Not an abortion. When I talked to her that fall, she said she'd been addicted to crank over the summer, but had now gotten off drugs.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:19 AM
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About ten years ago, my mother lost a childhood friend because she (my mother) didn't follow the "assume it's a gift" rule -- I think she was more angry that her friend had assured her that she would pay it back and then didn't than over the actual amount of the loan, which was not insignificant but also something my mother probably would have been willing to give the friend as a gift given the circumstances.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:19 AM
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Ayn Rand is quoted in Dirty Dancing? This I did not remember. Now, because I slept badly (had a long action adventure dream starring Blake Lively, woke up confused) I am imagining Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in a Merce Cunningham dance number set to an avant garde text piece based on the writings of Ayn Rand.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:21 AM
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If you take the person at their word that they'll pay you back, and then they don't, every not absolutely necessary purchase is an insult. These new shoes? Worth more than my promise to you!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:21 AM
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I would modify Heebie's dad's rule to say that if one member of a family/circle or friends lends somebody money and doesn't get it back, everybody else should draw the appropriate conclusion.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:22 AM
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42: Quote is incorrect. Apparently:

Robbie Gould: I didn't spend all summer long toasting bagels just to bail out some little chick who probably balled every guy in the place.

[Baby is pouring water into glasses for him]

Robbie Gould: A little precision please Baby... Some people count and some people don't.

[Brings out a copy of the fountainhead from his pocket]

Robbie Gould: Read it. I think it's a book you'll enjoy but make sure you return it I have notes in the margin.

Baby: You make me sick. Stay away from me, stay away from sister or I'll have you fired

[Baby pours the jug of water on his crotch]


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:25 AM
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I once loaned money to a friend, so she could buy herself an electric guitar. She made a big deal of making it a loan -- she wrote it out as a contract,etc, but I knew she would never pay me back, and she didn't. I also was pretty sure she wouldn't stick with her plan of learning to play the guitar. Maybe part of the reason I loaned her the money was that I felt guilty that I didn't believe in her. But, I was following that rule about not lending money you can't afford not to get back.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:27 AM
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My dad's cousin borrowed $1,000 from him (back in the 70s) and then declared bankruptcy within a month and listed that debt. Dad was never happy about that. This guy also recommended a person with lung cancer take up jogging and at funeral for another person with lung cancer raved about his cigars.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:32 AM
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48

I prefer to securitize and tranche my friends' abortions.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:33 AM
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49

My wife and I have a quandary over giving. Her nephew, son of her sister, has a chronic disease, recently had unlikely major surgery that added most likely a few years to his life, which would otherwise likely have ended soon. He's 30. He can't manage money and is living on inadequate disability. His only immediate family, his mom, has very little to give. He lives with a woman who is functionally a housepet that can use the telephone, income 30% of minimum wage, no capacity to do anything besides order fast food, possibly laundry.

Unfortunately, instead of discussing needs in advance and having a budget, interactions with him are always through his mom, and of the form "OMG, can't make this month's bills." I am reasonably happy to help, but only by sending money to creditors, not to him. Since we're in this for the foreseeable future, I would like to pay off the few debts with interest and service charges. He resents the "interference" and is making his mother miserable, which has led to worsened relations with her sister, my wife. Aside from essentially humanitarian motives, keeping the sisters amicable was my motivation for acting. FML.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:33 AM
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What a fucking mess. I'm sorry, lw.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:34 AM
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46: What did she ever do with the guitar? If it were just sitting around her house that's okay, but if she sold it and kept the money that would be galling. Unless it were years later and you had lost touch. Then it would still be nice to give some or all of the money back, but might not be worth the awkwardness of getting back in touch.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:35 AM
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The best invocation of Ayn Rand in pop culture has to be Bert Cooper's chat with Draper. He gets the whole creepy, culty, "we're different and special" tone exactly right.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:35 AM
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How about the reverse? I would never ask for a 'loan' that I didn't fully expect to be able to give back. I was once wrong about that and felt terrible. If you're truly desperate for cash and don't expect to be able to return it in the foreseeable future, you ask for it under those terms. I've both given and gotten money a few times in my life under those terms. However, I'd have to be both really close to the person and really flush to do so for an electric guitar.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:36 AM
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I'm trying to remember, but I don't recall a friend ever asking to borrow significant money (other than eg $5 for beer, which I always just treated as gifts). A senior partner I worked for at my old law firm was on a ridiculously tight allowance set by his wife, so would often ask to borrow things like cash for the building's car wash. And not all of that was paid back, which is probably pretty illegal but whatevs.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:39 AM
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49: Wow. So, am I understanding right, that the resistance is coming from the nephew? And that it's resistance to your choosing what debts to pay down, rather than just throwing money at him?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:39 AM
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That sucks, LW.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:40 AM
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55. Yes, that's right.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:41 AM
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LW, sorry to hear about your nephew.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:42 AM
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was on a ridiculously tight allowance set by his wife

Did he blow a bunch of money on hookers and coke in the past?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:43 AM
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No, not to my knowledge at all. I think they were saving up to buy super expensive furniture or something.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:44 AM
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Didn't the senior partner have his own source of income?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:45 AM
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Then he should take out $1,000 and go on a spree with a bunch of co-workers and dare her to leave him. Furniture is stupid.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:45 AM
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I mean, past a certain point, furniture is stupid. Obviously, everybody needs a couch, a recliner, and a desk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:47 AM
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He made the money, but they were running the household Japanese style; he got a weekly cash allowance and wasn't supposed to spend more than that, or use credit cards without permission. Somehow this seemed less weird at the time.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:49 AM
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I always thought that was the standard working class household pattern. Except that the allowance allowed for a reasonable amount of recreation except when the household was in dire straights.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:51 AM
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Exceptions tend to breed exceptions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:51 AM
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49: "What a fucking mess. I'm sorry, lw". I'll go with this, I can't improve on it.

"Since we're in this for the foreseeable future, I would like to pay off the few debts with interest and service charges. He resents the "interference" and is making his mother miserable, which has led to worsened relations with her sister, my wife. "

So you're getting hit with third-order emotional blackmail? I'd be thinking about my relations with my wife as paramount. If she's with the direct-to-creditors idea, then I'd let her deal with her sister and have her blame me for being, shall we say, "difficult". If she simply wants to give the money without strings, I'd set a firm limit, and when the OMFG hits again, watch the train wreck.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 7:57 AM
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57: I need to type faster. Okay, then let the sisters hash it out, stick to your idea. Nephew needs a kick in the ass.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:00 AM
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a reasonable amount of recreation except when the household was in dire straights

The dire gays can never have too much recreation!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:03 AM
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45: [Brings out a copy of the fountainhead from his pocket]

Must have been a big pocket.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:07 AM
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Someone gave me money once when I didn't have it to put some stuff in storage. I couldn't afford to pay her back for a long time. I knew she saw it as a gift, and I didn't remember exactly how much it was, but I gave her that and then some once I could afford it.

It *can* ruin friendships. My aunt lent someone money who couldn't pay it back. She would have been happy to see it as a gift, but the friend was really embarrassed and withdrew from the friendship.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:16 AM
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49: That really is a mess and a half, and there's really no tidy way of dealing with it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:24 AM
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I don't lend money I can't afford to give, but it was an astounding life lesson to me to discover that fairly close friends, with whom I otherwise shared a lot of values, did not share my value about repaying money. As far as I'm concerned it's on my mind every second from the time I borrow it* and I would move heaven and earth to pay it back, up to and including sending it as a donation to an appropriate cause if the friend was repeatedly refusing repayment. Debts are sacred.

*with the exception of $5 for lunch or something

I grew up watching my mother and her family lend money back and forth constantly, always with a loosely official time contract and (minimal) interest rate. It never occurred to me that a person who otherwise seemed totally compatible with my values would have a different feeling about repaying money. I have to admit it really does lower my opinion of people.

Either your word means something or it doesn't, and if we're close enough for you to have asked for money than we're close enough that I probably also know about your illness/crazy in-law/unhelpful spouse or whatever it is that is causing you not to repay. Tell me that you can't pay now, give me $10 or whatever toward it, but don't just fail to mention it ever again.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:26 AM
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then! then! Not than.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:28 AM
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69: Are dire straights/gays like dire wolves? Sort of the same but bigger and fiercer and prone to get trapped in tar pits.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:28 AM
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I would move heaven and earth to pay it back, up to and including sending it as a donation to an appropriate cause if the friend was repeatedly refusing repayment. Debts are sacred.

You haven't paid back your friend who refuses payment by giving an equal amount of money to someone else. It is possible for your friend to release you from your obligation to repay, and one would think that repeatedly refusing payment is one way of signalling that just that has happened.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:30 AM
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76: Well, yes, Neb, and I'd bet that's fully understood.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:35 AM
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74: My parents lent my uncle some money once. My Dad, unlike, his Dad didn't keep good records or charge interest. My uncle didn't pay it back for a while then he did. At one point, my parents just took it as a loss on their taxes. Because of that my uncle doesn't really believe that he owes them the money (around $11,000). He just says that his business isn't doing well. He probably overstretched when he bought his house (now in his girlfriend's name, I think), but he drives a very expensive new car.

My Mom's friend of 50 years brought it up to him, and he denied it saying that "F keeps saying that." My Mom's friend knows my Mom well and believes her. She told me not to alienate him since he might be helpful during all this mess with needing to move my parents, but he hasn't been doing shit.

Some months ago, my parents' rent was raised and they couldn't properly pay their phone bill. He could have afforded a couple hundred a month. At this point, I wouldn't want him to give them the money (for benefits reasons), but it would be very helpful to have him pay me so that I could spend the money on their behalf.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:38 AM
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A common mindset among people who manage money is "well, you've got it." I'm not thinking of the kid in 49, he has a more nuanced but unrealistic outlook.

But people who are always month-to-month with external problems can often think of themselves as caring nurterers who just happen not to have anything to share right now. They're genuinely generous, and "know" what they'd do if roles were reversed, which they might be at any time, later on.

As in the working world, being willing to do something and having the capacity to do something do not often go together.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:40 AM
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78: That's my Dad's brother. My Mom's sister is the one I'm really mad at.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:41 AM
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If someone asked me for money, and it wasn't a deeply beloved friend or relative, 'fuck off' would be the certain reply. This has been brought to you by: 'National stereotypes; sometimes true.'

I was thinking the same thing. Maybe in the genes along with beating horses.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:41 AM
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Whoops, "people who can't manage money" in 79.1


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:42 AM
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51: As far as I know she still has it. The last time she brought it up, she said she would leave it to me in her will. I would never ask her for the money back -- she is quite poor and has a chronic illness.

We did stop being friends, but not because of that. It was too just too hard for me to maintain a friendship with someone so needy, once I was married.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:44 AM
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79: You know this, because it's the spot you're in, but it's also hard not to think that way if you do, in fact, have it: if you're looking at someone who can't make their car payment, and you could help them out without significantly hurting yourself. It turns into the Peter Singer problem, though -- under that train of thought, where's the stopping point short of living on ramen in one room, and sending everything you make to needy people in a developing country?

I don't know what the answer is to this one at all -- it may be that Peter Singer is right.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:46 AM
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I'm like Kraab in getting asked for $ by quite a few people in my families. I explicitly say to the borrower that I am not keeping track. That they can pay me what want and as they want, but for my own sanity I must view it as a gift.

Generally I get hit up over security deposits, rent, school activities, utilities, etc.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:47 AM
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It's interesting, as A.E. Van Vogt points out in The Weapon Shops of Isher, that it's the smallest gifts or loans that have the biggest impact. In contrast to the jerkoff who owes me that money for rent (and other money I loaned him over the years), one time I ran into an acquaintance from HS (when I was 19 or 20), who was homeless and sleeping in the park, and gave her $5 to get some Taco Bell or whatever. I'll never forget how surprised and happy she was to get that. She finally got back on her feet, moved out to the coast and has a job and a kid and everything. Obviously, I didn't expect the $5 back, I'm just glad things worked out for her.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:47 AM
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Oh, I can give way less than $5.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 8:49 AM
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Personally, I think that small-scale donation to completely impoverished people far away is historically not effective, due to either lack of infrastructure or tyrants. Also, donor misunderstanding of recipient needs is also a problem, but IMO that's a less serious factor. The donated water pump doesn't get oiled and decays.

Domestically, I recognize that there are structural problems in the US, and I see luck as a real factor in individual lives. But like most immigrants, I see many needy people in the US helping to make their own problems.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 9:00 AM
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Oh, maybe I should say in case 88 reads like Scrooge wrote it, I pick a charity and a level internationally every year, either MSF or one of the organizations that seeks by cheap means to ameliorate parasites most years.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 9:02 AM
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I see many needy people in the US helping to make their own problems.

That's what Habitat for Humanity does for houses and houses are all too often problems.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 9:04 AM
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Well, yes, Neb, and I'd bet that's fully understood.

Then I must be really confused, because if it's understood that the debt is forgiven, then there's nothing to move heaven and earth to do anymore, and "debt is sacred" is a non sequitur.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 9:05 AM
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Ooops.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 9:05 AM
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My brother sometimes borrows money from me or other family members, but he's been impressively scrupulous about paying it back, if not on a terribly fixed schedule. I'd say he has a pretty good family credit rating. On the other hand, a slightly more distant relative once showed up suddenly at my door (he lives several states away) and asked to borrow a few hundred dollars, for purposes I didn't inquire about. I gave it to him, largely on the theory in the OP, and I haven't heard anything about it since. Disappointing, but not surprising.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 9:07 AM
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I've borrowed a few hundred pounds from relatives a couple of times, when I was in dire straights. Genuine 'will be homeless within the week' situations. I wouldn't do it again, though. One of those times the person was so difficult about it afterwards that I'd never ask anyone again. Aggressively demanding it back, _in front of other people_, at a time when I couldn't afford to pay it back, and when they were (to my certain knowledge) flush.* It completely changed my view of them as a person.

* they'd just come into a sum of cash on the order of a year's income, and the amount I owed was about 2 week's rent.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 9:07 AM
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95

11.last to 94.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 9:19 AM
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I will also note that my grandfather who was known for his scrupulous honesty in business once told me that he would never do business with my Dad's particular brother. (My Dad said that that was funny, because he had when he got a condo in Florida.)

My boyfriend's parents gave me some money which they won't let me pay back for my student loans when, for complicated reasons, I couldn't sign up for the income-based programs.

I was at a point where it really was about getting myself back on my feet rather than enabling me in some way. They consider it an advance on my boyfriend's inheritance so that if I want to pay anyone back I should pay him, and he won't let me either.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 9:27 AM
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91: It can be argued that a debt is a creation of both parties and can't be simply made to vanish by the party making the loan. Something more must be done to discharge it.

That's not the legal or financial sense but not terribly common either.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 9:31 AM
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Yeah, I mean, I'm kinda leaving aside downward generational transfers of wealth. Sometimes, of course, people are very intent about those being real loans and whatnot, but it just seems so much more common to treat them as forgivable loans that get forgiven. Exceptions obviously made for people paying for their children's addictions or whatever.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 9:32 AM
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It can be argued that a debt is a creation of both parties and can't be simply made to vanish by the party making the loan. Something more must be done to discharge it.

The miasma theory of debt (polluted by this money that isn't mine)? OR the mana theory?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 9:42 AM
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Canceling the debt is not Witt's friend's decision to make! Get ready for a massive lawsuit from whoever bought the debt and securitized it.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 9:48 AM
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That's not the legal or financial sense but not terribly common either.

You mean "uncommon"?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 9:48 AM
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When my girlfriend and I began looking for a house, long story short, we decided that having some more cash on hand now would help, so we asked my parents. They rounded up and mailed me $10,000. I only asked for a loan, but they made it clear that they think of it as a gift. I still think of it as a loan, albeit one with no interest or specific timeframe to pay off, but this would definitely be a lot more stressful on everyone involved if any of a dozen details were different.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:24 AM
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I'm kinda leaving aside downward generational transfers of wealth. Sometimes, of course, people are very intent about those being real loans and whatnot

This would be my dad. I borrowed money from my parents late in grad school, and it involved a loan note and everything. My dad would send me a written update every year of how much I had paid off to date.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:26 AM
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69: Are dire straights/gays like dire wolves? Sort of the same but bigger and fiercer and prone to get trapped in tar pits.

+5, but -2 for failing to incorporate a Game of Thrones reference.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:27 AM
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104: Winter is coming, and Papa Wolfenstain won't lend the squirrel any money to buy acorns thereby leaving him in dire straits.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:32 AM
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re: 95

Heh. That would work if the relative in question was Scottish. But they aren't. Maybe I need a new stereotype.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:35 AM
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102: Mortgage lenders are pretty persnickety about this, and possibly your folks know that. They're looking to avoid the situation where your down payment is actually a loan from somewhere else, and if you have an outstanding family loan, even an informal one, they'll want to count that against your total debt load and the LTV for the purchase. As part of the application process they'll want to see all of your bank statements for the past six or twelve months to look for any unusually large transactions that might signal such. Make sure you don't say you think it's a loan in the presence of any potential lenders or mortgage brokers, and can say with a straight face that that $10k was a gift.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:39 AM
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107: Not too worried about that by now, but still, thanks.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:46 AM
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I treat loans much the way Heebie's father does, including believing that people who owe me money would be too ashamed to ask the second time.

My dad would send me a written update every year of how much I had paid off to date.

Heh. My friend's dad lent her money to buy her house. There were also real formal about it, with a payoff schedule and written contract. He lent it at 6%, which was standard at the time. But now he won't re-negotiate the interest rate, and I'm not certain if he'll let her pay it off either so that she could re-finance and get a nice low rate.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:48 AM
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One of the less-known, but arguably most fascinating legends of House Romney relates how the four trueborn children of George Romney found four newborn dire straights in the woods of Michigan one autumn afternoon, shortly after the state abolished the death penalty in its 1963 constitution, and kept them as companions and--some say--mystical protectors ever since. (There were always whispers about a fifth child, and the dire gay cub he found, but nothing was ever confirmed.) Political scientists have always scoffed at such explanations, but, to my mind, Mitt Romney's 2008 primary campaign was doomed from the moment leaks from the Huckabee camp revealed just how deep and for how long Romney had been in these dire straights. "Who is Romney, really?" the electorate not unreasonably wondered: "do he and his associates have any fixed identity at all?"


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:49 AM
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109: Is he going to sue her for a prepayment penalty?


Posted by: BG | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:52 AM
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I don't know what the answer is to this one at all -- it may be that Peter Singer is right.

I think I've mentioned this before, but I met the guy behind this website at the International Society for Utilitarian Studies conference.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:56 AM
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I don't know. She's a little distant for me to ask those kinds of questions. But he's resistant to anything but their original deal.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:57 AM
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And he's got about 525 basis points of reasons to want the original deal.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 10:59 AM
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If you do that here (give your child a gift towards purchase of a house) and they are getting a mortgage, the lender will require that you sign a non-recourse mortgage deed charging any interest you might have and having any such interst rank after the primary mortgage. A colleague and I usually see the parents of each other's respective clients as a form of quasi independent advice.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 11:33 AM
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20-odd years or so ago I met a girl who was living in a car. I put her up in a motel for a couple of weeks at a cost of about $1000 before she reconciled with her mom enough to go home. Several years later she reached out to try and start a repayment schedule but I was too much of a flake to even bother trying to collect. I still run into her at clubs about once a year, she's thriving, married, and has a kid of her own in college. I call this money well spent considering that it likely would have gone to vodka, porn, drum machines, and computer hardware otherwise.

More recently, a couple of years ago I loaned another $1000 to S., an artist friend going through a vicious divorce (the ex punitively sold their house out from under her even though the mortgage was deep under water). She's paid back $250 of it and I'm in no hurry to see the rest, since I'm financially secure. Another friend who loaned S. money gets irritated that S. buys nice clothes while still owing us money, but it doesn't bother me.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 12:06 PM
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101: Yes, s/b "uncommon". Thanks.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 12:24 PM
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When I bought my house, it was June and my contract with Heebie U didn't start until August. I had enough money to cover the mortgage payments over the summer, and I had a signed contract in hand. Yet they made me get someone (my dad) to be a co-signer, because i couldn't afford the payments on my current salary, which made me really furious because I wanted to be all grown up.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 12:34 PM
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That's really strange because they counted my income as valid for a mortgage payment despite the fact that the job was in North Carolina and I'd already resigned from it and gone back to school.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 12:43 PM
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I can't believe we're over 100 comments in and nobody's brought up Debt yet.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 12:45 PM
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OT: Google is annoying. It likes to reset my search preferences so that English language results are strongly preferred. (E.g. making it so that if I search for 'Der Spiegel', then the German language magazine site won't show up on the first page of results) Even when I change the language preferences it still prioritizes English to an extent. Then, when I was in French Geneva, it immediately decided I wanted French and only French, with a strong local emphasis when possible. Apparently it still thinks I'm in Geneva, even though I'm back in NYC. Doesn't matter what computer I'm using.

OOT Alps: So fucking gorgeous.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 12:48 PM
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Who here will lend me money for a McClaren MP4-12C? I will pay it back, pinky swear on it. Haven't asked for any money before.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 2:26 PM
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I'm thinking this used one. I don't want to waste your money.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 2:28 PM
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123: Nice. I wonder if they'll let me take a test drive if I wear a fancy watch when I walk in.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 3:20 PM
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78

74: My parents lent my uncle some money once. My Dad, unlike, his Dad didn't keep good records or charge interest. My uncle didn't pay it back for a while then he did. At one point, my parents just took it as a loss on their taxes. Because of that my uncle doesn't really believe that he owes them the money (around $11,000). He just says that his business isn't doing well. He probably overstretched when he bought his house (now in his girlfriend's name, I think), but he drives a very expensive new car.

If the IRS made him declare the money as income I can see why he might think that.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 4:40 PM
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78: No, it was a loan. My parents may have taken it as a loss against a gain. Investment that went to zero etc. In any case, he tells my Mom's friend that my Mom is crazy and wrong, and he tells my Dad that he can't afford it.

He's never said straight out that he doesn't think he owes it. (He might feel that having my sister stay with him for a couple of months after she graduated from college was repayment too. I don't know.) But he ought to say so directly.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:47 PM
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103/109: You know what is really fucking annoying? People who do that for their kids, and then, because they are too stupid or computer illiterate to use a spreadsheet program, they take the money out of a margin account, while keeping an equal or greater amount of money in a money market account, thereby losing the difference between the two interest rates (which is usually considerable) SOLELY TO SAVE THEMSELVES THE TROUBLE OF HAVING TO CALCULATE COMPOUND INTEREST ON THE LOAN. God, I hate those people.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 7-12 5:56 PM
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127: Okay, I am stupid. Tell me how that would save you the trouble of having to calculate compound interest on a loan?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 8-12 5:36 AM
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128: Presumably they could charge the kids their own cost of borrowing.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 7:21 AM
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If you have some money let it go. If it doesn't come back to you, it was never yours to begin with.


Posted by: The Seventies | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 7:32 AM
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It's just like a magic penny. Hold it tight and you won't have any. Lend it, spend it, and you'll have so many, they'll roll all over the floor.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-12 7:33 AM
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