View Full Version : Need advice about an old problem
Jun 11, '07, 4:38 PM
When I was a kid, I had a best friend. We did everything together. He was closer to me than my brothers were. Well we stayed best friends and when we were both in the service he asked to borrow $350. This was 15 years ago and he has avoided me for years afterward. I just gave up ever getting the money or salvaging the friendship. I was crushed that my friend would destroy our bond over $350! I would have been ok if he paid me $20 a month. Instead, that was it.
Yesterday my brother sees him in a store and my former friend gives my brother his number and says "I still owe John some money, have him call me". I am conflicted over this. I put this friend out of my life and left him for dead. My brother seeing him brought back a lot of painful memories of how he acted toward this whole affair. My wife tells me "just get your money back and be done with it" but I don't know. I'm not sure I really want to talk to him again. What would you do?
Jun 11, '07, 4:44 PM
You clearly don't care for the guy anymore.
I would just leave well enough alone and don't contact him.
I think it was the movie A BRONX TAIL when the boss said (talking about a situation like this) ...... it cost you 20 dollars to never see him again... a good deal :)
Jun 11, '07, 4:52 PM
That's a tough one, for sure, John. If it were me, I probably would not contact him. But, that's kind of the way I am. It really depends on several factors, though..as far as what I would do.
Anyhow, go with your gut and what feels right to you, overall.
Jun 11, '07, 5:11 PM
It depends on which you value more - the friendship or the money. Friends are harder to make and keep.
If it were my situation this is what I would do. First write the money off. It's been out of your finances for 15 years. I had one friend who was evicted from her house with her entire family. They were basically living in a homeless shelter. I let her and her husband and three boys live with me for over a year. Never once charged them rent. Ended up loaning her $3000 so she could move out into another place. I have not gotten a single dime back from them in over three years. I just chalked it up to they needed the money more than I did. Someday, if they can pay me back great. If not, it was my decision to help them with the money. Like you, I have not heard from them in quite awhile. I miss my friend. I know she hasn't been in touch with me because she's embarrassed by oweing me so much. But it's ok because the friendship was more important and even more importantly I helped a family who was basically destitute. We're supposed to help others in need when we can (at least that's what I was brought up to believe).
So I would say call you friend. Get to know each other again. See if the bond is still there between you. Don't mention anything about the money. If he offers to pay you back, great! If you truly did NOT care about this person you would not be posting a message about this issue. Hope that helps!
Jun 11, '07, 5:38 PM
Like Hank just said, which do you value more? If it were me and he was really a good friend I'd forget the money and try and remake the good friendship you once had and never mention it. If it does bother you even in the least bit then mention it. Lastly you could forget him and the money and never have to worry about it again.
A) Have your brother call him and tell him he needs to do more than just pass a phone number in a store because he happened to run into him. Tell your brother to give him your contact information, and that is compund interest at 5% makes the total balance $739.80, and a cashier check will work just fine.
B) Have you brother call him and tell him you wrote that debt off when he wrote your friendship off.
C) Ignore it totally and see if he reaches out on his own
Jun 11, '07, 5:50 PM
I'd do what your wife said,just get your money and say what's up,and be done with it man
Jun 11, '07, 6:03 PM
I think you need to talk to him not for his sake but for yours. You are still hurt that he dropped you as a friend for only 350$
Your pain is clear in your post. I think you need to ask him why he thought he couldn't pay you what he could and continue to be your Best Friend. I'm sure he was ashamed of not paying you and this is why he didn't contact you. I had a similar problem but I talked to my friend and we are still friends and he paid me what he owed in payments. I didn't wait long to talk to him though, 15 years is a very long time.
Good Luck with what ever your decide.
Jun 11, '07, 6:46 PM
Give him a call. Perhaps he has had a change of heart and wants to make ameds. See if he brings up the money during the conversation.
Jun 11, '07, 6:48 PM
Personally, I would call him. He acknowledges that he owes you the money so maybe the friendship can be salvaged. Forgiveness is one of the best things you can do for yourself...otherwise, the anger will just eat you alive.
I once heard a quote that I liked which was something like "holding in anger toward someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die"
I can sort of relate to your story. We had a person here at work she sits close to me but works in a different department and I don't know her too well. She suffered a big tragedy around Christmastime, her house burned to the ground, one of her sons was killed in the fire. They decided to raise money to help with whatever her needs were.
I talked to my wife about it and gave her $300 to help her get back on her feet (this is a lot of money to me). I was going to donate it anonymously but they said to make the check out to her directly. I'm sure other people were generous as well.
I realize she suffered a huge loss but she never thanked one person for the generosity. Like I said, I was going to donate it anonymously and didn't want a pat on the back or anything but it would have been nice if she at least sent a card addressed to the company at least acknowledging the gift but there was nothing. It kind of bothered me for a little while that there wasn't even an acknowledgement, but then thought, she suffered a huge tragedy and I'm sure wasn't even in an emotional state to think about much than pure survival. I'm sure even 6 months later, she still hasn't recovered.
Jun 11, '07, 6:57 PM
Call him. Like Grayhank said, if you didn't think it was worth following through on, you wouldn't have posted about it here.
If nothing else, you'll (hopefully) get a $350 windfall to spend on Megos. Worst case scenario, he doesn't follow through. Best case, you might wind up renewing a friendship that clearly meant a great deal to you at one time.
Believe it or not, I actually had a similar situation happen to me years ago. The friend felt bad that he couldn't afford to pay me back (it was less than yours) which is why he avoided me. I ended up forgiving the loan and we're good friends to this day. But I do bring it up now and then just to needle him. :grin:
Comic Book Geek
Jun 11, '07, 8:13 PM
OK, here's the transparent emotional thing that guy's just don't do, but perhaps is the right thing. Tell him where you're coming from and let him know that the loss of the friendship was greater than the loss of the money.
Jun 11, '07, 8:37 PM
People change. He probably stopped talking to you because he was too embarrassed that he didn't have the cash to pay you back. Who knows, but what the heck have you got to loose? Right now you don't have the cash, and you don't have your friend. Worse cash, you still don't have your cash and you still don't have your friend. All you have is what could be an uncomfortable moment. That, in my mind, is worth the risk of getting either back.
Jun 11, '07, 9:02 PM
I think the three post directly above mine offer really good advice, John.
You only live once and you can never have too many friends. It obviously still pains you that you lost him way back when. Give him a chance to make amends. Try to be understanding, no matter what reasons he gives. The guy is likely embarassed and realized years ago he made a mistake. Seeing your brother was the opening he needed to get in touch with you again.
Jun 11, '07, 11:09 PM
I'd probably call him. If it still bothered me, I would definitely go for closure, even if I didn;t get the money.
Jun 11, '07, 11:50 PM
I respect what the "easy going" people are saying----
Heck my "easy going" father would advise the same thing
and he's a great guy who dispenses good advice all the
time AND doesn't just talk, but "walks the walk" as well
but...my take is...
Your friend would have to have made an awful big change to have turned
into a "sensible guy" over the past few years
from a coward and/or a simpleton that broke a friendship up because
he couldn't figure out how to address a money problem with you
Sounds like a "headache deal" to get back in touch with him
if you're willing to vibe out if he's cool now---then go for it---
you have nothing to lose except your time and maybe some
pride if possibly the guy makes ya feel uneasy that you lowered
yourself to reconnecting with him again
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