Two weeks ago, my wife called me at work with an unusual request. And you know it’s not one you want to hear when they preface it with, “I know how you feel about loaning money but...” Of course you do, yet you have called me anyway.
We have a mutual friend whom I’ve known now for 16 years. And my wife and her have been like sisters since 4th grade. So we’ve all gone through our ups and downs along the way. I would say she’s the the 1980 Toyota pickup of friends: it may be a bumpy ride, but she never lets you down when you need her most. So when my wife relayed to me that she had asked for money, my heart sank. It’s never about how much money; it’s the principle of good-faith loan itself. The risks. Money is a quick way to destroy relationships, be it S/Os, friends, or family (and especially family).
I’ve always had a simple policy when it comes to lending money: no, no, no, no, NO. NO. NO. Never. EVER. NO.
I asked my wife if she felt this was worth risking her friendship for. Frankly if we would have told her no, there would have been no sass, or “what kind of friends are you” nonsense. We would have all gone along peacefully. While she agreed, she ultimately felt the benefit of helping out a friend in need exceeded the potential hazards. I sighed and closed my eyes.
“Alright. I’m gonna say yes. But now you have to listen to me tell you everything I don’t like about this.
A week later, I write our friend a check. When I handed it to her, I can’t remember quite what I said. It was such a blur because it felt like someone else was controlling my movements. I could hear my inner-Zoidberg screaming, “RED ALERT! RED ALERT! Doing thing we never ever do! BAD! MUY MAL!” A few days later, I get a notification that the check had been cashed. And the countdown was on. When will I get my money back? When she comes over without my money and never mentions it, should I tell her what I think about it? How long should I expect to wait? When he see her post something online about something expensive and impractical she’s bought since then without paying us back, will I want to throw my phone against the wall? Probably.
Thursday, there’s a knock on the door. Doggo barks and charges, as always. I open up. It’s our friend, with a whole lot of cash, spread out like a fan.
Now, one thing you may have noticed that I’ve purposely omitted from this story: Why did she ask for the loan in the first place? What was so important, so urgent, that a proud person like her would ask her closest friends for money?
This was definitely a big factor in my saying yes to the whole thing. The worthiest of causes.