I’m a single male, 29, never married. I have a great job and good income, having pretty much followed a direct path towards it.
Some of my friends are engaged or married, on tighter budgets. But it’s my closest married friend with a couple of young kids, who’s upset me recently.
A group of us were invited to celebrate one friend’s 30th birthday, during a Las Vegas weekend. Everyone was excited about it but I saw that my buddy was holding back on accepting.
So I offered to pay for his flight/hotel package, no strings attached, knowing he was unlikely to ever pay me back.
He accepted, we all went to Vegas, but things went downhill there. He never even offered to pay for a round of drinks. He’d order an expensive dinner and fancy cocktails along with the rest of us, and not toss in his credit card with the rest when the bill came. He even used the old trick of disappearing to the washroom or to make a call home.
The guys started to grumble to each other, but I said we shouldn’t ruin the birthday trip.
We’re back home and I don’t know what to say or do. Do I owe the other guys a share of the extra money they paid to cover my friend taking advantage of them?
Or, do I pull away from a longtime buddy because he stiffed everyone and embarrassed me?
You were a generous friend to pay his way, but not a prudent one.
Knowing his circumstances, you should’ve asked him whether, if his fare was paid, he could afford the food, drink, and other extras of a weekend getaway.
I’m not blaming you. He abused your friendship with his cheap tactic of stonewalling when the bill came.
But none of you are kids. The entertainment/dining costs should’ve been no surprise. Everyone carried on without addressing the obvious: He simply couldn’t afford the Vegas dinner menus.
But he might’ve been able to save face if he’d been told it was his turn to treat everyone to a pizza lunch and beers.
Weigh the friendship – whether it’s past bond can help bridge your currently different circumstances.
If yes, talk out what happened in Vegas. Don’t let it stay there.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man whose wife had an “emotional affair” with her boot-camp trainer (January 3):
Reader – “Your wife says she is wiling to do everything possible to rebuild your relationship. You are doing a lot, making helpful changes.
“The least she could do is not only find a new trainer but she should move to another gym.
“This move should come from her if she really has any empathy for the hurt and humiliation she has caused you.
“You wrote about this being the worst weeks of your life and “dying inside” every time she still goes to the same boot camp.
“This feeling is going to fester over time and will probably lead to depression and possibly ill feelings toward your wife.
“If she won’t change gyms, you should insist on counselling/family intervention. I think you should also show her your very moving letter to Ellie.
“Your wife’s asking a lot from you. You’ve accepted her statement that she’s never stopped loving you, and that nothing physical occurred with her trainer despite their stating love for each other.
“You say your wife’s happy. I’d think so, as everything is back to normal for her, and she hasn’t suffered any consequences.”
Many of us living in a fast-food world, face “relating” issues when jammed with strangers in a line-up for take-out coffee, or whatever.
Recently, the person just inches in front of me was so rude to the coffee server that it was difficult to “mind my own business.”
She – maybe early 30s – loudly and harshly told the server, “That’s not mine!” When she was told/shown that it was, she leaned over the counter and demanded almost threateningly, “So, where’s my banana?” It was being handed to the server, as she asked.
Was this a “relationship” in which I should’ve told off that woman?
Potential harassment or a physical assault could’ve evolved from taking her on.
I say the “relationship” to acknowledge here is with the busy, badly treated server.
Just being openly sympathetic in manner and gentle in request, could go a long way to calm someone from that ugly encounter.
Tip of the day:
Don’t lend money for something the recipient still can’t afford to enjoy.