By: Revanche

Will this loan be repaid?

May 11, 2015

“A tiger can’t change his stripes” strikes me as a terrible metaphor. No, he can’t, not without a bucket of hair dye and opposable thumbs but what does that have to do with whether not he can be trained or taught to hunt differently? Or, say, whether a person change their habits?

Anyway. That came up because I have a secret. Or I had a secret. I shared it with PiC and now it’s your turn.

Several years ago, I made a large loan, with a very long payback date. Large to the tune of five figures. Not high five figures, I didn’t have that kind of buying power. But five figures that I scraped and scraped (and scraped some more) to save at a time that every penny was cherished. That savings, and the loan, represented my hope that things would get better someday.

Because the loan mixed family and money – which I’ve since learned almost always equals disaster – and because making mistakes like making loans on unfounded faith irritates me, I buried it. Refused to even think about it. That’s not like me, but since the money was gone, ostriching was to preserve my sanity. And embarrassment. You understand.

PiC never knew I’d made this loan, it was made long before our marriage and my policy of “la la la that never happened” kept it safely buried.

Over Easter weekend, it occurred to me that the loan is officially due this summer. It’s time to either get it back or truly mentally cut it loose. This particular monkey’s had a free ride long enough on my back!

About three stilted and awkward conversations later, it’s been suggested that I might actually see my money back mid-summer. This is me not holding my breath… sort of. (Just in case, cross your fingers?)

Then it was time to tell PiC.

I would have told him anyway but, regardless, it felt weird. “Hi honey, I either gave away or am getting back a LOT of money!” He took the news like he takes most of my money maunderings: with a nod and a shrug.

I mused aloud: assuming it really is repaid, what am I going to do with that money?
He piped up: I can think of a few ways to spend allllllll that cash!
Me: [skepticism face] [I know he’s trying to get my goat]
Him: Dammit, no, I couldn’t! I’d want to put it on the credit card for the rewards! What have you done to me?!
Me: HAH! HAH! I knew I trained you better than that!

I kid, but at the same time, I’m immensely proud of how PiC has taken in all the money talk that’s come his way in the past decade.

He’s really easygoing in his money habits which means that in our relationship, I’m the “doer” as he calls it. When I’m dissatisfied with a service or when someone tries to overcharge me, I’m not confrontational but you know I’m going to write a letter or make a call and get my darned satisfaction!

In recent days, he’s done me proud, I tell ya!

A)  He called out the car rental folks for causing a serious delay for us. They borked pickup, sending someone out to get us more than an hour after they were expected, didn’t have the reserved vehicle at the location I’d specifically called to confirm, and didn’t have a clean vehicle at the second location. Hugely inconvenient. He got a day knocked off the rental bill.

B) After I explained the long term consequences of an “only happened once” interest charge on a credit card, he called the company and had the interest charge removed and the now-triggered ongoing charges waived.

What does this have to do with tigers and their stripes?

Not a lot. Just that, with time and patience, maybe some of the familial relationship can be repaired. Maybe not.

Either way, PiC’s a great example of someone learning to be better with money even when it’s not strictly for survival.

And if we get that money back, it’ll go a long way to shoring up our cash flow, and just maybe my faith in people.

11 Responses to “Will this loan be repaid?”

  1. Hope you get it back! Money and family is very tough. I once was told never give out a loan without saying good-by to it, meaning accept that it really may never come back to you, which is probably why I’ve never given one. lol! But also no one but my brother has ever asked, and it’s too complicated to say why I said no.
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Why Kindness is Good BusinessMy Profile

  2. […] reading this post by Revanche at A Gai Shan Life my first thought was that I’ve never loaned money to family, so I can’t comment on the […]

  3. Linda says:

    I was going to comment that I had no experience with loaning money to family, but then I realized I did. Enough experience I actually had to write a blog post about it just now. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Linda recently posted…Money talk: loans to family and friendsMy Profile

  4. Abigail says:

    Well, I crossed my fingers for ya. Just in case.

    Tim has made some huge strides in changing his money mentality. But ADD still rears its head once in awhile. To the tune of $20 for a “free” game. Sigh. It’s a process.
    Abigail recently posted…Yay, I’m interesting!My Profile

  5. Well, I sincerely hope you get it back (think of how many hours of nanny care you can buy with five figures!). But y’know, some years ago a friend remarked that you should never lend money to a relative — you should give it as a gift.

    If the person returns it, either in kind or in cash, then good for you. But if you never see it again, you’ll resent it a lot less if you regarded it as a gift from the outset.
    Funny about Money recently posted…Smart Debt: Is there such a thing?My Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Yep, I heard that countless times AFTER I made the loan. Ooops. Ah well. I’ll work my way through the grief stages for this one and be surprised if it does come back.

  6. […] Money: Neither a lender nor borrower be, indeed […]

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