Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Bring some cheese, I've got the whine!

There are people who have money and people who are rich.
       ~  Coco Chanel

I’ve been struggling with my feelings and how to express them about an incident that happened with a friend since my return from North Carolina.  I know it is extremely difficult for some people to imagine the life of another if they have never had the same and/or similar experiences.  It can be like describing snow to a person that has never seen or felt it.  Because of the difficulties I’ve have gone through over the years, I try to explain my “snow” the best I can without having an avalanche of memories/pain/hurt come crashing down on me.  Perhaps that is my problem – I can’t paint a realistic verbal painting, I can only sketch in the abstract. 

Before I meander down this tangent any longer, let me give y’all some background.  In 2008 when I decided to go to esthetician school, I applied for a Sallie Mae loan.  Since both my credit and Mulder’s sucked by then, Sallie Mae asked for a co-signer.  My sister turned me down.(My sister and brother-in-law are millionaires but live like paupers.) However, my friend of 20-plus years said she would be more than happy to co-sign the note.  My boss would be reimbursing me a portion of the tuition upon graduation, which I would use to pay part of the loan.  I did not envision bankruptcy at the time nor did I know that my attorney was not going to do his due diligence when filing my bankruptcy.  Sallie Mae loans cannot be included in bankruptcy unless they are an adult education loan, which mine was.  The attorney failed to note this and my loan became my co-signers responsibility when the bankruptcy was finalized.  Brilliant.  In January of 2010 when I discovered the error, I did everything possible to rectify the situation without success. The only solution was paying another $600.00 to get different attorney to fix it. (There is much more to the story but I won’t go into it, as it proved irrelevant.)  To keep everything simple until another solution could be found, my friend and I signed the paper to have the monthly payment deducted from my checking account.    I informed her of every thing I did to have the loan returned to me and I have never missed a payment. 

My friend has never experienced financial hardship. She has often said how smart and lucky she is to have a husband that worked for the government. She also is very astute when it comes to finances which she also acknowledges that it's easy when you have money.  I'm not jealous of my friend because I know what it's like to not have to worry about money. How could I begrudge someone their life because mine isn't as their's? About a year ago, my friend began making suggestions about how to pay this loan off more quickly and other comments.  I should have been more perceptive and reacted accordingly. I did start to pay a bit extra each month but apparently not enough and/or my actions weren’t satisfactory. 

Here is where your appreciation of abstract art is going to come in handy, my lovely readers.  I am not going to describe in minute detail my financial problems.  Suffice it to say, they are many.  They require much manipulation and creativity every damn month. There is going without, making do, making last, etc. etc. etc. I have days when the repercussions of what happened back in 2005 are too much for me to bear and I scream like a banshee driving home then go cry in the shower. I did not plan for a life like this at my age.   It is like an ever-present shadow in my life.  However, I will not let it destroy me – after all, it’s only money.  I still have a home, can buy food, have a job, am healthy, have good children and an adorable grandson among so many other things. I so, usually, consider myself “rich”. That way I can deal with the shadow most of the time.  

Mulder and I planned the four-day trip to North Carolina approximately a year before we went.  It was never definite until we knew we had the funds to afford it.  That meant money that was not going to be used to pay the mortgage, food, loan, insurance, etc.  The money for the trip came from some overtime he made and the profits I made from selling on eBay and Etsy.  Our trip was made possible by hard work.  I don’t think I had to keep it a secret nor did I think I had to explain how we got the means to take a trip to anyone.  My obligations were/are taken care of.  

The day we returned, there was a letter from my friend.  She had written to Sallie Mae about having the loan returned to me.  The response she received was the exact same response from the same person that I had received 3 years prior, a copy of which I had sent to my friend.  Since my bankruptcy had been discharged over three years, I had planned on writing to Sallie Mae to reapply for the loan but I guess I didn’t do it quickly enough for my friend.  I should have taken the comments and suggestions more to heart but I thought my friend was a friend as I am.  Apparently not.

Mulder and I have a small emergency savings account.  There was enough in it to pay off this loan.  We discussed it and did just that. The $3,300.00 was a tremendous amount to us – the “what ifs” are many but the fact that by paying this loan off took a huge stressor away from me is worth ten times that amount.  Hopefully, we will be able to replace the savings before we actually have an emergency. My feelings for this friend have been forever altered.  This is a person that has known me for a very long time.  We worked together for many years, we’ve been in a club together, we’ve spent weekends away.  We’ve laughed and cried, we’ve shared our lives. But I cannot look at her the same way any longer.   She will still be my friend but she won’t be my friend. Am I wrong?  

From Millan.NetI know she has money but I now know she will never be rich.

6 blew out from under the bed:

Red Shoes said...

Bless your heart... I wish I could help... honestly... sincerely.

My sister that recently died... I had essentially dis-owned her for some horrific things she did to us when Dad died. Dad had a shitload of money... enough to go around and would have made each of his children's lives different... a great impact.

Somewhere along the way, I found ways to forgive her.

Upon her death, there was a shit load of money... enough to make everyone's lives much better.

A new family member stepped forward and performed the 'fucking over'...

There will be no forgiveness this time... for this person.

I don't understand people... I sure try, but it just doesn't work...



732 tedozys

Ron said...

All I can say is this, Nitebyrd...when it comes to money, you really find out who your TRUE friends are.

As you know, I went through financial bankruptcy too (back in 2002), and there were certain wealthy friends who told me that if I EVER needed anything to just asks, were the ones who when I did call for help, rejected me. However, I was amazed how other certain friends DID help. And ironically, those were the friends who were not by any means wealthy, but were willing to help me the best they could. And they did.

" She will still be my friend but she won’t be my friend. Am I wrong?"

No, I don't think you're wrong at all. In fact, you're much better than I am because the friends who rejected me, I cut them off - completely.

X ya, Sis!

Dianne said...

I don't think you're wrong
I know exactly how you feel, I wish I could describe things as well as you do. Even the abstract evades me these days.
My relationship with several people have been altered forever due to the hard times of the last few years.
People show their true character during hard times.


Akelamalu said...

Have you spoken to your friend about this? Maybe there are extenuating circumstances which prompted her actions? Don't dismiss your 'friend' without discussing this with her first. x

nitebyrd said...

Red Shoes ~ Thank you, hun. I was afraid that what I was saying was about the money. It's not. After 60 years on this earth, I've realized I'm never going to have money. I'll get by, I know it! But I'm not going to have a fat bank account. I look at someone like my sister and BIL. They have money out the wazoo but they aren't happy. They don't use their money to enrich their lives, they worship their bank accounts. They look at it with lust but never taste the wonders it could bring them. Sad.

I wanted to express my sadness at loss of trust and respect. To me that is way more important than the money.

That you forgave your sister, is proof that you're rich. The new family member doesn't deserve your bounty. Fuck 'em! As for understanding people - that ain't never gonna happen!

Ron ~ You know the misery of bankruptcy so I know that you get my feelings about it. The last few years have definitely sucked but, like you, I'm moving past them - wee steps at a time but I'm moving forward. We're survivors!

Like you, I found the people with the least money were the richest friends. I still love my friend but she will never be the person I thought I knew.

Thank you for your comment. I always look forward to your wise words. Love ya back, Bro!

Dianne ~ I think the worst thing is finding out that people you have known forever cannot or will not try to understand what you are going through. Thank you for understanding what I was attempting to say. I re-wrote this about 15 times. It still isn't exactly what I wanted but it's close.

Thank you for coming over, reading this epic and being so kind. We are "rich" because we have friends - real and cyber - who are able to put the other person's shoes on and walk.

Akelamalu ~ I won't abandon my friend. We've know each other too long. I do still love her. Again, the loss of trust/respect was the real knife in the heart, not the money issue. I will discuss it with her in the future. I need to settle my feelings completely first.

I really appreciate your input. One of the reasons I wrote about it was to get insight from folks that are wiser than me. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I have been in your friends shoes. Not wealthy by any means,I have never owned a new car, built a new house had a big house or anything like that. I just always tried to be wise with my money. I had a friend who I cosigned 2x for. once for her car
and once for a student loan.
She had some horrible things happen, and had to file bankruptcy. and like you the loan didn't get covered
and I was asked to pay it, or "told " I had to pay it.
6,000$ Unlike you my friend did nothing, she told me she didn't have it and she was sorry. I see on Fb where she posts her "brand new car" and her trip to the bahamas. I am still paying on her loan, as times are very hard for me with bad health, and a slow economy very few people are buying my art.
I have known her for 30 years, and she will always be a friend, but I no longer respect her. It took me a bit , but I finally called and laid it out for her. She told me that I was being a bitch. That I was jealous of her and some other things, but.. she and I have not spoken in 6 months. Betrayal hurts. People who value money over friendship have no value.
I guess I just want to warn you, that when that conversation comes, remember what you value, and just be true to that.