Now, I generally think money and friendships don't really go together- they're not a match made in heaven like Tomato and Basil... but more like pouring salt in your morning coffee instead of the sugar badly craved at an ungodly hour. But it is inevitable that at times in our life they will cross each others paths. You know the drill- one person helps a mate out of a sticky situation- cos that's what mates do isn't it really, and it's done on the basis that they'll give the money back when they can.
I myself have borrowed money from a friend when things look a bit sticky and, similarly I have lent money to friends when they have needed it. This goes without saying, and generally I have never had any problems with this on both sides of the fence. But what happens when it all goes a little bit wrong? (You'll be glad to know I almost resisted the urge to say when it all goes a bit Pete Tong..)Say, a friend borrows money off another to pay their impending electricity bill, but then goes and blows a fair amount on that absolutely-must-have-dress-from-Topshop the next week before paying said friend back?
How on earth would you deal with that? Seriously? I have never been in that situation and doubt I ever will be. But for me certainly, I have serious issues with confrontation when it comes to my nearest and dearest. I avoid it at all costs. In the workplace I certainly have no issues in defending my own work, or indeed looking to others who perhaps need to buck their ideas up- I know how to deal with that no problem. That may sound like a cold hearted bitch approach but the truth is I have no serious emotional attachments to colleagues. Yes, I will work with them and have a great working relationship with them and socialise with them- but there's a barrier perhaps with colleagues that is hard to cross.
When it comes to matters of family and friendships I become a shadow of myself, because the truth is, I value them way too much to lose them over something so petty as why they never gave me the twenty quid lent to them a gazillion years ago. It's the very thought of maybe risking that relationship that leaves me quaking in my boots, or rather, quaking in my Louboutins. Would it really be worth losing a friendship because of something so petty? I think not.
But we all have *those* friends and in fact, relatives, that will bring up every single thing lent to you, from the 20p to make up your bus fare, to the top you borrowed after you spilt red wine down yourself before a night out. I wouldn't be surprised if these people keep a log book of everything and tick things off in red marker pen upon return. It really makes me wonder whether they ever stop to think about the time you were there ready and waiting in the wings to happily lend them the DVD they so badly wanted to watch, but they never returned, or the times you were there at their doorstep with a bottle of wine (or in many cases, tequila. Let's not lie to ourselves about our alcohol consumption now.) and refused any contribution.
Now I am happy to say that these people are really few and far between, and I have never really encountered any in my fabulous friendship group- but if any of (the few that do read this..) you reading this are one of those described above, just stop to think that you can never really put a value on friendship and it should never concern anything as petty as point scoring or penny pinching.
Rant over. Official.