Mera Joy Aniolga

The Borrowers

In Family, Personal on April 29, 2011 at 7:45 am

 ‘Amicu certus in re incerta cernitur’, this Latin phrase means, ‘a sure friend is known when in difficulty‘.

It would be so much better to rely upon superheroes like Superman, Spiderman and the like in times of need but they don’t exist. Therefore, we have no choice but to turn to our friends in times of needs.  These needs may be a matter of life and death. It can also be as shallow as Paris Hilton. Whatever these needs may be, it is comforting to know that you have someone that you can always depend upon.

Two hours ago, I have this friend who came at my place. She wants to borrow 6000 pesos because her brother is on the verge of losing his apartment in Thailand.  Usually, I would give her what she needs. Today, she left without a single cent from me. I said no.

I’m saving up for a new laptop and I just did not trust her anymore. If my memory serves me right, she still owes me 500 pesos from a “previous transaction” ( This previous transaction was actually when she borrowed money from me in the middle of the night because her son is sick.). But she acts as if she forgot about it and I am too shy to bring the topic up. It’s just 500 pesos anyway.

Even if I’m this outspoken and blunt, money matters still make me cringe. They say I am a/an (im)perfect candidate for lending money because I’d be too shy to take it back. It actually depends on perspectives as a person who has no intention of paying me back may see me as a perfect lender while a person who genuinely cares about my “funds” may think of me as an unfit lender. My friend who just left a couple of hours ago knows this. I don’t know what her perspective is but I think she’s using my (im)perfect lender-ness  to her advantage.

It’s quite flattering to know that I’m the person that she turns to when she needs anything, money especially.  But I’ve learned my lesson and I’ve learned it the hard way. I’m not the first person whom she borrowed money from. We have this common friend whom she borrowed money from, I don’t know if its settled or not. But I know that that common friend does not trust her with money matters any more. In fact, he is hiding from her.

Last June, I asked this friend of mine to buy me a camera. She was in and out of Thailand. Nikon has factory there so the cameras there a cheaper as compared here. I asked her to buy me a Nikon D3000. According to her, its cost there is just 14,000 pesos. Way too cheap as compared to the 21,000 pesos price of Nikon D3000 here. I gave her the money on a Saturday. She says that her friend will go home from Thailand on Monday. She will do me a big favor by asking her friend to buy the camera for her so she can give it to me. Perfect plan, right? By my friend’s estimate, her friend with the camera will arrive on Monday. I was so excited for Monday to come but Monday came and left without a camera in my hand.

She asked me if I want the money or she’ll personally buy the camera for me as she is going back to Thailand anyway. I agreed to plan B, she will buy the camera for me herself. I was not in a hurry to have a camera anyway, 7000 pesos makes a huge difference. She promised me that by July, she’ll be home and she’ll have the camera but nothing happened.

By mid-July, she told me to send her extra money, 3000 pesos to be exact. She says that she’s in Manila now but their company’s secretary is coming to the country and she says that the visiting secretary will bring the camera. The price may have increased but it has freebies like a Nikon Tripod, Filters and the like. I was thinking that 17,000 is still way too cheap and I am still willing to wait but July became August and I got tired of her alibis.

Her alibis are as follows:

1. I’m stuck here in Manila. I have a lot of work ( Fine with me because I was just asking her a favor.)

2. Your camera is here with me but I need to go back to Thailand, I’ll be home soon.  ( I asked her to ship the camera to Iloilo but she says she does not know where LBC or Air21 is. I researched and gave her numbers of several couriers, she was not able to contact it. I ask her where her address in Manila is so that one of my friends can pick it up in her place but she declines)

3. Whoa! The camera is too expensive, my brother wants it too. My mom says I will give you back the money instead. ( I actually am devastated with this. I knew her brother and I really thought he was interested in the camera. I buy that lousy excuse of my friend. For weeks, she would come at my place promising to bring the camera but only to arrive with nothing but herself because she can’t SNEAK it out. )

This is when I decided to get the money instead. Early September I told her that I will get the money, 17000 pesos that is. I will buy the camera myself. This is when she tells me that she will do her best to sneak the camera out. For 1 week, I actually waited for her at coffee shops, I waited for her cousin to bring the camera but nothing happened. So I made a mental note to myself to really get the money from her.

I was expecting her to give me the exact amount in full and in cash when I said I wanted the money instead of the camera but boy! I was wrong. First week of October she gave me 10,000 pesos. It was okay with me because she promised to pay it back the following day but nothing happened. I let it pass.

I went to Bacolod on the last week of October. I was using my Bacolod trip to get the money from her. If I count the money I spent on the load I used to text her in between June to October, it would have cost more or less 1000 pesos.

I feel bad for turning her down but I don’t want to take the risk again. If this happens again, I might not beg her anymore. I might be mad at her and it might take a toll on our friendship. I have this gut feeling that she’s taking advantage of me. It’s up to me to let her do it or not. Other than her “borrowing issues”, she’s a good friend. I don’t want to totally lose friendship with her just because of money.

I feel guilty for lying to her but I don’t want to feel stupid. I’d rather be a bad, unhelpful, unreliable  and lying friend than a stupid and abused person who never learns from previous mistakes.


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