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The Assumptions That Can Lead To Greed

I’m not really sure what this one falls under. It has nothing to do with a wedding, but more to do with a couple of people’s insane selfishness.

First is “Laney”. This was a girl I had gone to school with in grade school back in Oklahoma. After many years, I was freshly out of the Army, and now living in the D.C. area when we bumped into each other online. When we realized we had gone to grade school together, we were shocked by the coincidence, and became fast friends. At the time, I was making decent money, and Lanie had two children (by two different fathers – neither in the picture after the children were born) and a roommate (we’ll call “Suzanne”). I loved her kids, they were beautiful, very well behaved, and they liked me. Her roommate, on the other hand, was a total witch, but that’s later.

Laney was usually pretty strapped for cash due to her situation, so I would almost always pay for the meals when we would go out to eat or anything. As I was the one suggesting that we go out to eat, I thought this was only fair. This goes on for half a year, about once or twice a week, I make the hour long drive to hang out with her, play with the kids, and we get something to eat, or play board games at her house. At some point, she starts making the suggestions that we should go to eat at such and such restaurant, and eventually she’s inviting me down to take them to dinner. I had apparently set a dangerous precedent, and was expected to pay for these meals as well. While this does start to grate, I try to shrug it off and continue to head down to visit the family.

Finally, one day she announces that it’s her Step-Mother’s birthday, and she knew her father wasn’t the type to do cakes, candles, etc., so she wanted to “do something” for her birthday. I drive her to a local store, and she runs around buying a nice cake, candles, ice cream, a card, and even a couple of gag gifts. She puts them on the register, then turns and looks at me expectantly. I give her a look back as if to say, “What do you want?” COMPLETELY dumbfounded that she could be making this suggestion. Finally, she responds, “Well *I* can’t pay for this! “Now, that would have been the end of it right there, except that I knew her Step Mother, and she truly was a wonderful woman, and I had been to their house a good number of times. I realized Laney’s father really *wasn’t* the type to do cakes and ice cream for the birthday, and that this would mean a lot to her. So, still quite angry, I went ahead and paid.

When we got into the car, I let loose on Laney, letting her know that if this *EVER* happened again, it would mean the end of our friendship. I wasn’t just some free ATM that she could tap for cash whenever she decided she wanted something she couldn’t afford. She apologized profusely, and said she hadn’t realized how much she’d taken me for granted, and it would *never* happen again.

So a month goes by. Now, the roommate, “Suzanne” that I can’t stand is rude, mean spirited, and just a total witch. There’s really no better way to describe her. On this day, the children were being watched by the parents, so Laney had a rare evening off, and wanted to catch a movie. Her roommate decides this is a marvelous idea, since she had just started dating a new (unemployed) guy, and that we should all four go to the movies, and then get dinner afterwards. As I had nothing better to do, I agreed to go, but was determined that I wasn’t going to get stuck fitting the bill. We take separate cars, and get to the movie theater. Laney informs me that she doesn’t have the money for the movies, and would I mind paying her way. She’ll “pay me back.” I agree, and we get back to the movie theater.

When we arrive, before we go in, I’m discussing what dinner plans we should make (some place that needs reservations, or some quicky place that doesn’t)? I’m told we can figure that out when we finish the movie, and see what time it is. I say, “OK, just so long as it’s not Chinese!” (I’d had Chinese the ENTIRE prior week.) We get to the ticket counter and oddly enough, EVERYONE has left their wallets in their cars, and it would be “SUCH a pain” to run back and get them, as they’d have to get back in line, and miss the start of the movie. So we agree that I will pay for the movies for FOUR adults PLUS snacks in the DC area, and THEIR compensation would be that *THEY* pay for *MY* dinner afterwards. (This bill is well over $100 at $17 per person, $5 soda, $5 popcorn or candy.) I’m thinking this is pretty generous of me, considering no matter where we ate, it wasn’t going to cost me $100 a plate.

The movie ends, and as we’re walking back to the car, Suzanne announces that she’s feeling like Chinese. I remind her that it’s the ONE thing I don’t want, as I’ve already eaten it all week, and she insists that it’s the ONLY thing she wants, and if I don’t want it, I can just find somewhere else to eat by myself. At this point, I’m livid. I get back in my car, Laney’s riding with me, and we leave. I’m absolutely fuming, and she tries to console me, agreeing that her roommate is a sneaking, rude, thieving witch. We decide on fried chicken, so we swing by a KFC and pick up a large bucket of chicken. At the time, I didn’t like to cook, so figured I’d get extra and eat it for dinner tomorrow as well.

When we get back to Laney’s house, Suzanne and her unemployed boyfriend are already there. I ask, “I thought you were getting Chinese?!” She responds: “No, we decided we weren’t really hungry. “Feeling the hairs standing up on the back of my neck, I grab a plate, and sit down to eat some chicken when not even 10 minutes later, unemployed boyfriend says, “Man, I’m hungry.” Suzanne’s response: “Just get some of the fried chicken. There’s plenty.” I finally lose it, and tell him not to touch it, or I’ll kill him. Neither he nor Suzanne are getting a bite of the chicken, because I’m not paying for their free ride to the movies AND their dinner when this whole thing was THEIR idea. Suzanne continues to sit there smugly with a smirk on her face, obviously having planned each step of this. I tell them the extra chicken is going home with me, and they aren’t touching it. Then I look at Laney for some support, and she gets involved in the conversation like this: “Well, I wanted some of it for the kids when they get home!”

I was gobsmacked. I couldn’t even think of a response. I walked into the kitchen, threw two pieces of the chicken into the fridge (for the kids), took the rest out to my car, and left without another word to any of them. Laney tried to call to see what “I was so mad about” and I informed her that she needn’t bother calling me ever again, our friendship had ended. A year later, she did actually call me, too. Apparently she wanted to “mend fences.” I imagine it was just her step mother’s birthday coming up. Either way, I told her I was busy, hung up, and haven’t spoken to her in the 7 years since.

To this day, this is the only “ex friend” story that continues to infuriate me every time I remember it. I’ve dated blatant gold diggers, I’ve dated dozens of women who have cheated, but this is the one that makes me the most angry. Knowing what a sleazy,filthy,witch Suzanne is, and she sat their smugly having just conned me out of an evening at the movies for 4. It boggles my mind that any one human could have such COMPLETE and UTTER disregard for other people, much less the three of them. I sincerely hope that karma does exist. 0615-10

{ 55 comments… add one }
  • Rumi June 17, 2010, 11:04 am

    I think this whole situation is the OP’s own doing. I don’t care what movie we’re going to watch, if I knew the people I was with were moochers, I would’ve said “Oh wells, I guess we’re missing the start of the movies”. As for dinner, I would have bought 2 orders, one for me that’s going home, left in the car (which I frequently do, no big deal) and another one with just enough food for the current meal.

  • confused June 17, 2010, 11:12 am

    I’m confused, was this a friend or a romantic partner?

  • Dani June 17, 2010, 11:17 am

    That is just heinous and I can’t blame the LW for still being bothered by it. I despise people that take advantage of someone’s generosity. I have seen it and experienced numerous times. I had to learn how to not be a doormat but that took years. I just hope the LW doesn’t completely lose faith in people. The decent people who reciprocate in friendships are still out there.

  • Margaret June 17, 2010, 12:08 pm

    I’m choked on your behalf! Good for you for walking out on them.


  • Kate June 17, 2010, 12:11 pm

    What amazes me is that you went along with paying – you went to the movie with a girl who you already knew treats you like a personal cash point, a girl you hate, and the unemployed boyfriend of a girl you hate, and you actually went ahead and bought everything? Yes, shame on them for exploiting you, but just as much shame on you for having gone along with it! Generous is one thing, people taking advantage of you being a pushover is another.

  • J. June 17, 2010, 12:16 pm

    I’m not sure what’s more shocking. Laney’s behavior or the fact that the author of this story kept paying for all of this. Is it so hard to just say the simple word “No.”? You can’t keep playing victim if you let people walk all over you.

  • Cady June 17, 2010, 12:53 pm

    Dude, you should really learn how to tell people no BEFORE they rip you off. You should’ve just told Suzanne and her BF at the movies that they’d have to go back to their car, but you’d save them some seats. You certainly shouldn’t have paid for any snacks for these people. If they’re too irresponsible to “remember their wallets,” then they don’t get snacks. And the moment Laney started inviting you to take her and the family out, you should’ve explained that while you were happy to buy her a meal when you issued the invitation, you didn’t have the money to take her out every time she felt like it (even if you did have the money). If you act like a human doormat, that is how unscrupulous people will treat you. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with telling people no, and I hope since this incident you’ve gotten better at it.

  • Challis June 17, 2010, 1:42 pm

    wow, I agree that this is a horrible situation, but GOODNESS, I hope you have learned to grow a backbone. I can imagine that I would ever get into a situation like that.

  • Challis June 17, 2010, 1:45 pm

    pardon, I CAN’T imagine that I would ever be in a situation like that…
    I am much too cheap to have been taken advantage of like that.
    After they forgot their wallent in the car, ‘Oh, well, I’ll save you a seat’
    and you bought their refreshments? sorry, why couldn’t they go without?
    Thank GOD you took your chicken with you, you shouldn’t have left the 2 pieces, I promise they did not make it into the mouths of the kids.

  • lkl492 June 17, 2010, 1:55 pm

    Oh, no no no no no. I would not have paid for the stepmother’s birthday gifts and I definitely wouldn’t have stuck around for the great fried chicken fiasco.

  • TylerBelle June 17, 2010, 3:58 pm

    It was horrible how these people treated the LW, there’s no excuse for the behavior, but if the roommate is so nasty, her boyfriend unemployed and of course the friend has a history of mooching, what would be expected with an outing of this group? I’d think a realization of things probably aren’t going to go well would happen even before the sob story of ‘Oops, we all *left* our wallets in the car.’ And when that happened, as mentioned, extend regrets of their missing the show and go in and enjoy yourself.

    I agree with what folks mention, Challis with the chicken left not being there for the children, and with Dani about having faith there are decent folks out there. It may be hard to believe after experiencing a situation like this, but there are.

  • Simone June 17, 2010, 4:07 pm

    It’s really hard when we’re younger to believe that people can use friendships to their own advantage, even sometimes at the same time as genuinely liking you. I think that we’ve all had friendships where we’ve given more (financially, emationally, whatever) than we were recieving.

    Good for you for setting ground rules then sticking with them when it came to the point. It’s a hard lesson to learn that sometimes even friends can be total jerks and I’m sorry that you had to learn it in such a dramatic and costly way.

  • magicdomino June 17, 2010, 4:49 pm

    Unfortuately, I have relatives like the LW’s “friends.” They were quite proud of going out on a date, then asking the gentleman to stop by a grocery store, so they could buy some food for the kids. Then they would guilt the guy into paying for it. Those who paid, got the dubious honor of another date and more guilt trips., perhaps a winter date with Relative shivering because she couldn’t afford to buy a new coat. Those who had backbones were dumped as “selfish.”

    Sometimes it takes a while to recognize the pattern if it is the first time that you have run across it.

  • danielle June 17, 2010, 5:12 pm

    there is this amazing word that most people learn if not first at least second and its

  • AS June 17, 2010, 5:39 pm

    Two questions – were you involved romantically with Laney in someway (or she had that in her mind?). Secondly, are you a man?

    If you were romantically involved, and kept paying for her, you behaved like the “knight in shining armor” trying to save a “damsel in distress” and she just took it for granted that you will always pay for her.

    If you are a man and paid for her the first 6 months (and she did not object), I can quite see her taking you for granted. She probably thought you were interested in her. Whether or not she was interested in you, she just decided that you are the “keeper”. If she was the kind who had some self respect, she’d have objected to you paying ALL the time meeting quite frequently for 6 months! If she allowed you to pay for more than 5-6 meetings, red flags should have started going off in your mind, no matter what both of your economic situations are. You are no one’s doormat, no matter what her economic conditions are. Friendship has to be on equal levels. They only exception would be if you are officially a couple, and one of you need to support the other economically for some reason (if one partner lost the job, is pursuing higher education, want to be a house wife / stay-at-home husband so that they can take care of the family, etc.).

    The reason I am asking if you are a man is because usually women do this more frequently with men than other women (though you said you have dated other women, I don’t want to exclude the possibility of same sex relationships). I once had a friend who was in LDR with her boyfriend, but often had other men worshiping her, and getting things for her. She had actually got a young man (who earned less than her!) go bankrupt. When he could not pay anymore, she just moved on to another man! (I am not making this up though I wish I was!).

    While in college, a bunch of us consisting of 7-8 women used to go out for lunch every day. We usually bought about the same things, and hence it was one person’s turn to pay every day. There were a couple of women who would NEVER pay, and always make others pay (we worked in the same lab, and hence there was no way to escape them; plus we needed a break from the high stress lab too). I can totally relate to Suzanne’s story, and sympathize with you.

  • Jellie June 17, 2010, 5:42 pm

    You remind me of my boyfriend, he is WAY too nice for his own good…and he knows it! I hate it when he runs off to try and help someone(i kno, way selfish…) when we finally get some by-our-selves time, away form the dorms. I’m always telling him, ‘Babe, don’t, you dont kno if they’re some kind of serial killer or rapist or something :-(‘ But he goes anyways…this one time he did that, some guy was parked near an interscetion, just standing there and my BF, being the mechanic monkey lover he is, went over there to see if the man needed some car/truck help. Turns out the was standing there trying to turn everybody against our current president, with a phamplet saying that Obama was equivliant to Hitler! Now, my BF don’t really like our president that much, but he respects him and was extreamly appaled at what he saw and was hearing. He was so mad, but i told him…And then not even 2 hrs later, he was off to help some other poor soul with thier car/truck! I just grabbed him and looked at him and said, ‘Didn’t you learn your lesson from before!?’ he countered with, ‘Well, he looks like he really needs some help'(the man had his turck hood up and was tinkering in the engine area). This man was more pleasent and my BF had a nice LONG conversation with him…(we were at a park…he left my all by my lonesome!)

    ANYWAYS………You can be kind to others, just don’t let them walk all over you…and let them think you’re an ATM…

  • Dee June 17, 2010, 8:42 pm

    What happened is of your own doing. You set the precedent by paying for every meal that you ate out together. Why did you pay for the stepmother’s party items? Why did you pay for the movies? You paid for both of these so why wouldn’t they expect you to pay for and share the chicken!

    Glad you wised up and learned to say “no”. You do not have to pay for every meal you eat out with friends. If you are unsure if they can pay, ask, and if they can’t, don’t go.

  • Chunks June 17, 2010, 8:57 pm

    Mamma always said stoopid is as stoopid does…

  • zhoen June 17, 2010, 9:04 pm

    They were awful people, no question. But the reason he’s still mad is because he is angry with himself for being such a sap. He expected no respect, and therefore got none. As soon as he forgives himself, he will be able to let it go. You really can’t expect polite behaviour from users. When the light switch stops working, stop flipping it.

  • Casey June 17, 2010, 9:28 pm

    I have a hard time with the “no” word but “I only brought enough money for myself” works wonders.

  • ss11 June 17, 2010, 9:31 pm

    I had a Laney in my life…at first I didn’t mind doing things for her children, because it wasn’t their fault that their mom is an idiot and let her ex-husband walk all over her, but when both she (and her oldest child, when she got older) started treating my like an ATM, I dropped her like a bad habit. No one can take advantage of you without your permission, and the OP acted like a doormat for WAY too long. There’s no way I would have paid for any of them to go to the movies (I live in the DC area too) and bought them snacks. Those greedy monsters would’ve been sitting at home watching tv.

  • PrincessSimmi June 17, 2010, 9:44 pm

    There is such a thing as being generous to a fault.

    I have no problem with generousity when it involves transporting my Grandma from point A to point B, withdrawing money from the ATM and doing her shopping – because she always buys me chinese/thai/pizza to make up for it. Or she’ll make me a baked dinner.

    However, I am NEVER generous when it comes to my brother as he is notorious for not buying a gift, taking the card off mine and handing it over sans card saying it is from him. Last time he tried that I punched him. I’ve paid for far too many gifts for him to give to family members without so much as a thank you, and I’m not falling for it again.

    All I see here is “They have the means to help themselves but won’t” and “Grow a DAMNED BACKBONE”

  • Snewt June 17, 2010, 9:54 pm

    Guess late is better than never for you to stand up for yourself.

  • Annie June 17, 2010, 10:41 pm

    You poor spineless doormat you …… I hope you’ve learned something here. There will ALWAYS be people like this – YOU need to learn to say NO. And you’re sadly a fool for even thinking that those chicken pieces got to the kids. You got taken advantage of, and that’s bad, but what’s worse is that instead of saying something and standing up for yourself, you just kept going along for the ride….

  • Ginger June 18, 2010, 1:21 am

    I understand how the OP got caught out. I would have found myself in the same situation. I think the OP was raised with good manners and common courtesy. I am a very generous person, but the minute someone starts taking my generosity for granted, it infuriates me. If they expect it of me then that is the end of my generosity but it is always so hurtful if it gets to that point. Those who receive generosity should always be grateful. The OP didn’t do anything wrong by trying to see the best in this person for so long. I know a lot of people say that people can only take advantage of you if you let them but when it comes down to it, the fault still clearly lays on the shoulders of the moochers.

  • ferretrick June 18, 2010, 7:28 am

    I’m sure you’ve realized by now, people may occasionally leave their wallets at home/in the car, etc. but any time that declaration is immediately followed by “will you cover it for me?” they are scamming you.

  • Shayna June 18, 2010, 9:58 am

    You’re angry because you’re still mad for letting yourself be taken advantage of. That’s the only reason. Now you must forgive yourself so that you can put these nasty-a$$ed people behind you. They’re just taking up space, rent-free, in your head. I’m sure you’ve learned lessons from this part of your life.

    There are three kinds of people in life: leaves, branches and roots. Laney was a leaf.

  • bmyster June 18, 2010, 10:10 am

    I sympathize with the person’s predicament, but I think it is up to the OP to draw boundaries. While these people are clearly moochers, keep in mind some people give many things back that have nothing to do with money—maybe they always lend a helping hand when needed, or take you places, make you hand-crafted gifts or do other things for you.

    That being said, it’s important to draw and stick to reasonable boundaries so one doesn’t get or feel taken advantage of. In this case, one other poster had an excellent suggestion—say “I only have enough money for myself”

  • Xtina June 18, 2010, 11:42 am

    I think the OP knows he let Laney and company take advantage of him for far too long. Shame, shame, shame on them for being the kind of “preying moochers” that they were, but the OP should have wised up for good about the time Laney starting directing the dinner plans; by that point, she’d crossed the line from being an appreciative recipient of the good nature of a friend to being an unabashed user of said friend…..and from there, she was even inviting her friends to the money trough!

    I wouldn’t have had any problem whatsoever to tell her “no” when it became clear what her game was. A true friend would not be afraid to ask for money, but would never take advantage of it; one friend may “always” pay for things and that’s acceptable if the poorer friend reciprocates or makes up for it in other ways. I wonder if Laney ever, even once, made a home-cooked meal or took the OP out (even if to a fast-food place) to express her gratitude? Doesn’t sound like it.

    The movie night out was simply heinous. Those people knew exactly what they were doing and the OP allowed them to take advantage of him. I am glad that he ended the relationship immediately after that.

  • Breezy June 18, 2010, 12:54 pm

    I sympathize with the OP. While one wants to be generous to his/her friends, there also needs to be a line drawn so that the generosity isn’t taken for granted. Either you let people walk all over you or else you don’t.

    I had a long-time “friend” who was going through a rough patch in her life, so I gave her support, a shoulder to cry on and basically helped out in any way possible. When the time came for her to support me in my time of crisis (my grandmother had passed away and I walked away from a verbally abusive relationship), she wasn’t so sympathetic.

    She somehow developed the “poor me” mentality and stuck with it. It finally got to the point where I was tired of that attitude and walked away from the friendship when I realized she didn’t care so much for our friendship but for what it could offer her. I realized that relationship was toxic and moved on to positive, happy friendships…where it was a give and take.

    Several years later, she approached my dad in tears wondering why she and I were no longer friends. In the intervening years, she never once called me, emailed or visited me. She expected me to do all the work of maintaining the friendship…which I wasn’t about to do anymore.

    While it was hard to end a longtime friendship, I didn’t feel sorry for myself or the situation. I learned that true friends are the ones who stick by you through thick and thin. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying “NO”. A true friend won’t be offended by the word, a fake one will.

  • Margaret June 18, 2010, 1:55 pm

    Whoa whoa, commenters, don’t need to be so mean to him, he GETS it. I have a cousin who is a little bit like Laney in the story. She also has kids, single, always broke, etc, and although I don’t think she is quite as bad as hellion in the story, she also got a lot of help from a lot of people. And actually, if she had found someone who would pay for everything, she might well have acted the same way. I bet part of it was that there were kids involved. It’s a lot harder to say no when you are also saying no to kids that you are fond of who don’t have any way to help themselves. And the story my cousin consistently presented was always compelling. And if you recall, he was ticked about paying for the step-mother stuff, but he also admired the step-mother and knew that if he didn’t do it, it wouldn’t be done. So that was more a kindness to the mom, but obviously he is ticked that hellion put him in that situation. It’s super for you guys who have no problem saying no, and you probably won’t understand this, but if you are soft hearted, naturally generous and like someone, it IS hard to say no, and probably a lot harder for someone like that to learn it than it was for a lot of you. It does seem that the OP has LEARNED about saying no. Just because it took him longer than it would take some of you, you don’t need to call him names. Whether he was a pushover or not, the hellion WAS wrong to do what she did.

    And as for my cousin — years after we drifted apart, I was talking to her sister, and we figured out that at the time I was helping her, she actually had more money than I did between child tax benefit, child support, low income housing, etc. And yes, after a LONG time, I learned to say NO to her. And it took a lot to hammer that into my head.

  • Elizabeth Bunting June 18, 2010, 5:35 pm

    I agree with you Margaret. The OP was too patient with Laney, but woke up when the girlfriend and worthless boyfriend were added into the mix. He will know what to do the next time he sees this kind of conduct. It has all happened because he is kind hearted and generous and he shouldn’t be called names because of that.

    Now he knows.

    Just my thoughts,

  • Molly June 18, 2010, 6:32 pm

    It can be easy to fall into the trap of doing these things occasionally, then being taken for granted, and not knowing how to get out of the cycle. At least the OP was finally able to tell their “friends” that if they didn’t stop it, the friendship would be over, and then made good on the threat. It’s not so easy to tell someone you genuinely care for that you can’t help them when they need money, even when you KNOW you’re being played.

  • gramma dishes June 18, 2010, 9:32 pm

    The OP knows he was taken advantage of. I don’t know why everyone else is coming down so hard on him! These things happen. When we like someone, we DO try to help and this was just an extreme situation with many parts that all came about at one time.
    I think he is just letting us know that he HAS figured out what happened and that he won’t be repeating it. I suspect he’s even a little embarrassed by it. He’s telling it as a cautionary tale for the benefit of the rest of us who have been lucky enough not to have found themselves in this kind of situation — yet.
    So, Thank You, OP. I’m old enough to have known a couple of “Laneys”, but some of the younger posters here may not have experienced this kind of thing yet, or may never have been a little too kind hearted for their own good. And good job for keeping your cool, even after what was going on had finally become obvious to you. I’m pretty sure it won’t happen (to you) again. Sharing your experience MAY help someone else to recognize a little faster when something similar is happening to them, allowing them to respond appropriately a little faster than you were able to.

  • kero June 19, 2010, 1:16 am

    I’m so surprised at the mean comments directed at the OP! He totally set his lines and stood up for himself. Granted, the movie incident could have been handled a lot better, but sometimes there are times when the price of convenience will win. The OP did a great thing afterwards by leaving to get dinner for himself (because he recognized the pattern!!) and dropped the mooching friend forever.

    When you are friends with someone, sometimes you will give support (monetary, emotionally, etc) and when there are kids involved often times it is hard to say no because….well they are kids (well behaved loveable kids)! I think it’s in human nature to help kids most of the times (esp when they all get along like the OP stated). And the cake thing…well I think a red flag shot up for the OP but he paid because he respected Laney’s mom, and rightfully gave Laney a verbal lashing afterwards about her behavior. The OP definitely learned his lesson and I must say, already has a backbone.

  • Emmy June 19, 2010, 8:39 am

    I also think people are being hard on the OP. I think being too generous is a better characteristic that being greedy, rude, manipulative, and selfish. The OP learned an expensive lesson, but hopefully one that will stick with him the rest of his life to prevent any future “Laney” from taking advantage of him. I’m sure this situation was very hurtful because he considered Laney a friend and not just some woman he went on a few dates with and found out she was a golddigger. I don’t feel Laney was taking advantage of him when he was asking her to dinner and paying. After all, when he invited her places, she made it clear she could not pay and he offered. I also feel she should reciprocate his kindness in whatever way possible. However, the real gimme gimme comes into play when she starts planning outings on his dime and expects him to pay for whatever she wants. I can see why the OP payed for the stepmom’s birthday supplies, Laney purposely got everything to the counter and expected the OP to pay. The OP may have been uncomfortable discussing the topic right in front of the cashier and simply paid to get out of an uncomfortable situation.

    I really do feel that the OP should not have paid for the movie tickets and certainly not for the snacks. If everybody else ‘forgot’ their wallet, he could have also claimed he ‘forgotten’ his. If Laney was planning a nice outing on his dime, he could say he was strapped for cash or too busy.

  • cam June 19, 2010, 9:48 am

    Did your friend ever suggest staying in and having a cheap night? It sounds like she might of from your description. I havn’t been able to afford to go out in AGES, so if I call up a friend I can either invite then over or hope for an invitation to thiers. It really does get dull staying in all the time (for both parties!), you never get to meet new people or simply escape the house. It is also very hard to have to constantly decline invitations out- it makes you feel just useless and it is highly embarrasing to have to discuss your finances with everyone. Plus, if a friend frequently insists on going out and paying for you, it really is hard to say no every time without sounding very rude. She was sort of in a catch-22 because you will damage the relationship if you spend a year declining, and you will feel rubbish and upset the payee if you spend a year accepting. My guess is that she had a mental list of all the nice local restaurants she would like to eat at were she able to afford it. She didn’t suggest any at first because you were paying and she didn’t want to seem rude, but after many of these visits she felt comfortable enough to suggest some. After all you had spent a year reassuring her that you wanted to go out and were happy to pay. My guess is that because both of you fell into a very inconvenient arrangement, the boundaries of what was acceptable became blurred and uncomfortable events followed. Both parties were perhaps in the wrong, and it’s sad when friendships end like this. I am sure you are wiser now, but sometimes it really is best just to have a cheap night in, isn’t it? And as for those ‘blatent’ gold-diggers, if you know someone is going to take advantage of you I think you can do without them.

  • Michelle Prieur June 19, 2010, 11:17 am

    I do have sympathy for OP, it’s harder than most people think to put your foot down. However, definitely don’t continue putting yourself in the situation. I am confused about a few responses:
    AS-what is the significance about OP being a man? Even if they were a couple, which doesn’t seem to be the case, why should he have to be “the knight in shining armor”???? Laney is an adult. If they were married and had kids together, that would be a completely different case. That wasn’t the issue. OP clearly defines their relationship: friends. Well, he was a friend; Laney wasn’t. Man or woman, friends or dating, she had no right to mooch off of him and neither did her friends.

  • karmabottle June 19, 2010, 12:20 pm

    I agree—ease up on the OP. The fact that he/she has sent in this story says a lot. The OP knows he/she was taken advantage of. Once enlightenment set in, the OP split and never laid eyes on Lainey again. Good work!
    At the age of 39, I wouldn’t let this happen now. Would I have been a victim at 21? Sure. In fact, I can think of one boyfriend who pulled similar stunts on me for a few months–hadn’t picked up paycheck, left money at home, was between jobs, etc. It happens, but that is part of learning to live life. None of us would know what to watch out for had we not been taken for a ride once or twice, right?!
    I’m impressed that the OP regrouped and figured out how to solve the issue that day after the movies.

  • Candra June 19, 2010, 1:03 pm

    What gold diggers! This is partly OP’s fault for going along with all of this, but I also know how obligated you feel when this kind of thing happens. I’m a total pushover and have a hard time saying no, too…I’m learning, but it throws you off so much that you just sort of stutter “okay” and fume about it later. So to the OP I say, good luck growing a spine! I’ll work on that, too…lol.

  • Alexis June 20, 2010, 1:31 pm

    She didn’t con you, you volunteered. I don’t know any of you and I could see this coming a mile away. Practice saying ‘no’, and you will find yourself much less angry at your ‘friends’.

  • Bint June 21, 2010, 3:01 am

    I agree with everyone saying to ease up on the OP. He was taken advantage of and told Laney off – he was taken advantage of again a while later, and cut off the friendship.

    There’s a pattern here of posters simply jumping on the ‘don’t be such a doormat’ bandwagon, but everyone has been taken advantage of at some point in their life and yes, it hurts and you feel like an idiot afterwards. He learned from his mistakes. It does get tiresome reading the same ‘Grow a SPINE’ comments every single time. He HAS grown a spine. He was just relating a time before that.


  • Xtina June 21, 2010, 11:50 am

    Nobody likes to admit that they were a victim, but knowing and getting played by a “Laney” is part of growing up and learning how to have adult relationships. I am sure that every one of us here (myself included) have been taken advantage of by someone like this before. The important thing is that you learn to identify it and nip it in the bud next time someone else tries it on you. Sounds like the OP wised up, so lesson learned.

    I guess if the Laneys of the world serve any purpose for the rest of us, it is to teach us how to spot a scam so we won’t fall prey in the future.

  • Javin June 21, 2010, 2:48 pm

    Wow, I didn’t even realize this story posted. I’m the OP, and the vast majority of these posts are of the “It’s your own fault” variety. To some small extent, I agree. This happened shortly after I had gotten out of the Army (one tour after high school), and I was still young, naive, and had this insane idea that people are generally good. (I’ve since learned better.)

    This was literally THE last time I allowed someone to take advantage of me like this, which is probably why it sticks out in my memory so clearly to this day.

    Now, all of that being said, the concept that it was “my fault” that they are horrible, horrible people is asinine. I did not raise them. I was not around to help them develop into the adults that they are. Claiming that it’s my “fault” is to say that I’m the “bad” person here who just encouraged people who would have otherwise been complete angels to do bad things. This is like saying that when someone gets shot during a robbery that it’s “their fault” for not knowing how to disarm the robber, and the actual murderer is in the clear. Get real, people.

    Thanks to those who actually came to my defense. Like I said, I was young, and wanted to believe in people. I suppose it was “my fault” for not having had an experience like this before.

    This entire site is about people getting taken advantage of by friends and family. The “blame the OP” posts are pretty old. Especially when you’re the target of them.

  • Javin June 21, 2010, 3:09 pm

    “There are three kinds of people in life: leaves, branches and roots. Laney was a leaf.”

    I’d consider her more of a parasite. Not really even a part of the tree… Perhaps a boll weevil?

    To answer questions about the relationship Laney and I had, we had similar personalities so got along well on a “friend” level. Her children, on the other hand, I was totally in love with. Her 4 year old daughter had never known her father and had even made mention of me being her daddy. She was beautiful, insanely smart, and sweet as could be. Her son could sing Uncle Kraker’s “Follow Me” word for word before he was even able to speak. Need I say more?

    I loved her kids, and even her dad and step mom, so deluded myself into thinking a relationship was a possibility. So after being “friends” for a number of months, we started dating. It was a few months into this that the whole house of cards fell.

    And yes, I’m a man. 🙂

  • karmabottle June 22, 2010, 10:53 am

    Well, Javin—you speak quite sensibly, and you sound like a stand-up fellow. I’m sorry you were taken advantage of. You wouldn’t be the first guy to fall victim to the “Laneys” of the world.
    I don’t know if women like that intend to be that way, or if they are just so foolish that they repeat their own patterns time and time again.

    I’ve had girl friends like that, and I watched them use guys I was friends with. It saddened me because, as you said, those guys believed a relationship was possible. It’s hard to see or admit that someone can be a user, but it’s true. Fortunately, you are the type to learn from your experiences!

  • aventurine June 28, 2010, 3:19 am

    Hey, Javin. Kudos to you for being able to see the situation f0r what it was, draw your line in the sand, and stick to it when the time came.

    If your fault is that you’re too generous and not super quick to cut off someone you perceive to be in need, then even though you’ll get taken advantage of sometimes, you’re still winning. Know what I mean?

    Don’t give up on people. There are still some good ones out there.

  • Enna June 28, 2010, 10:05 am

    The OP should have walked away AGES ago. One thing treating a hard up firend once in awhile another to let yourself be ripped off. It is bad what those 3 have done but you shouldn’t let yourself be a doormat!

  • RP June 29, 2010, 3:09 pm

    Why are so many people bashing the OP and siding with Laney and her roommate? I don’t care how nice someone is, if you take advantage of it then YOU are the crummy person and that’s your own fault. Laney and Suzanne are entirely responsible for their own poor behavior. You should be ashamed of yourselves for suggesting otherwise.

  • TheBardess June 29, 2010, 8:55 pm

    Guys, enough already! The OP GETS it! He has even come back himself to admit where he went wrong, and to say that he gets it! Can we stop dog-piling him with the “Grow a spine, you pathetic loser!” comments, now?

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