I have a coworker, “Linda,” with whom I’ve socialized outside of work many times. Her husband and the man I’m dating get along well, and we’ve always enjoyed our get-togethers, although both of us have noticed a tendency to under-contribute on their part. As an example, if we are having dinner together, they will bring a salad and “forget” to bring a side dish or dessert, or whatever they agreed to contribute. We both sort of chalked this up to general frugality and it didn’t matter much until a few weeks ago.
We were invited to their home to celebrate Linda’s birthday. I asked Linda what I could bring, and she requested an appetizer and wine. Her husband “Jack” contacted me separately and asked me to bring a birthday cake as well. It’s important to note that since it was her birthday, I was happy to contribute more than the usual proportion of the meal.
But the ensuing dinner was strange. Our wine was put in the wine rack, and never served. The birthday cake was set aside and we were told that they would enjoy it the next day with their family. We were served leftover chunks of angel food cake drizzed with chocolate, from the previous day’s work celebration of Linda’s birthday. Overall, my friend and I left their home feeling like the “B Team.”
Subsequently, this couple was given a rather rickety boat, by a local church that had received it as a donation. The boat itself and the trailer are in rather rickety shape. I noticed right away that the trailer tires needed to be replaced but Jack said he would take care of it. A few weeks ago, Jack asked the man I’m dating to help move the boat from the church, and see if it is working. After several hours and several trips to local marinas, they mutually determined that the boat is not ready for use without some work, and Jack asked if my friend could keep the boat for a few days until he could determine what to do with it. Jack and Linda recently moved to a lakefront property, and during the past 3 weeks they have requested several times that we “come down for the afternoon,” which we feel is a veiled suggestion to haul the boat the 40 miles to their home. The boat trailer is truly not roadworthy, which is why I feel they are happy to
have it sit in someone else’s yard.
At the risk of inserting myself in the transaction between Jack and my boyfriend, I asked Linda today to please have Jack contact us about moving the boat, as it cannot be hauled the long distance required, and it needs to be moved from my boyfriend’s home. My boyfriend suggested that he would be happy to move it the 2 – 3 miles back to the church, where arrangements could be made at a later date.
Linda exploded with anger and told me that my boyfriend had “no right” to have moved their boat, and that it’s not their problem. I am left feeling taken advantage of and sad to see a fight having ensued over such a trivial issue. It’s too bad that their unwillingness to pay (in this case, for trailer tires on a free boat) means a strained friendship, but I feel that I’m seeing their true colors. 0903-14
I’m baffled as to why Linda thinks the boat is not “their problem” but concurrently believes your boyfriend had no right to move a boat Linda and Jack don’t view as their problem. Basically your boyfriend is dealing with an abandoned boat with no conclusive owner on his property. A far as I can tell, it’s his to remove or retain as he desires.