This is my first post so if it is in the wrong forum, please feel free to let me know.
First, let me preface by saying that I'm 27, a divorced single parent who has done quite a lot of living since I've been out of high school. My newly single status has led me to start attending a single's church to meet other singles and hopefully no longer be single. This leads me to be friends with people who are in their early twenties but the age difference in my girlfriends doesn't bother me as I chose mature women as girlfriends.
A few months ago, I was attending a game night at one girl's house, Ashley. We're okay friends but due to past experiences, she wasn't a confidante by any means. During the course of the evening, we played a game with a group of people called 'I Never' which involves a lot of moving around and people banging into each other unintentionally.
The next day I received a phone call from Ashley's roommate, Mary Ann, who stated that they had a hole in a wall and they had decided that I had been the one to do it and they wanted me to buy some spackle to fix it. When she said that I should take responsibility for my actions, I almost lost it. When I finally recovered my powers of speech, I stated that I didn't remember doing anything that would have caused a hole in a wall but if they were 100 % sure that it was me, I'll buy the spackle. Mary Ann tried to say at that point not to worry about it and they will take care of it but I interrupted by saying that it wasn't a problem and I'd take care of it. Very frostily, I admit.
After I got off the phone, I borrowed six dollars from my sister and drove over to their house that instant. When I got there, I, very politely, asked for my swimming suit I had loaned Mary Ann (it had been brand new) and my cookie sheets from the previous night. The swimming suit had black marks on it from the trunk of her car. I asked if I could take some pictures of the hole and it was the size of a silver dollar. I expected something the size of a fist. Before I left, I pulled the six dollars out of my pocket and said that I wasn't sure when I'd be able to get to a hardware store next but I wanted them to be able to fix the hole as soon as possible so here is the money for the spackle.
I was livid and didn't speak to Ashley for a week until she came up to me the following Sunday and asked, in front of a big group of mutual friends who knew what had happened, if she could speak to me. I told her that I didn't have anything to say to her at that time and she huffed off after saying "oh yeah, that's mature." Well, the mature thing to do would have been to call me privately. After her display, friends pressured me into listening to her side of the story so I called her privately the next day. She stated that she didn't know that Mary Ann had called me and she still had my six dollars and that her defense was she was still young. She's 21 and Mary Ann is 18. I told her that it had been presented to me that they had discussed it together on who might have done this and Mary Ann had been designated to call me. I told her that I appreciated her apology but I wasn't ready to be friends yet and I would never have asked a friend, who had given me hundreds of dollars in new or barely worn clothes over the last year, to pay for something that had been an accident. I would have chalked it up to 'thats what happens when you have people over and it was an accident'.
Over the last few months, I've been polite to both of them but not friendly. If they ask me a question, I'll answer it but I don't counter with my own questions.
So, I suppose my etiquette question is, did I handle the whole thing appropriately and am I ever obligated to be friends with either of these girls again as we have a ton of mutual friends? Was I right to be offended by the request when it wasn't given at the time and there was no proof that it was me? If it had been pointed out at the time and it was me, I would have gladly paid for the repairs.
Sorry for the book on my first visit. Thanks for your input.