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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


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Hellbound Alleee July 1, 2010, 12:04 pm

    Make your lips like an “o.” Touch your tongue on the top palate of your mouth near your teeth.

    Then say, “N-oooooo.” “N-oooooo.”

    I know how hard it is–I am currently practicing that sound myself. Funny how harmful Sunday school can be on a person.

  • Michelle July 7, 2010, 4:21 pm

    I would never, ever blame the OP for the atrocious behavior of the people involved. They were out of line, this Suzanne, Laney, and UB (Unemployed boyfriend).

    However, I would offer that it is important to be clear on your expectations when covering people for things.

  • christina July 8, 2010, 10:22 pm

    Those poor kids.

  • Deborah August 13, 2010, 7:05 pm

    How about – “Sorry, I can’t afford to pay for everyone. Why don’t I watch the kids, while you run back to the car for your wallet?”

  • Dazee September 18, 2010, 5:50 pm

    @ Hellbound Alleee
    The OP did say “No.” or at least expressed that they weren’t about to be taken advantage of when lines were crossed. It’s just as rude to say no to every favor asked as it is to take advantage of someone’s kindness.

    @ Deborah
    There were no kids at the movie theater, it was just the 4 adults. The moochers were complaining that it’d be such a bother to run to the car for money since they had left their wallets behind.

    I agree, I do feel sorry for the kids in this situation. I’m sure they ended up missing the OP very much… but he was completely right in what he did.. it’s just a shame that a friendship got ruined over this… certainly not blaming the OP but the ‘friend’.

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