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The Carolines Of This World

This story happened to my husband a few nights ago and I’m still fuming. Husband is more laid back, but I know it bothered him too.

A bit of context first. Where I live, it can take from 10 to 24 months to evict a renter after he’s stopped paying rent. As such, potential landlords are very careful when renting out their apartments and the vast majority ask their renters for a third party to cosign the lease.

On to my story. I wouldn’t call my husband and Andy friends, but they are friendly acquaintances. They were introduced to each other by their mothers who work together and are very close. Andy is younger than my husband so during his university studies he would often call my husband for advice (not surprisingly, he ended up majoring in my husband’s field). They also went out for drinks a couple of times.

When Andy called a few weeks ago asking us very nicely to cosign his and his girlfriend’s lease (I’ll call her Caroline and we’ve never met her), it didn’t take us long to decide that we wanted to help him. During his call Andy explained that they had been looking for an apartment for 2 months and were getting pretty desperate at that point. We gave Andy our reply the next day, sent him the necessary paperwork and he thanked us profusely. A meeting between the landlord, Andy and his girlfriend and my husband was scheduled for two nights ago at 9PM (these are all professionals, so after work was the only time they could all meet).

Now, I wasn’t there for this last part as I had to leave on a business trip, but this is what happened according to my husband. On the day of the meeting, my husband left work at 8PM and went straight to their apartment (that meant a one-hour commute). Hubby had hoped to get this over with quickly, but as always with all the documents that needed checking and signing, he ended up missing the last bus home. When they were done, my husband and Andy started chatting in front of the building. About five minutes in, Caroline (who my husband tells me kept looking at her watch and sighing), finally said: “I hate to break this up, but it’s getting late and Andy and I have to be getting home”. My husband, who had come there straight from work, to help them out of a desperate situation, had missed dinner and the last bus home, was so flabbergasted that he wished them goodnight and left (it was a 30 minute walk on foot).

The rational part of my brain realizes that my husband’s reaction was the correct one, but the less civilized part thinks that the Carolines of the world act the way they do, because no one ever calls them out on their boorish behavior. I keep asking myself if he should have said something to her. What do you think, Miss Jeanne? 0417-15

The responsibility fell upon Andy to have said, “Yes, it is getting late. Please join us for a quick dinner and we’ll drive you home.”   He and Caroline should have discussed their plans earlier and planned on asking your husband to come to dinner with them or offer to drive him home given that your husband had just done a great service that, frankly, I would have been leery of doing.   Andy’s own mother would not co-sign for him but your husband will?  Warning flag.    And the lack of graciousness and gratitude upon receipt of that kindness is another warning sign.

The only reply your husband could have said was, “Yes, it is late and I have a long walk ahead of me before I can eat and relax.   Good bye.”


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Shalamar April 27, 2015, 12:30 pm

    I don’t think Caroline was rude. This, to me, sounds like a lack of communication. If OP’s husband had said “Yes, it’s late and I have a 30-minute walk ahead of me before I can eat dinner” and Caroline had said “Yeah, that sucks. Bye!”, THEN I would have considered her rude.

    • The Elf April 27, 2015, 1:30 pm

      Exactly. It’s all about what they did or didn’t know. You can’t expect people to read minds.

    • iwadasn April 27, 2015, 11:54 pm

      I think it depends on whether or not Caroline knew that it was too late for him to catch the last bus. It’s possible she didn’t realize that he had to walk all the way home.

  • Dee April 27, 2015, 12:41 pm

    It isn’t clear why they are signing so late at night, except that perhaps it is because OP’s husband couldn’t get off work before 8 pm. If that is the case, then it is OP’s husband’s schedule that is responsible for it being so late, not Andy and Caroline. So, there they all were, quite late on a work night (because of OP’s husband?), and it’s really past time to get home. Which is what Caroline said. Nothing rude, just the facts. And nowhere does OP’s husband say that he has missed dinner and the last ride home. And wouldn’t it have been logical for OP’s husband to have had his dinner on the way to the appointment, given that this would be such a late night as it is, and no one would expect or even want to be having dinner after the signing at this rate? And Andy was profusely grateful for the favour of the co-signing so isn’t it possible he and Caroline are planning to gift OP and her husband in some way, in the near future, at a time when it isn’t so very late and inconvenient? The paperwork is newly signed and already the OP is looking for insults. I don’t think this relationship will last at all, given OP’s eagerness to perceive insult.

    • AIP April 27, 2015, 4:50 pm

      I had wondered that too. Did they know OP’s husband didn’t have a car or hadn’t eaten? It would’ve been nice to offer to get a bite to eat, but perhaps the intention was to invite them for dinner some other evening (not holding my breath either).

      • admin April 28, 2015, 9:45 am

        If you are not close enough to someone to know whether they own a car or not, you probably shouldn’t be co-signing on any loans or rental agreements.

        • KenderJ April 28, 2015, 10:31 am

          Maybe, but isn’t that on the OP and Hubby and not on Carolyn and Andy.

          • shhh its me April 29, 2015, 7:15 am

            It’s still an assumption that OP and hubby don’t owe a car. Plenty of people own cars but take public transportation to work due to ;parking , city fees, fuel costs , their spouse took the car to the airport , wanting to do their part to cut down on fossil fuel consumption ect. It’s also an assumption that Carolyn and Andy had a car.

            I do agree it presumptuous to ask a person you don’t know well to co-sign. I also think worrying about how an adult (especially an adult you see as a mentor) will be getting home and eat with no indication there is an issue is presumptuous. Stressing “With no indication there is an issue.”

            If someone did me a huge favor (that took an hour or 2)that began at 9 pm , I wouldn’t offer “Hey, can I take you to dinner right now (at 10 or 11 pm).” .I would want to include their spouse and pick an appropriate dinner time. I also wouldn’t “Do you need a ride home?(Well I would if I saw them walking and I had a car .)”

        • AIP April 28, 2015, 4:29 pm

          It’s a very fair point, but then again I’m the sort of eejit who is acting as a referee on my neighbour’s citizenship application and I’ve no clue what his surname is!

          But there’s still a lot to be said. Possibly the OP had the car on the business trip for example. Although there’s no excuse for not having enough manners to double-check that he was fixed for a way to get home.

        • Ulla April 29, 2015, 4:39 am

          But owning a car and using a car has nothing to do with each other. I don’t own a car, but I sometimes use one anyway because I borrow it. Many people own a car but still use public transportation or bike to go to work because it’s more convenient. So they might have easily known that OP’s husband owns a car. Or that they as family own a car. But even a close person might not know that OP’s husband commutes to work with bus because OP needs car to get to her work/there is not enough parking near Husband’s workplace/bus is faster than car because they can pass wors traffic jams from bus lane/there is something wrong with the car at this exact moment/employer pays buss tickets but not gas expenses so it’s cheaper to use bus/they want to choose greener options and use public transportation except in dire situations.

          Just to say, there are plenty of reasons for people not to use the car they own and those reasons are not really any business of people outside the family.

        • JackieJormpJomp May 2, 2015, 3:05 am

          Where I live, I ASSUME people take transit. So it’s not necessarily a car issue.

      • AIP April 29, 2015, 4:04 pm

        To make it clear, when I say “didn’t have a car”, I meant did not have the use of one at the time of the event.

    • Jessica April 27, 2015, 5:21 pm

      Its was clear actually, she said they are all professionals and this is the only time of day they could all make it to sign.

      • shhh its me April 29, 2015, 7:22 am

        That could mean OP spouse was available at 8 ,9 and 10 am and Carolyn , Andy and the landlord were working then, not that they all worked to 8pm.

    • Vrinda May 2, 2015, 2:32 pm

      Did you not see this?

      “My husband, who had come there straight from work, to help them out of a desperate situation, had missed dinner and the last bus home, was so flabbergasted that he wished them goodnight and left (it was a 30 minute walk on foot).”

  • Weaver April 27, 2015, 12:43 pm

    Another quick thought – is this a town where cars are the normal mode of transport and almost everyone has them? If so, Andy should’ve offered the OP’s husband a lift home. If people in that town use public transport as a matter of course, then it would’ve seemed silly to offer a ride, assuming Andy and Caroline even own a car.

    • Miss-E April 28, 2015, 1:07 pm

      Yeah, I don’t know where the assumption came that Andy and Caroline had a car. There’s nothing in the original post at all. For all we know they had an equally long bus ride ahead of them.

    • LawGeek May 2, 2015, 12:51 am

      I’m going to guess this is a car town. Cities where people primarily use public transportation don’t have buses that stop running at 11PM. I’ve lived in cities where trains stopped running at midnight, but night buses and cabs took over. Otherwise, it would be a pretty unlivable city.

      I think it’s likely that OP and her husband live in a city, and the apartment was in a neighborhood where cars are the primary means of transit (and there are buses from the city, but they run on a schedule and end early). Which would imply that people like Andy and Caroline own a car if they’re planning to live there.

  • Maggie April 27, 2015, 12:59 pm

    Did OP’s husband even mention he had to catch the last bus at a certain time? It’s really up to him to keep his own schedule – not Andy or Caroline. He should’ve said “I need to leave by 9:45 to catch the last bus home.”

    If he did say that and Andy and Caroline ignored him/let the meeting run over anyway, then yes, they owe him at least dinner and a ride.

  • KenderJ April 27, 2015, 1:14 pm

    Add me to the list of people who don’t see what Caroline and Andy did that was rude. Going on the assumption that Caroline and Andy are not mind readers and did not know that hubby didn’t have dinner or a way home, so didn’t know to offer. Caroline’s sighing and looking at her watch might be a bit childish, but saying “Hey, it’s late and we need to get home” isn’t rude. The op did say that Andy had thanked them profusely when they sent the paperwork, and since the OP and hubby aren’t mind readers either, they don’t know whether or not Caroline and Andy are planning on having them over for dinner when they get their new apartment set up as a thank you as well. I could be wrong, but this letter sounds more like miscommunication than rudeness and ungratefulness to me.

  • Kay L April 27, 2015, 1:42 pm

    I also don’t see where Caroline did anything wrong.

    It had to have been past 10 pm once they were done with everything and that was after a long day of work with probably another one to folow. Seems to me that it was Andy and the LWs husband who were being rude to Caroline by carrying on a conversation in the street that she was not a part of.

    And the next person in line for rudeness would be Andy for not offering the LWs husband’s a ride home. I don’t think that a dinner at this point was warranted. I wouldn’t think to that someone arriving to a 9p meeting had not eaten dinner. The LWs husband left work at 8p- why wouldn’t he have gotten something for dinner long before then?

  • Rebecca April 27, 2015, 2:18 pm

    I’m not really seeing such awful behaviour here. The sighing and looking at her watch, maybe (or was it just the perception? How are you supposed to check the time without looking at your watch? But if it was peppered with impatient gestures, maybe). But saying you have to get going when there seems to be a lot of lingering going on, is not rude. Did they know the OP’s husband had missed a bus? Did they drive there? If they drove, then absolutely they ought to have driven hubby home. I personally don’t think 30 minutes is a long walk though. It is if it’s late and you haven’t eaten yet, I guess. But it’s not as though he was stranded there.

  • Miss-E April 27, 2015, 2:36 pm

    I would just like to point out that at NO point in the OP’s story is there any mention of Andy and Caroline having a car. The implication is only in Admin’s comment. And she’s only giving a general suggestion of how Andy could have better handled the situation.

    • PatGreen April 28, 2015, 1:31 pm

      True. They could be getting a ride from someone else, or walking, or taking subway/train etc. and have no way of offering a ride.

  • Kirsten April 27, 2015, 2:41 pm

    Assuming that the husband is fit and well, and has no mobility issues, in what world is a 30 minute walk a long walk home?

    • Anonymous April 28, 2015, 10:14 am

      Sometimes “fit and well” aren’t the only issues at play. In this story, it was late at night, so, probably dark out, and we don’t know what time of year it happened, but it might have been cold as well. 10 p.m. on a weeknight is pushing bedtime for some people, so by the time Mr. OP got home, it would have been 10:30, and maybe 11 or later by the time he’d eaten dinner and was ready for bed, and then, of course, he’d have to wake up early the next morning for work. That’s just the timeline I’m imagining, with no value judgements about whether Mr. OP should have spoken up, or whether Andy and Caroline should have “read his mind” and automatically offered him a ride home–it’s just that, objectively, 30 minutes of travel time at 10 p.m., when dinner hasn’t happened yet, is going to bite into bedtime, which might make the next morning less pleasant.

      As for the “Mr. OP should have made his needs known,” versus “Andy and Caroline should have offered” debate, this is a prime example of “ask” versus “guess” culture. The “ask” people feel that they shouldn’t be expected to read minds, and so, they ask for what they want and need. The “guess” people feel that it’s rude and presumptuous to ask, and the polite thing to do is wait for something to be offered. The problem is, both “ask” and “guess” people assume that their way is the right way, and everyone else communicates the same way that they do, when this isn’t the case.

    • Lacey April 28, 2015, 4:21 pm

      Thank you! I often CHOOSE to take a 30 minute walk home instead of the bus.

    • Vermin8 April 29, 2015, 6:24 am

      Most of the US. I prefer the walking but that’s not usual here.
      My husband and I used to live about 1/4 mile from a strip mall with a grocery store and restaurants and his teenage & young adult children would complain if we walked there instead of driving (even if the weather was good).

    • LawGeek May 2, 2015, 12:59 am

      It isn’t a long walk home, but a ride home still makes things more convenient. The implication is that making his life more convenient is the least they could do after such a favor.

  • Ellex April 27, 2015, 2:59 pm

    Can’t blame people for not meeting your needs (or offering to) if you don’t make your needs known.

  • Bob April 27, 2015, 3:33 pm

    I thought this was going to be a horror Storey about being responsible for the guy’s rent if he didn’t pay. That’s the purpose of a co-signer. No one should sign if they can’t or don’t want to be responsible for potentially the entire amount of a lease.

  • Dyan April 27, 2015, 4:24 pm

    I have to say if that was myself and husband we would have offered him a ride…he did them a favor..the least they could have done was drive him home

  • Jessica April 27, 2015, 4:29 pm

    Hmmm I am thinking Andy might be a bit like my boyfriend, a lovely heart and kind but doesnt know when to shut up. Caroline might have been embarrassed if she thought Andy was keeping this nice man that just done them a favor, out later than they needed too. As for the rest I also would have assumed he had eaten and i have no idea what its like where OP is but in Australia it would be hard pressed to find a place open that late for dinner unless you were in the middle of a big city. How did Caroline know the hubby diddnt drive or had missed the last bus. She probably thought he wanted to get home and she just worded it wrong, maybe she was angry at Andy for keeping both the husband and her out if she had a big project at work ect., the sighing and looking at the watch could have been hints to Andy that he did not pick up on. Any is the one that asked for the favor and he is the one that knew hubby. I think he is the one that was rude but not even that bad because we are assuming he could read the husbands mind. Next time OP get your hubby to ask, if the decline after what he did for them THEN we can throw him into E-Hell. Not saying that if you do a favor its your right to demand they ‘make it up to you’ or do something else for you but he was their for THEM so its perfectly reasonable to ask them for a lift home.

    • Anonymous April 28, 2015, 10:22 am

      I lived in Wollongong for two years, which isn’t a big city, but I lived within walking distance of a 24-hour McDonald’s. I’m vegan, so I can’t eat most things at McDonald’s, but that particular restaurant probably made a fortune from university students who kept odd hours. I’m pretty sure that there was also a pizza place in the vicinity that was open all night, as well as two gas stations that sold meat pies and things like that. So, I remember it being technically possible to get something to eat at any time of the day or night, as long as you weren’t picky.

    • LawGeek May 2, 2015, 1:04 am

      Many, if not most, towns in America will have diners or chain restaurants (like Dennys?) that are open all night.

  • Skaramouche April 27, 2015, 4:52 pm

    I haven’t read all of the other comments but I read several from those who didn’t see what Caroline did wrong. I apologize if any of these things have been said before:

    1) OP’s husband did Andy and his girlfriend a pretty big favour at significant expense (of time) to himself.
    2) OP’s husband is not close friends with Andy making it an even bigger favour.
    3) Caroline’s time is not the only time that is of value; taking #s 1 and 2 into account, it is indescribably rude to sigh, look at your watch and then callously interrupt a short but polite conversation with someone who has just done you a favour.

    To be fair, I don’t know what Caroline had planned but if she absolutely had to interrupt what would probably not have been more than a 15 minute catch-up conversation, she could have scheduled a rendezvous at another time so they could catch up or done any number of things to show that his time was appreciated and she was sorry she had to interrupt the conversation. The way in which she did it strongly suggests a “oh great, you did what we needed you to do, now goodbye” attitude.

    • Goldie April 28, 2015, 11:02 am

      Agree – I know I’m in the minority on this, but I too got this feeling from reading OP’s letter, that her husband got used and was then chucked out after he’d done what Andy and Caroline needed him for. Which admittedly happens to be one of my pet peeves.

      • Skaramouche April 29, 2015, 10:42 am

        Thank you, Goldie! It’s one of my pet peeves too. There’s no excuse for not having manners 🙁

  • Jessica April 27, 2015, 5:28 pm

    Part of me also gets the feeling OP is feeling a bit superior. They are the mature older people with means, helping a young man get on his feet in the world… then was upset when they didnt fall down on their kneeing thanking hubby, asking what they can do to repay him.

    • JackieJormpJomp May 2, 2015, 3:09 am

      On a reread, I can see that.

  • Stephbwfern April 27, 2015, 6:45 pm

    I know this sounds snarky, but it’s a genuine enquiry: so, if someone does us a big favour, we are obligated to stand by the roadside and chatter with them into the night? If I’m tired and cold and have to go to work the next day, and I am making the reasonable assumption (because no one’s told me otherwise) that my friend has eaten and has some way of getting home, how am I supposed to conclude the conversation and depart?

    The OP is bothered by this incident, her husband not so much. OP was not present, husband was – is it possible that the tone/wording/attitude etc has been misrepresented to OP? Just a thought?

    • Skaramouche April 28, 2015, 3:24 pm

      You may have a point…it might just be OP’s interpretation. But having read the story again, the husband specifically mentioned the sighing and watch checking on the part of the girlfriend.

      I don’t think it’s the fact that dinner/a ride wasn’t offered that is bothering the OP. It’s the attitude of the GF. If someone has done you a favour, you are definitely not supposed to pander to their every whim but perhaps the point that is being missed is that the person who has done you the favour is probably tired and hungry too. Sounds like hubby hadn’t seen Andy in a while and was probably just having a quick catch-up chat. After an extended amount of time spent on the favour (more extended than originally planned), 5 or 10 minutes is hardly unreasonable, no?

      Of course Andy and GF cannot be expected to know that hubby hadn’t eaten or had missed his bus but that’s not the point. ANY tiny acknowledgement of the fact that a favour had been done would probably have been enough to appease OP and hubby. What GF did instead was behave as if the 5 minute conversation was a chore and a big imposition.

    • psammead April 29, 2015, 4:48 pm

      More like you don’t behave in a way that says “Thanks a bunch, you can go now, here’s your hat, buh-bye!” Granted, we don’t know what the rest of Caroline’s evening was like–maybe she was already extra-tired and stressed; maybe she had work she’d brought home, or a grad school paper, to finish before she could get to bed. But there’s quite a bit of middle ground between standing around and chatting for an hour, and appearing to grudge the person who just did you a giant favor another minutes of your time.

      Caroline may even have meant to rescue OP’s husband from a long conversation so he could get home before it got any later, but she managed to do it in a way that looked like dismissal instead. Also, considering how late it was, it wouldn’t have killed her and Andy to, like, ASK if OP’s husband had a way home.

  • Phil April 27, 2015, 7:02 pm

    O.K. You are focusing on the wrong thing. Anyone who co-signs anything, except for their own close family members, is a fool. This will not be the last problem these folks have from this transaction.

    • GeorgiaSusan April 28, 2015, 5:57 pm

      I am sorry to say I agree with this statement.

    • Jaxsue May 1, 2015, 10:00 am

      I totally agree, Phil.

  • Anonymous April 27, 2015, 8:38 pm

    To the people who are saying that it’d be a lot of trouble to offer the OP’s husband dinner and a ride home, I think part of the issue is, they’re envisioning “dinner” as a sit-down thing, at 10 p.m., which might have been pushing bedtime for Andy and Caroline. It really doesn’t have to be–I mean, they could have hit up a drive-thru somewhere, and eaten hamburgers or subs in the car on the way home. Even then, the OP’s husband would have had to speak up and say, “Yes, it is getting late, and I missed the last bus, and I haven’t had dinner yet,” for Andy and Caroline to know that–I mean, I agree that they might have assumed that he’d had dinner already, or that the buses ran later than they actually did. But, I also live in a city where the public transit is pretty bad, especially during the evenings and on Sundays, and I find that a lot of people who have cars don’t really understand this, so sometimes it’s necessary to explain it to them. That way, Andy and Caroline would have known where Mr. OP was coming from, so they could have provided him with what he needed, even if it was a hamburger in the car. That may not be “gracious living,” but sometimes practicality supersedes that.

  • InTheEther April 27, 2015, 9:58 pm

    I’m joining the legion who think the OP’s getting unreasonably worked up about this. From Caroline’s POV, it’s late in the evening/the wee hours of the morning (I’m guessing based on what little I know of public transportation hours) and boyfriend and boyfriend’s buddy are just standing around outside talking with no sign of letting up. She could’ve gone without the sighing, but I’ll admit that I’d probably be checking on the time at that point. I’m the kinda person who assumes those around me have a handle on their stuff, so it wouldn’t occur to me that someone else in the group wouldn’t have a good way to get home. Even if I was vaguely aware of the details (and as many have pointed out, there’s no indication that she did) the facts may not click together unless they were specifically pointed out. As for eating, why would anyone want to make an already late night even later at that point? That’s not to say that if someone did say, “Hey, I missed the last bus” or “I haven’t eaten since noon” I wouldn’t offer transportation or food. It’s just not going to occur to me that either fact could be true unless someone says something.

    I urge anyone not to get specific ideas in their head as to how gratitude or reciprocal favors should be handled. It’s just setting yourself up for hurt and disappointment when other people fail to follow the instructions they were never actually given. Besides which, it’s putting strings on your generosity that the person isn’t aware of when they accept it.

  • Kat April 28, 2015, 12:21 am

    Admin, it doesn’t say that Andy’s mother has refused to cosign. It seems like he and OP’s husband have known each other for a long time. Perhaps she passed away. Or what if she’s in a nursing home and can’t cosign?

  • Green123 April 28, 2015, 2:56 am

    I really, really don’t see what the problem is here. Unless Andy and Caroline are mind readers, they could have no way of knowing OP’s husband hadn’t eaten dinner. Unless they’re frequent public transport users they probably have no idea what time the last bus is (my OH drives everywhere – he wouldn’t know a bus timetable if it hit him in the face!) If OP’s husband was that bothered, he should have ASKED for a lift home, but honestly if he’s expecting something like dinner in return for signing the lease documents, that’s not a favour, that’s bribery.

  • Marozia April 28, 2015, 4:29 am

    Caroline was rude, crude and vulgar! At least her and Andy could’ve at least done him the courtesy of giving him something to eat, even if it was tuna salad or even giving him a lift home.
    Time to take out the rubbish, I think!

    • Anonymous April 28, 2015, 11:14 am

      If they were at the new apartment, then there wouldn’t have been ingredients on hand to make Mr. OP a sandwich, but I agree that Andy and Caroline should have driven Mr. OP home, and possibly stopped on the way home to get him (and possibly everyone, if A&C hadn’t eaten either) something to eat.

    • Tracy P April 28, 2015, 12:02 pm

      What have you been reading that the rest of us are missing? I can see maybe a little rudeness in the watch checking and sighing, but where is she crude and vulgar?

      • psammead April 29, 2015, 4:50 pm

        I think “crude” just automatically dovetails with “rude” in some people’s minds. I mean, they rhyme.

        OTOH, calling people “rubbish” when they were probably just thoughtless is pretty vulgar.

  • Kate April 28, 2015, 5:57 am

    Add me to the list of posters who aren’t willing to put the blame on Caroline at this point. Unless someone expressly tells me they don’t have a mode of transport and asks for a lift, I’m going to assume they can get home from our meeting place by themselves. If the husband had given them a time he needed to leave by, and they dragged it out, it may have been polite to offer a lift.

  • AS April 28, 2015, 9:55 am

    I am a bit late in replying, but I’ll add my 2 cents.

    Count me with the camp of people who think that way too many information is missing to automatically blame Caroline (and Andy).
    Here are my questions (some of which have already been asked by other commenters):

    1) Were Andy and Caroline new to town? (If so, it could explain their not knowing that public transport stops after a certain time at night; in many towns, the frequency drops, but they run overnight, or at least until much later, say around 1-2AM – I don’t think that the meeting went on that long).

    2) Did they know that the public transport stopped after certain time of night? (Even if they are not new to town, not everyone knows how public transportation works if they don’t take it frequently).

    3) Did they know that OP’s husband didn’t have a ride (bus or car) back home?

    4) Did they own a car? Or where they themselves planning to walk or take public transport?

    5) Did they know that OP-hubby didn’t have dinner? (Not sure what the dinner time in OP’s country is, but 9PM sounds pretty late to not have dinner in many places. A lot of people take a dinner break, or eat while at work, if they have to work until 8PM ).

    6) Did Andy’s mother live in the same town? (If not, it can explain why mom can’t be a consignee, as it’ll be physically hard for her to actually sign to papers. This is assuming that blood-relatives can even sign).

    It is rude to keep looking at one’s watch and sighing loudly. But that could have been an indication to Andy, rather than OP’s husband, to break the conversation in his own terms (which both gentlemen seemed to have ignored, which is when Caroline had to intervene). I am not sure that I can blame either of them for the other offense of not offering the husband dinner or a ride.

  • Kristi April 28, 2015, 10:22 am

    This would be a great time to have OP post and answer questions, add additional information and perhaps some feedback on all of the comments here. I’m wondering…since so many refused to jump on the bandwagon and paint Caroline and Andy as inconsiderate, not-grateful and rude…might OP feel silly or like she overreacted and therefore doesn’t want to join the conversation? Either way I think it’s a great thing to ask for feedback in a forum like this, so many different points of view and all from people not personally involved & therefore unbiased.

  • Nina J. Hodgson April 28, 2015, 10:43 am

    When they default on the rent, then Caroline’s so-called rudeness will pale in comparison. Law of the universe: never ever cosign anything.

    • Jaxsue May 1, 2015, 10:00 am


  • Alexa April 28, 2015, 1:18 pm

    If OP is this upset over such a small, inconsequential miscommunication with this couple, what business do she and her husband possibly have co-signing a lease for them? Maybe I am misunderstanding the context of the situation, but it seems incredibly unwise to co-sign a lease for a mere acquaintance as a favor. If you want to help someone out, a reasonable favor would be something like giving them a hand with moving, or helping them fix their car, or giving them a ride.

    To me, co-signing for a lease does not fall into the category of a favor at all – this is a serious financial contract, and if OP and her husband are this upset already over not being appropriately thanked and appreciated for this “favor,” it was unwise to enter into this agreement to begin with.

  • Denise April 28, 2015, 1:23 pm

    The letter says that the only time they could all meet was at 9:00 p.m. because they were all professionals. This could simply mean that Andy and Caroline worked an 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. shift and the husband worked a later shift. Therefore, he was only available in the mornings or late evenings and the other two only in the evenings and not in the mornings.

    If Andy calls your husband frequently for advice, followed him in his field and they go out for beers occasionally, and he felt comfortable enough to ask him to co-sign, I would consider this a friend. They may not be the best of friends, but I would expect Andy to also ask husband to be a groomsmen in the future.

    Andy and Caroline may have no idea how the bus runs in the evening, or that your husband hadn’t eaten, or that you hadn’t of made dinner and had it waiting for him when he got home. They may have early mornings ahead of them.

    Your husband was likely irritated that he had to walk home and was hungry. Caroline may have yawned and looked at her watch and hubby may have read too much into it or assumed it to be intentional.

    Making assumptions about what people should know never goes well.

  • m April 28, 2015, 2:42 pm

    OP here. I’m honestly stunned by the comments to my story.

    The reason we signed for Andy is that ten years ago, my husband and I were these people. We were young immigrants who came to a foreign country for university. We were working some odd jobs after school to afford our tuition. We didn’t know anyone in the country where we lived and we couldn’t find an appartment as a result. When we were really desperate, a friend of an acquaintance accepted to co-sign our lease. I have never forgotten that act kindness of from a virtual stranger. So when Andy called, he reminded us of the younger version of ourselves. It may not have been a terribly safe move, but I’m hoping for the best.

    The reason Andy’s mother didn’t co-sign the lease was that she lives back in our country of birth and she doesn’t qualify.

    The greatest problem with this story is that both the admin and the readers assumed that my husband expected a ride home, a meal, or both. The truth is he didn’t expect any of those things because it was late, he didn’t mind the walking and we suspected they couldn’t afford it anyway. He had however wanted to have a ten-minute polite conversation with these people. Going back to my earlier story, I remember using part of our grocery money for the week to buy our co-signer a beer (it was all we could afford). I remember sitting down with that kind gentleman for an hour and talking about things. It wasn’t much, but it was the best we could do. It was the 5 extra minutes that my husband “begrudged” Caroline, nothing else.

    • admin April 28, 2015, 4:29 pm

      I really dislike it when people add more to the story than was originally reported. With your new information it would appear that you have little to be offended about. This is a tempest in a tea pot.

    • Denise April 28, 2015, 5:00 pm

      I don’t think your explanation helps at all.

      In life, we do kind things to do the thing, we do not do them to be showered with gifts and excessive appreciation.

      You husband didn’t mind walking home, didn’t expect a meal. And he knew it was late. He’s irritated because at 10:00 p.m., they didn’t want to have polite conversation?

      I’m willing to bet that the “perfect” way you thanked your co-signer was done much earlier in the day…

    • Reboot April 28, 2015, 7:37 pm

      I’m sorry, but to be /this/ irritated that Caroline wanted to wrap up a late work night is unreasonable, especially if your husband and Andy were the ones talking and she was standing off to one side, excluded, as the original submission implies.

    • InTheEther April 28, 2015, 7:40 pm

      Wait, you’re only upset that Caroline wanted to wrap an already really late night up rather than letting husband and Andy chat for an unspecified amount of time? Seriously?

    • PatGreen April 28, 2015, 9:39 pm

      So your complaint is not that your husband was not offered dinner and a ride, but that the people you were helping wanted to go home and sleep at a reasonable hour rather than suggest entertaining him that very night. Did I get that correct or am I still unclear?

    • Dominic April 29, 2015, 6:47 am

      Expectations, the key word here. It goes back to the fact that others cannot read our minds. Unless OP and her husband had told Andy and Caroline about the cherished memories they have about the kind gentleman who helped them and with whom they shared a memorable conversation, how could they know? OP herself says her husband knew it was late. Why not suggest getting together on the weekend to celebrate their new apartment, and enjoy their company then, rather than expecting already tired people to stand around talking.

      I hope for the best for you as well, because of the responsibility you have taken on.

    • CW April 29, 2015, 7:25 am

      In that case, I’m having a very hard time find Caroline to be rude. I’m sure it WAS getting late and she was looking for a way to break up the evening to get home since Andy wasn’t picking up on her frustration. If your husband wanted to have a lengthy chat, he very well could have suggested getting lunch or a drink the next day. Pretty sure you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    • shhh its me April 29, 2015, 7:57 am

      What did they do in the following weeks? Actually what will they do in the following weeks since this just happened. Husband co-signed for his apartment and was never heard from again VS will it be “A few weeks later they invited us to dinner , then a few months later they offered to water or plants when we went on vacation. A few years later and Caroline gave my husband a recommendation that got him a big contract.” This happened exactly 2 weeks ago , they haven’t had time yet to be ungracious clods over it.

      While it may have seemed Caroline just brushed off Husband, I do think there is a great deal of wiggle room about how accommodating to “pleasant conversation” someone should be when something runs into the late evening and room to give “proper” thanks to both of a couple. It is completely realistic that Caroline was thinking “OH MY GOSH , Andy SHUT UP and let this poor man go home its so very late.” After 10 or 11pm to some people ( maybe even many people or the vast majority of depending on where you are) is “Way to late to keep people.”

    • cdubz April 29, 2015, 8:38 am

      It was 10 to 10:30 on a work night. I wouldn’t be in a very sociable mood, either. I get incredibly cranky when I’m tired and I’ve had a few times myself where I’ve had to move hubby along because he’s a talker and loses track of time.

      You didn’t even give Caroline a chance. I can see why she would want to move along, especially if she has an early morning ahead of her. It could be that she was planning on having you over to thank you at a later date. The implication that they somehow owe you their time is a bit ridiculous, in my opinion.

    • Library Diva April 29, 2015, 8:56 am

      Caroline may have been trying to be polite. She may have thought “Here’s this man who’s done us a colossal favor after working all day, it’s now after 10 PM (right?) and he’s got to be back on the job in less than 12 hours. I’d better shut my boyfriend up so he doesn’t have to sacrifice any more of his evening.” She even let the conversation go on for a few minutes before shutting it down. It’s not like she just walked away from your husband before the ink was even dry on the last paper.

      If Caroline and Andy don’t do anything down the road to express their gratitude, that is rude. But cutting short a conversation being held late in the evening on a dark street corner after a full day’s work, with another full day coming on fast, is forgiveable. I really hope you don’t write Caroline off because of this. Being annoyed because your husband only chatted with them for five minutes instead of ten seems a bit over the top.

      • Goldie April 29, 2015, 1:44 pm

        This is a very good point, it’s very possible Caroline was indeed worried that Andy was keeping OP’s husband on his feet, late at night, hungry and still in need of a walk home.

        OP’s comment does put this couple in a more favorable light than they looked initially.

    • Skaramouche April 29, 2015, 10:50 am

      Hello OP!

      Given the many replies to your comment, I’m not even sure if mine will be read but I wanted to add a couple of words of support. I was right in my initial assessment: you and hubby were upset about the rudeness and not because you expected anything. There was an unwritten social contract and they broke it. I’m 100% with you. In this fast paced world, people often forget to look outside of themselves and to consider the feelings of others. I am flabbergasted at Caroline’s behaviour, would never behave in such a manner myself and will not tolerate it from others. Sadly, I’m in the minority but I want you to know that I’m on your side 🙂

    • MM April 29, 2015, 4:24 pm

      Now Im even more confused about Caroline did so wrong that now her type of personality is a category unto itself!

    • Ashley April 29, 2015, 4:50 pm

      So why even bother mentioning any of this stuff about a commute or a ride home if the REAL issue is that they didn’t want to stay and chat?

      It was 10 pm on a weeknight and everyone involved probably had work in the morning. I wouldn’t be feeling too chatty either. No, looking at her watch and sighing may not have been the classiest way to go about ending the meeting but for goodness sakes it was late. You can have a beer and chat another time.

    • Library Diva May 1, 2015, 12:45 pm

      Also, it occurred to me that other day that any proper gesture of thanks should also include OP, not just OP’s husband, since OP has also staked household income and joint assets on this couple fulfilling their obligations. Perhaps such a gesture is coming down the road.

  • Ernie April 28, 2015, 5:26 pm

    I think that the silver lining here is that one of the people on the lease, Caroline, is good at keeping track of time. A very helpful skill when keeping rent payments up to date.

    It is not unreasonable to end a conversation that is taking place outdoors, after 10 o’clock. Especially after a day of work.

  • PrincessButtercup April 28, 2015, 8:57 pm

    You co-signed for a person that you describe as pretty much an aquaintance? That’s not being kind hearted, that’s being irresponsible.

    Sure, the way she delivered the late statement wasn’t great but it was the truth. You know the snickers commercials about “you’re not you when you’re hungry”. When my blood sugar gets low, I get less pleasant. Same with most that ever experience that. Hubby should have been a big boy and said, ” yes, it has gotten late, and I have a bit of a walk ahead of me since I missed the last bus. We’ll have to catch up more at a later date.” People aren’t mind readers. And since these are people you only sort of know, what’s to say they know everything about husbands day or plans, in order to know he’d like help.

  • Tasryn April 29, 2015, 12:19 am

    Actually in reading the OP’s comments I now understand more why they were offended. It wasn’t about the ride or the meal, it was about the fact that after helping him out the husband was instantly dismissed. It makes you feel used. I’m not saying it’s worthy of never speaking to these people again but it would have been nice if after the formal duties had been completed for the couple to have offered a cup of tea and a few minutes of friendly conversation. Otherwise it feels like a business transaction instead of a friendship.

    • WillyNilly April 29, 2015, 9:20 am

      How on earth could they offer a cup of tea? They were standing outside a building none of them lived in (yet). If the OP’s husband was at their home sure, but I highly doubt the new landlord came to their current home late in the evening, he had them all come to him. Caroline and Andy still had to get home themselves.

      Which is another point – Caroline was likely not only concerned for herself, and maybe even Andy and the husband, over it being late, but showing some consideration for her soon to be new neighbors – standing around outside an apartment building at 10pm means you are likely standing outside someone’s window.

  • Lynne April 29, 2015, 12:28 am

    Also important: the OP wasn’t there. She didn’t see the way Caroline behaved, she only has her husband’s interpretation. Her husband is “bothered” yet she is “still fuming.”

  • cicero April 29, 2015, 4:41 am

    add me to the list of people who don’t see what caroline did wrong. i think that the OP’s husband should have spoken up sooner. In what universe did he think he was going to sign a rental agreement quickly? he could have told his friends “I can’t be there before nine and I’ll have to leave by 9.45 i/o to make the last bus”. Or, “i’m coming straight from work – is there any place nearby where i can grab a quick bite?” Or “I hope we’ll have a chance to catch up afterwards”

    It’s *nice* that you bought your guarantor a drink when he cosigned for you – but there is no *obligation* to do so.

    All of them – OP’s husband, Andy and caroline, had come there from work, and it was already late. I don’t see how anyone was rude. Even caroline’s glancing at the watch – isn’t that kind of an international sign that ‘it’s late guys’? (though the sighing is a bit PA).

  • abby April 29, 2015, 9:18 am

    OK, from what I can tell, the OP’s problem with Caroline is that she has gleaned-from a 10 min or less interaction that she heard about secondhand- that Caroline is selfish and ungrateful. Her interpretation is that now that Caroline has secured her apartment (at the expense and risk of OP and her husband) she doesn’t have any time for them and saw OP’s husband as an interloper once his presence was no longer directly benefiting her. Andy is exempt from this assumption because he thanked the husband via phone and was chatting him up outside of the building, despite the late hour.

    OP, you may be right about Caroline. There are people that like that. Or, maybe Caroline wasn’t feeling well. Maybe she had a pet at home she needed to take care of. Maybe she’s in school and had homework or studying to do still that night. Maybe she got the impression that Andy was impinging on your husband even more than he already had by keeping him out late and thought she was doing him a favor by pulling Andy away. We don’t know anything about Caroline, and honestly, although you have done her this monstrous favor, neither do you. You seem to have assumed the worst of her going on very little information.

    Time will tell on her. Hopefully she only signed a 12 month lease and you’ll be off the hook in a year.

  • Tara April 29, 2015, 12:56 pm

    All I can think of is that OP is going to be writing in a year or several about how the landlord is suing her husband for rent money since Andy stopped paying. NEVER co-sign for anything you’re not willing to pay for yourself! It will be your credit report that suffers if this acquaintance loses their job or gets hurt and stops paying rent, or if he’s just the sort of person who might decide to stop paying. I’ve lived in areas where it takes a long time to evict people too, and the only time I’ve ever heard of co-signers being required on a lease is if the renter has bad credit. Definitely not to sort of person trustworthy enough to co-sign for!

    • Goldie April 30, 2015, 8:09 am

      After OP’s explanation, I am totally OK with them co-signing. It’s just a different situation when someone is new in the country. No one knows them, no one can vouch for them, they don’t have a credit history because they just came here, and they can’t build a credit history because no one would give them credit, since they don’t have a credit history! I’ve been there too.

      Many years ago, I signed to be a sponsor for a family of three I’d never seen in my life, my parent’s friend’s nephew, his wife and son, that my parents’ friend petitioned to bring into the US. What that meant was, if at any time during those five years, that family would fail to meet their financial obligations to anyone, that person or people would come after me. My parents’ friend would’ve happily sponsored them himself, but he was out of work at that time and so his family income didn’t meet the minimum requirements. My parents were on SSI, same thing. I was the only person they were close with who had sufficient income. I guarantee you that, the day those five years ended, I exhaled and poured myself a nice big drink. Was it scary to take on that sponsorship, yes it was. Was it the right thing for me to do, the answer is also a yes. And I was taught to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences. After the new information we got from OP, I really can’t fault them for that one.

  • Samantha C April 29, 2015, 3:01 pm

    Two cents – my boyfriend and his best friend can TAAAAAALK. When we’re all together, best friend will regularly pick up his coat, hug us goodbye, and stand with his hand at the door for another half hour having a conversation on a topic that just came up during good-byes. I love the both of them, but I start to get sigh-y when it’s 1am and I expected to be in bed 15 minutes ago. My timetable is late – if Caroline works earlier than I do and goes to sleep earlier, 10:30-whenever is plenty late enough to be trying to curb a chattermouth into actually finishing a conversation so they can all go home. My guess is Andy has the same habit as my friends and, had the conversation not been cut short, they might have been standing outside for longer than it took OP’s husband to get home.

    • Ernie April 30, 2015, 12:56 pm

      I know a lot of people like this as well. I think it doesn’t ever register with them that because they are talking late into the night, they will not get a decent nights sleep.

      I think some people are generally uncomfortable about the idea of time. Its the type of person who will ask the waiter for a few more minutes before deciding, when the restaurant closes in 25 minutes, or the type of person who shows up two hours late to the party and doesn’t understand why everyone ate without them. They’ll bring their car to the shop at 4:45 and not understand why it can’t be fixed until tomorrow.

      Lately I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the fact that they aren’t being intentionally rude, they just really have no mental measure of cause and effect as it relates to time. Where my issue comes in is when they think me rude for reminding them that time exists. I think that is what is happening in the OP’s story (although I’m doing some assuming here). Ideally, Caroline would hope that people would realize that it was late, and move things along. When this didn’t happen, she started checking her watch, when they didn’t catch that cue, she started sighing and checking her watch, which apparently the Op’s husband did notice but disregarded. Finally, she came out and said something, and now the OP thinks her rude for it.

      Any business that I have to do well after dark, I put my game face on and get through it as quickly as I can, because I know it will cut into my sleep. Though the time of the actual business being over sounded like it couldn’t have been any earlier, the socialization absolutely could have been. Saying that the husband just wanted to talk for ten minutes , and using it as some sort of currency in payment for the favor, is an odd thing. These people owe the OP a big thank you for sure, but to claim that they are not grateful simply because time exists is a really poor way to go about expecting it.

      With people who give (as someone else on this board put it) the “long goodbye”, their version of 10 minutes is very different from an actual 10 minutes. Samantha C, I suspect that if you asked your husband and his friend how long their conversation was once he had his coat in his hand, they would tell you “about 10 minutes”.

  • Ellex April 29, 2015, 3:19 pm

    If this is the biggest problem you have with people you co-signed a loan for then you are doing super-well.

    This isn’t worth hanging onto in my personal opinion

  • Gabriele April 29, 2015, 5:14 pm

    I still think the girlfriend could have behaved better. I’ve seen the whole ‘looking at the watch, deep sigh, looking around, ignoring the conversation’ bit all too often to give Caroline a pass.
    She’s got a new boyfriend. Old man (whose mother is friends with boyfriend’s mother…no one important) is necessary to get the apartment but she doesn’t want him involved in THEIR life together…she wants boyfriend all to herself and her friends. Young and selfish….not much training in good manners at home…
    I don’t think they would be talking so loud it would bother the neighbors (OP’s husband wouldn’t allow that I would think) and because he had invested time in the past in helping this young man with a variety of matters, I would think he’d want to take a couple minutes to keep up to date on things.
    The husband has been a sort of mentor to the young man…if the girlfriend doesn’t get that then she’s the loser…
    And the time for an invitation to ‘catch up’ or have coffee or tea (with the OP also) was THAT NIGHT….even without a specific date….
    It’s not bribery: Someone does you a favor…quite a favor that no one else would/could that will make your life much better and easier…and an immediate recognition of that wasn’t forthcoming in even a small way?
    I see the girlfriend’s kiss-off as an example of the non-relationship to come.

    I hope the young couple prove we nay-sayers wrong…and I hope the OP will keep us updated after a month…but I won’t hold my breath.

    OP: You and your husband paid your debt forward which is a very good thing to do. A generation later, those sentiments are not voiced as much or put into practice as much. It’s that (black) magic word ENTITLEMENT.
    Be true to your own values but protect yourselves…

    • shhh its me April 30, 2015, 8:16 am

      Holy assumption batman!

      In general I agree that if you are willing to ask a person a huge favor you should be friendly , warm , gracious and want a friendship with them beyond the favor. BUT BUT BUT context and circumstance matter. Cutting a conversation short at 10pm, 11pm or maybe even midnight taking place outside , when everyone still have to get home IMHO isn’t rude or ungracious. We don’t know how late(I think we concluded it was at least 10pm but close to 11pm is completely reasonable and even close to midnight is possible) it was or why ; Maybe Andy and Husband keep chatting with the landlord and signing the lease dragged on for 2.5 hours. We don’t know when Caroline gets up for work , she might work 7am – 4pm and get up at 5:30 or maybe 7 am to 7 pm(a very common shift for nurses in my area for example) We don’t know how long it will take Caroline and Andy to get home or if they are walking too. We don’t even know that they even live together in their present “home” so she may even of had to walk alone.

      Friendly , gracious and appreciative doesn’t mean without boundaries. “No chit-chatting on doorsteps after 10/11pm , on work-nights , when we still have to get home” is a pretty reasonable boundary. Favor grantors can act entitled too. BTW, I’m not saying Husband was acting entitled by wanting to chat, I think him and Andy starting to chat was perfectly normal. “I did you a favor , so now you have to watch me talk to your boyfriend at 10 , 11 or midnight , outside , while you are waiting to travel home , until I feel done” that would actually be entitled though; Maybe thats why OPs husband isn’t fuming? I disagree that Caroline’s ending the conversation in the context was rude. Her and Andys actions following this may prove them to be rude and ungracious but this action alone doesn’t.

  • Aria April 29, 2015, 10:15 pm

    I’m with the admin. Any rudeness is completely immaterial compared to the danger you’ve possibly set yourselves up for by co-signing. What exactly will happen to you if they stop paying their rent? Is your husband SURE that won’t happen and are you ready if it does?

  • Enna April 30, 2015, 11:00 am

    Caroline was abrupt. But I do agree with Admin about why no one closer to Andy or Caroline could co sign the lease.

  • BagLady May 3, 2015, 9:30 pm

    On its face, co-signing a lease for someone you aren’t close to is a bad idea. But in a situation where it really is required because of the housing market, it’s probably less risky to co-sign for an acquaintance with good credit than for a close friend or even lover with bad credit. (Watch “Judge Judy” for endless cases of the latter gone wrong.)

    OP, you mentioned buying your own co-signer a beer and having a pleasant, long conversation. Did this happen late on a work night? Did he miss dinner and the last bus home? If not, comparing your situation 10 years ago to Andy and Caroline’s is apples and oranges. Andy and Caroline definitely “owe you one,” but “one” doesn’t have to be a street-corner conversation late on signing night. I’m with the PPs who think you will probably get a thank-you gesture from Andy and Caroline once they’re settled in. Maybe dinner at their house, or dinner out, or a casserole or a cake.

    My partner is an “Andy.” I tease him about “saying goodbye like deaf people.” (Before TTYs, computers and texting, face-to-face was the only way the deaf could socialize, so the long post-goodbye conversation became a staple of deaf culture that has lingered even after the electronic alternatives came along.) He’s an extrovert, I’m an introvert, and once the evening’s “festivities” are over, I just want to go home, while he gets into last-minute conversations with whomever he’s saying goodbye to. I miss the days when I could “go have a cigarette” while he said his long goodbyes (which frequently turned into two or three cigarettes, depending on how long he took).

    Caroline’s watch glancing and sighing was a bit rude, but I tend to agree with the PP who says she might have been trying to rescue your DH from Andy’s “deaf people goodbye” behavior that was keeping him (and them) up past bedtime, rather than trying to give the bum’s rush to someone who had done them a huge favor. I’d cut her a break until I see whether a gesture of gratitude is forthcoming.

  • Anna May 4, 2015, 10:48 pm

    Your husband is a grown man. Isn’t he? If he knew he would be missing dinner, he could have gotten something to eat during his hour ride there.

  • Katie May 5, 2015, 11:24 am

    I’m stunned at the comments excusing Caroline! If someone was kind enough to do me a favour like that, I would be giving them the full works of thankfulness. I simply can’t see any excuse for that kind of rudeness, regardless of how late it was.