Will financial co­nun­drum spoil trip?

The Washington Post Sunday - - DIVERSION -

Dear Amy: My sis­ters and I dis­cussed tak­ing an over­seas trip. There are five of us. I found a great va­ca­tion pack­age and ran it by all of them.

We were all in agree­ment that this was per­fect, so I asked if they would all be ready to pur­chase. I ex­plic­itly stated that, al­though we all agreed to put the trip on my credit card, I would need im­me­di­ate pay­ment from all of them, and that if any­one was not ready to pay, that we could hold off.

All of my sib­lings said they had the money in hand. It’s now more than two months later and one of my sis­ters, “Cath­leen,” has not paid me. Be­fore my credit card pay­ment came due the first month, I asked if I could ex­pect her check soon. She said she didn’t have it be­cause she had since paid for an­other trip with her boyfriend. The sec­ond month, she again stated she didn’t have the money.

An­other sis­ter talked to Cath­leen, only to find out that she has made an­other large pur­chase and that she doesn’t feel she needs to rush to pay me since I “have money.” (My hus­band and I are up­per-mid­dle class but are by no means rich.)

How do I ask her for the pay­ment? I’m afraid of up­set­ting her since she and I have had a rocky re­la­tion­ship at times, and I don’t want this trip tainted by money is­sues. The trip is non­re­fund­able, and I’m in the hole.

Stuck Sis­ter

Stuck Sis­ter: You should start by tak­ing this to “Cath­leen” di­rectly, and, de­pend­ing on her an­swer, you could take it to the group.

E-mail her: “Your pay­ment for the trip is so late that I’m now in the hole for your por­tion. Do you still want to go on this trip? Let me know one way or an­other so we can all de­cide what to do.”

If your sis­ter isn’t go­ing to pay for her por­tion, one op­tion is for the rest of the group to ab­sorb and share the cost.

Dear Amy: I have a friend of over 40 years who has been shar­ing all kinds of pri­vate in­for­ma­tion about me with oth­ers. The most trou­ble­some is her com­pul­sion to brag about ev­ery party of mine she goes to, to peo­ple who were not in­vited. It has al­ready ru­ined one long friend­ship.

I have asked her to stop, and she promised she would, but the be­hav­ior has con­tin­ued.

As my pun­ish­ment for con­fronting her about this, she dropped me from her guest list, but I for­gave her and con­tin­ued to in­vite her. She also re­peated some deeply per­sonal in­for­ma­tion about me to oth­ers — in­for­ma­tion she had promised to keep pri­vate.

I am shocked at such in­dis­cre­tion. Af­ter so many decades, I hate to walk away from her, in part be­cause it will be dif­fi­cult to avoid run­ning into her, but it seems im­pos­si­ble to get through to her, and I don’t want any other friend­ships ru­ined. Any ideas?


M: You made a rea­son­able re­quest of your friend, and she pun­ished you for it. It doesn’t seem there is much of a friend­ship left.

If you run into her, you should be cor­dial, if tight-lipped. Amy’s col­umn ap­pears seven days a week at www.wash­ing­ton­post.com/ ad­vice. Write to Amy Dick­in­son at askamy@tribpub.com or Ask Amy, Chicago Tri­bune, TT500, 435 N. Michi­gan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

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