Will financial conundrum spoil trip?
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: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.
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