Maybe it’s these tough economic times we live in, but I’ve been reminded more than once lately that I need rules for who to lend money to and how much. No one has asked me, the struggling writer, for a loan to do as little as put cheese on a Whopper lately, but the most extreme cases of “can I get-” syndrome have been happening to those around me.

There’s a girl in my friendship group named Keisha. She’s a fun and kind person on the surface, so when she asks for a favor it’s hard to say no. That is, until you’re burned by her bait and switch. Keisha is a lesbian so when we go out clubbing she likes to talk to other women and get their phone numbers, which just her mack game. But if we’re at the bar and she says she’s broke and asks you for a few bucks” to buy a drink,” it usually turns out that the drink she was trying to buy was for a girl she’s trying to seduce — and she’ll buy homegirl the drink right in front of your face. She pulled this move on a mutual friend who didn’t see it coming just last weekend. What gives?

Another friend of mine was a bridesmaid in the wedding of her friend Crystal a few years ago and has maintained that friendship but has since lost touch with her fellow bridesmaids. The other day she got a phone call from one of them, a woman she barely knew, at first just going over the events of the day and then zeroing in on the true purpose of the call: she wanted to know if my friend could loan her $1000 and begged her not to mention it to Crystal. Her reason was just that she’s “behind on her bills.” My friend gave her a firm “no” and called Crystal anyway to let her know that she needs to get her girl.

I know that these stories are a bit extreme, but I can’t figure out what is going through the minds of the people doing the asking. We’re used to hearing drug addiction as the excuse for such behavior but I don’t think that is at play in either of these cases — folks have just gotten bold. If I ever I do end up having a little something extra in my pocket to spread around neither of these women could get me to give them one pink penny, but who can I trust to lend money to?

What are your rules for lending money?

 

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