I didn't want to make a new blog. I liked the old one. But someone I know IRL got too nosy and came onto FF and found that blog, and bookmarked it so she could read it. Which really sucks, because that was my blog for my online friends, where I could vent about people that I know in real life without having them come back and get all bent out of shape about it. I have a Live Journal for my real-life friends to read if they wish. Unfortunately, the person who hunted down and bookmarked my other blog is the one most likely to get all bent out of shape about things. She takes everything way too personally, so any little vent (or if I just said, "Hey, please don't read that blog") - it would be a nightmare.
And a couple of weeks ago, I really needed to be able to vent. And I couldn't. I had to hold it all inside and just hurt by myself. Because while Jon was completely pissed over the whole thing, I was hurt deeply and we weren't able to really discuss it. So I'm going to post the story behind the issue I need to vent about, and then the vent itself. They kind of mesh together. You might as well settle in for something of a long read....
Each year in May, several of us go to Chicago for an anime convention. Generally, one person puts the entire hotel tab on their credit card, and everyone else pays them back. Being as I'm quite short on money, I'm always the slowest person to pay people back. As an example, I paid the couple who paid for the hotel in 2002 just this past Febuary (2004). It makes me feel really bad to owe my friends money, and this year we almost didn't go because we still owed the friend who payed for last year's hotel (Mandy). But she insisted it was fine with her that we still owed her, and she was the one paying for the hotel again this year, so we went.
Mandy moved out of her dad's house and in with her boyfriend about 6 weeks after our trip to Chicago. She went from having few bills (car payment & insurance, and student loans) and making over $11 per hour to having a normal person's bills (rent, phone, cable, electric, plus the above-mentioned car payment/insurance & student loans) and making only $6.15 per hour. She had absolutely nothing in saving when she moved. And at the time, I had just gotten a job after over 6 months of being unemployed, and my husband had been working a little over a month at minimum wage ($5.15 per hour). So we're not making a great deal of money, and we're struggling to pay enough of our bills to keep things from being shut off. (I guess here is as good a place as any to mention that Jon does have a fairly large savings account that we don't touch unless it's absolutely necessary. It is from a settlement from a car accident that nearly killed him when he was in high school. He wants to save it for when we're ready to buy a house, so we have a good down payment to offset our less-than-stellar credit. We've had to use a lot of it this year, because both of us were unemployed for over 6 months, and we're just now being able to start paying back into it. So using it to pay people back for vacation has not been an option.)
Things were actually going okay until Mandy found a new job. At her new job she was guaranteed 40 hours per week and making $10 per hour. That was great, until the job unexpectedly ended after only 3 weeks. Even though the employment agency she was going through found her a new job almost right away, it paid less ($6.75/hour) but the hours are worse (longer hours, and swing shift). Suddenly, it became a large issue with her that we hadn't paid her back yet. And the worst of it is, she didn't tell me any of it. I knew she was having money troubles due to the sudden loss of income (she's never been good with money or planning ahead, and when she was making $10 per hour she overspent) - but who doesn't have money troubles?? And I know that I'm bad with money - I nickel & dime myself to death sometimes, and Jon & I each got a new video game recently that we shouldn't have gotten because we couldn't really afford it.
One day, out of the blue, Jon & I both got emails from Mandy's boyfriend (Todd) saying that he's very pissed that we haven't paid Mandy back yet. And he says that if we don't pay her back by Halloween he's going to convince her to take us to small claims court to get it!! They never even asked us if we'd forgotten, or when we'd be able to pay her back, or anything. Just one day, boom. Nasty email. Then right after the one from Todd, I get an email from Mandy saying that she had nothing to do with the email from him. But the reason that Todd (and apparently her dad is pissed at us too!) is so mad about it is that "everyone knows that Jon has all that money" and they seem to think we just don't want to pay her back!! And truth be told, she'd be in the exact same place she's in right now if I HAD been able to pay her back right away, becasue she'd have spent all of that money before she even moved.
Also, at the beginning of September, Jon quit his job. He had to cut back his hours because of school, and they were giving him less than 10 hours per week (when he asked for 24) so it really wasn't worth it for him to keep working there. Plus, he's near the end of his degree, and his classes are really hard this semester, so the combination of the two of those led to his decision to quit his job. Truthfully, it hasn't affected our finances all that much, him being out of work.
I don't think I've ever felt more hurt in my entire life. Mandy is supposed to be my best friend, and this is how she goes about asking me to pay her back faster? When I paid Bree & Geoff (the couple who paid in 2002) - even though I had owed them the money for almost 2 years by the time I paid them, Bree called me and asked why I had sent her the money - she said she knew that we couldn't afford it and would pay her back when we could. She actually complained that I paid her back!!
Mandy and I have settled it between us. Now that I know it's such a big deal to her, I'm giving her something each paycheck (and I'm writing a check each time so I've got proof I paid it) and if I would have known all along that the money was that important to her, I would have found a way to do something like this long time ago. But Jon is still pissed at Todd (and vice-versa) and it looks like things will stay that way for a good long while. Which to me is doubly sad because Jon & Todd have been good friends for close to 25 years. And now it looks like that's over. It just makes me so sad and hurt that Todd values Jon's friendship that little, that he's going to get that worked up over money that isn't even owed to him. True friendships transcend things like money.
I'm sorry I had to post such a downer as a first post in this blog. And of course, I just now came up with - "I hope and pray that Mandy never finds this blog" - because although I simply needed to vent, and mostly I just posted the story and how hurt I am over the whole thing, I know her, and she'll see it as a personal attack if she ever reads it. Any of you who know more about this blogging than I do - do you think there's any way she can find this without me telling her about it? Does blogger allow searches of blogs that aren't made public? Maybe I should have changed the names..... I guess I can always come back later and edit names out if I so choose... Someone who comments, please let me know about the search thing? And thanks, many many thanks, for having the patience to read through this whole post.