As Lord Polonius Advised:

Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

This is good advice from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  But my boys won’t listen to either Polonius or me.  In my words, I tell them:  Do NOT lend that to your friend. I see this stuff on Judge Judy ALL THE TIME.  But they don’t listen.

Soldier Son found out the hard way earlier this year.  He, being the extremely generous person that he is, decided to let his then girlfriend use his cell phone while he was in Iraq since it was of no use to him over there.  I, being the jaded skeptical court show watcher, advised him against it.  She could lose it, run over the plan minutes, and she had some sketchy relatives I was afraid might get a hold of it.  They had even stolen from her, so I didn’t trust them to not steal from my son.  But he paid to send the phone to her and was paying the monthly fee that he would have been paying anyways.  She ended up rewarding him by placing about a thousand dollars worth of long-distance calls to a dude in Australia that she’d met online–even after promising after getting caught after the first $200 worth that she would not and was oh, so sorry.  Needless to say, that was one relationship that ended badly.  We were able to retrieve the phone after I saw his bill online and realized what she was still up to, and she did make partial restitution.  But this crap happens all the time.

Now Middle Son J advised us this morning not to put the cash we got for the sale of his truck that we sold last night into the bank just yet.  A friend of his, who by the way just got out of basic training himself, wants to borrow about $1200.  NOOOOO, I scream on AIM to him.  Not a good idea.  First of all, this friend wanted him to transfer the money directly from J’s bank account into his account.  At least J didn’t think THAT was a good idea.  But he wanted us to give him cash and write up a note for his buddy to sign.

Now, it’s not that I don’t think the friend is a nice enough kid.  But that’s a lot of money between young friends.  My boys work hard for their money.  These people have relatives that they should be able to go to if they need money.  Even the big banks have trouble collecting on their loans, and my son is in Germany for a year.  If he has to sue his friend, it’s going to be kind of tough, especially when that friend could be deployed anywhere at any time.  Even if this friend has every intention in the world of paying my son back, his money skills are sorely lacking.  He’s just made at least nine months worth of income in Army pay with virtually no expenses.  Or at least he shouldn’t have spent that much.  He lives at home and doesn’t even own a car as far as I know, so he shouldn’t have had any monthly payments.  But now he wants my son, who doesn’t make that much more than him, to spot him a big chunk of money.  I’m not happy.

I’ll be pleasantly surprised if I don’t have any cause to say I TOLD YOU SO, but things don’t usually end up that way in this house.  I don’t really like to be always right.  People should just learn to live within their means, cozy up to their own families, and quit treating my kids like the Bank of America.

PS–I did put the money in the bank and since J insists, and he is 21 years old,  I guess we will loan the money to his friend–in CHECK FORM, with a signed IOU.

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3 Responses to “As Lord Polonius Advised:”


  1. 1 Emily September 18, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Yep — this is one you are going to have to let them learn on their own.

  2. 2 Pastor John September 18, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Tell your boys if GIVING AWAY MONEY is what they are into, they should pick a worthwhile charity where you know it will be spent wisely. Hmm, I can think of one right now! 😉

  3. 3 Pastor John September 18, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    BTW, Thanks for the blogroll add!


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