Dilemma

I have to write to get this off my chest.  I have a very good friend who has been quite generous the past couple years when my husband was laid off from his job.  While I know I’ll never be able to repay her for her kindness, I feel like I should be giving more back now.  At Christmastime she gave me a beautiful new jacket that I had my eye on.  I had mentioned to her in the Fall that for Christmas I would like to treat us both to massages.  As we came into December my husband announced that he would not be getting paid for the two weeks around the holidays.  In an effort to budget things I asked my friend if she would mind if we did the massages after the holidays.  She was fine with that.

I scheduled the massages for the latter part of last month.  During this month we had several unexpected things come up.  Both hubby’s and my vehicles needed repair and then the Weasel got sick.  Her vet bills were astronomically high.  It hit me a few days before the massages that I couldn’t pay for both.  I called the therapist and canceled mine but paid in advance for my friend.  I was relieved and disappointed at the same time.  I’m not the type to back out of things once planned but I knew I couldn’t do it.  Besides, it was a gift to her that I wanted her to have.   I did have a feeling though that if I backed out that she would too. 

On the day of the massages I emailed her and said that I wouldn’t be able to make it but she was all set to go.  I had prepaid with tip so all she had to do was show up.  She wrote back and asked what was wrong.  Did I want to reschedule for a day we both could do it, etc…  I said nothing was wrong and I said I just needed to wait before I treated myself.  That’s all.  Well, she did cancel.  I just felt so bad.  Maybe I shouldn’t but this person has helped me out so much that I’ve actually had to tell her that I was starting to feel like I was taking advantage of her.  This was something I wanted to do for her.  Here it is February and where is her Christmas gift? 

Anyways, maybe I’m overreacting.  I feel like she has been way more generous to me than I have to her the past couple of years.  That’s what I feel guilty about.

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14 thoughts on “Dilemma

  1. I can’t go into detail here but, I know it feels awful to be in such a situation.

    She sounds like a very kind and intuitive friend. I don’t think she’d want you to feel so bad. You’ve got to have hope that you’ll be able to do something fun soon.

    Take care!!

    • Yeah, I didn’t want her to think I was taking advantage of her. She did reschedule her massage which I was relieved about. We will probably do something over the weekend, too. Thanks for your advice! 🙂

  2. I know the feeling. I have nothing to my name, and I have so many generous people who still give me things even though they know I can’t reciprocate. Though I feel guilty, I have to remind myself that they do these things because they love me. 🙂 And they don’t expect many things in return. I’m sure that this is the case with your close friend. 😀

    • It probably is. I don’t want to seem like I am taking advantage of her kindness. Years ago I had two friends that were just consistently broke. I worked my butt off, had my own place and was able to afford to go out. I’d pick up these friends say on a Friday and once we were out they would announce that they didn’t have any money and could I lend them some until they got paid next. This got old real quick and I’m no longer friends with either because of this. I was afraid of looking like this to my friend although I’ve always been upfront and honest about my financial situation.

  3. Don’t feel guilty! just let your friend figure it out “why?” if she can. You have the right to remain silent… If you don’t want tell her the truth about your finances! 😉

  4. Don’t feel guilty. I have a feeling your generous friend probably knew what was wrong. I don’t think it would be out of line to let her know that economic concerns have come up again, but that things should sort themselves out a bit later. Maybe your friend felt guilty or uncomfortable taking the single massage offer? Perhaps you should wait until you can both go.

  5. I meant to say “WANTED to spend time with you”. Sorry. 😉

  6. Such a good topic. I’ve been through this with my Sister, who makes far more than I do. In some years I’ve bought her expensive items, and you know what, it is a shallow kind of gratification.

    If she bought you an expensive jacket, it’s probably because she saw it and thought of you. If she cancelled her spa appointment, she probably was going to spend time with you.

    Just my personal approach: I like to do whatever feels authentic. I make friends handmade gifts, or I take them out for a coffee. Does your friend have a charity she likes?

    Some of them only charge $15 for a membership or just a donation, some will send an email and not even mention how much you spent – just that a donation was made in her name. This kind of gift can seem especially thoughtful if you know what she cares about.

    OMG, sorry for the long comment! It’s something I think about every year.

    • Thanks for the input and don’t worry at all about the length of the comment. I did bake a ton of cookies this year and gave her a couple of tins for her family so I don’t feel like a total slacker there. I’m probably just being to hard on myself. My concern was that she might feel taken advantage of but where she is my friend and all she probably does understand my predicament.

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