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Dear Deirdre - think my friend's trying to rip me off


RosieH

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It's only ?30 but things are pretty tight this month and it's more the principle of the thing. It should be a no-brainer but can't decide quite what approach to take to make things as unawkward as possible. Any thoughts on my very minor tale of woe most welcome.


I was supposed to be going out for dinner with my friend (and about 20 others) for her birthday on Saturday night but was ill and couldn't make it (offering to take her out for a night this week to make it up to her)


She mentioned she was worried the restaurant might charge per head meant to be there, so I told her that I'd transfer the money into her bank if they did. Then I sat there feeling bad (having read her arsey comments on twitter) so called the restaurant to pay over the phone if necessary, so that she wouldn't be out of pocket even for the day or so til I made a transfer. They told me they weren't going to charge, there was no minimum, but even if there had been, everyone was drinking more than enough wine to cover it.


All great, until I got an email from her today asking for the bank transfer saying that the restaurant had bought food in specially and had to cover their costs.


Even as I read this, it sounds daft, and know I should just set her straight. But she's always been a bit of a tall story teller, in a way it's part of her charm - but I'm disappointed she'd do it to get money out of a friend - am also pretty sure that when I reply, she'll make something up to say the restaurant changed their mind.


Do I just need to get a backbone?

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Everybody's has to deal with a tightarsed friend or two at some point.


I had a friend who used to pretend to tie her shoelaces on the way into a pub (or be 'taking a call' or whatever) so as not to arrive first at the bar and therefore have to buy a round. It went on for years.


It was part of her charm too, and (personally) I decided not to make a big deal about it, but after many years had passed, another more confrontational friend in the group (possibly with less money to spunk needlessly on tightarsed friends) 'popped' after one particular incident and the massive barney and fallout that followed means she doesn't really see anyone in our group of friends any more.


Who knows if her request is valid or not?


Either way it's still a tightarsed thing to do.


The question is, do you want to be The One to instigate 'The Barney'?

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I'd just go get myself a new friend!


Soz not a helpful suggestion but if you're not going to face it head on... Sometimes ppl need a shake to realise they are not the only ones in the world and that they certainly have no right to treat others, especially friends, in this manner even if they mean to or not.

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I think, reply saying that you had previously called the restaurant and they had confirmed that there would be no charge. State that you will double check with the restaurant to clarify. Suggest that there has clearly a mix up, quickly sorted out, probably spoke to the wrong person, etc, etc.


It could be that you both spoke to different restaurant staff who gave different answers. Easy done. That would be the charitable interpretation and one that allows a diplomatic solution perhaps?

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No! Tell her ( via the computer) you called the restaurant Saturday night and was told there was no charge. Then see what she says. At least give her a chance to tell another lie .

p.s I cant stand tight people they really wind me up .I had a boyfriend, who when entering a bar would say he needed the toilet or he would spot a mystery friend he just had to say hello to . Id then just act really thick when Id catch him out the corner of my eye, waving frantically at me at the bar to buy him a drink !

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Don't forget to add this incident to the (no doubt) countless list of other incidents, let it stew quietly at the back of your mind until stewing turns into fuming, then into seething, until - finally - you snap and end-up taking a baseball bat to her car windscreen over a disputed debt of ten pence.
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Rosie, this friend sounds as though she must have some serious charm to get away with behaving this way.


The whole idea of a friend having to make it up financially to another friend for being ill seems extreme to me. Not only does she make arsey comments in public (which she knows you will read) but then harasses you for the money only a day after the event. Even if the story were true, what kind of a friend does that make her?


And since you both know it's not true, I think you have to call her on it. MP's idea sounds a good one, if you don't want to sever relations. But no-one should be so unkind to their friends and get away with it, unless there's a history here where she really puts herself out for you, and you owe each other.


Best of luck sorting it out! xx

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Yeah, I'd email saying that I felt really bad, so I called ahead, and was told it was no problem. That way, you show how nice you are, and that you were willing to pay.


Have to be honest, if she is telling lies to get ?30 out of a mate, she sounds like a fecking bitch!


*bob*, I've got a couple of those mates, and I continue to spend money on them, but there comes a time (like now my desposable income has shrunk considerably), when enough is enough. Especially when you're staying in because you're totally skint, and the bloke you're always buying pints for, texts you saying he's heading to the pub. Makes me really bitter.

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Rosie - reading your post made me feel very sad. This person is NOT your friend. Send her a carefully worded email giving her the chance to explain herself (but it had better be good). She's not your friend and life is way too short to waste time on someone who will (a) lie to your face (b) take hard earned cash from your pocket. Friends do not behave this way.
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Cross posted with Moos, and she put it more nicely than I did, but yeah, I'd be considering the friendship.


Then again, another friend who is never the quickest to get a round in, once bailed me out of a real "situation" without any hesitation, so things can go in roundabouts I guess.


Still, a tight friend is one thing, a friend actually making stuff up, when she'd have had plenty of opportunity to consider what she was doing before pressing "send", doesn't sound very good for you.


Oh, and I wouldn't want to be friends with someone who thought sitting around a restaurant table with 20 people, was a good way to celebrate something!

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it may be a mis understanding. Id give her a chance to explain. Cant believe anyone would request money in those circumstances. Thats not being tight thats being purposefully dishonest. Im sure you would not associate with someone like that rosie? Probably a restaurant communication cock up.
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Rosie darling, this girl is sooo not your friend (stomps foot)!


The advice given on here is incredibly reassuring. Aren't we such a balanced bunch! God I adore Keef...


I am dying to know what her issue is with you! Are you far more attractive than she? Do you earn more than she? Your man has a far better job than her advertisement on Match.com. She is punishing you for something... SHAME ON HER!


Email her, tell her that you are sure there has been some mis-understanding, you really value her friendship (AD NAUSEUM) etc., tell her about the enquiry you made, then trample her rantionale for her last email into the dust.


Lets do lunch at Petrus darling. She is sooo not worth it!


God I adore taking charge of the situation when a bully is trying to get the upper hand!

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Ooh, Petrus when it reopens in January - you're definitely on DM. Don't have a man, so I shall find one there...


Thanks all for very wise words - have found out is definitely a lie and feel a bit gutted.


As for dinner for 20 - I've never had dinner for 20 before, but 16 or so for sure and found it perfectly charming.

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Maybe she could just really use the money because she's in a tight spot and you offered,, So give it to her, how embarrassed do you think she will be if you let her know that a; you found her out and b; you asked everyone in Dulwich about it? If she's your freind, she will have a concience about it and owe you an unspoken favour which you will be both be aware of. Isn't that what friends do for each other?

besides it was her birthday wasn't it?


hugs as ever

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Wasn't trying to be mean about the dinner Rosie, I just hate being stuck around a table with probably more than 4 people, I just end up feeling trapped and uncomfortable. As I say, probably just me. Sorry to hear you've had proof, not nice to feel lied to.
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Ha, no beef about the dinner (did I really just type "beef"??? No beef, Keef) I know you weren't being mean Keef.


But yes, being lied to sucks - especially when I know her wealthy boyfriend will have paid her bill anyway Iain, so no, I won't be palming over the cash. I happen to think a little embarassment is due for someone trying to lie their way to cash from friends, especially when they know that money's tight.

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Rosie - you say you have proof? Have you spoken with her? You still need to give her a chance to explain. There really could be a good explanation and it could be a simple misunderstanding. For now keep your feelings hidden and send her an email. If she doesn't have a decent explanation then she's not worthy to be your friend and you should dump the bitch.


If it's a mix up at the restaurant then fine, let it go and give her another chance. No other explanation is acceptable - I don't care if she's hard up, can't pay the rent or whatever - this behaviour crosses a line. Then go twitter about it.

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