are the words a friend said to me earlier today - "I'll make a donation".
"Great" I replied "that's really kind of you" before adding "but I'd much rather you pay me back the money you owe me first"
His response "That's what I'm going to do; I'll donate what I owe you".
Is it just me or does anyone else see the flaw in this?
It's funny isn't it how someone can think they are making a charitable act when in fact they are actually doing quite the opposite! I guess it takes all sorts to make the world go around but this is not the first time something like this has happened. A few years back I was taking part in a charitable event for which people were sponsoring me. Again, like now, someone who owed me money made a lovely donation (I was collecting via a Just Giving page) and I was touched by their generosity, until a few weeks later when I had to gently nudge and remind them that they still owed me some money to which they replied "I gave you that weeks ago when I sponsored you". They didn't understand that to sponsor me meant they used their own money, not that which they owed me. The friend who said about making a donation today would have been doing the exact same thing. I guess in a way though I have to admire their tenacity and I'm sure in their minds what they were doing was a kind thing helping out (a charity back in the day - me and the trip now). It is in a sense an odd warping of reality- I can only imagine what it must be like living inside their heads and their own little worlds! The humorous part about it all is that neither of them could understand that by them doing such a thing I would in fact be either sponsoring myself or donating my own money to my fundraising site. They truly believed that because they were paying it, the money was in fact from them and not from me at all. I gave up in the end and asked for him to just give the money to me to which he then said "ok, but can you wait until payday at the end of the month as I have a couple of things I'd like to buy for myself". Yeah, sure, you go spoil yourself with my money while I wonder how I'm to be able to buy toilet rolls at the end of the week.!
That, dear reader, is why I've had to set up the fundraising page in the first place. My choice of friends over the years has been bad enough; add to that my choices when it has come to the men in my life and you can see why I have to rent a room from my Mum and ask total strangers to help me raise the funds to compete the trip of my dreams.
I'm not here looking for your sympathy - I certainly don't deserve that - I made the choices, I could have learned to say "no" or pursued different avenues when the ex stole from me. I've lived with the consequences of those poor decisions for the past 20+ years. They've helped shape the woman I am today (I'd love to say I've learned from them but those of you who have been reading these entries since I started will know that not to be true). I guess no matter what happens in life, who comes, who goes, who is yet to still be met, I really do try to see the good in everyone. I'm not perfect by any means but I could never stitch another person up - especially a friend. I could never use someone just to gain a monetary advantage and then drop that person when their income dried up. To me friends stick together through it all. The good, the bad, and the exes. Me and my best friend (the one I told you about on Tuesday) went through some times, not all of them good. We had our moments when we were both feeling flush so would head off on a crazy weekend away somewhere. Then we'd have moments where one of us was so poor the other would help pay the bills and buy food. I found myself homeless at Christmas with not a penny to my name; she gave me a key to her place, moved her daughter into her room and told me to stay as long as I needed. When my car died she handed over the keys to me - I worked 15 miles away, she worked within walking distance. When her ex stopped his maintenance (which was a pittance to begin with) and the factory she worked in closed down she found herself barely able to keep a roof over her head. At that moment things weren't too bad for me so I did her shopping, helped her out with electric, put fuel in her car. That to me is what friendship is/should be about. You don't keep someone around during just their good times; you're there for them no matter what. Because of mine and her's friendship I've been spoiled and foolish in expecting everyone else I meet or have in my life will be the same. I've learned the hard way that is not so. When she died another friend put herself forward as the one to replace her (not that she could ever be replaced). It took me 3 years but I finally realised this "newbie" was just in it for what she could get out of it. The second my bank account completely dried up, she was off making new friends. I'd like to think I've learned from it, but the truth is I will most likely get caught out again in the future at some point. If I went round thinking everyone was going to fleece me I'd end up a very lonely person, however, I will never again pay for things for others. If they wish to do something or go somewhere they can pay and I will pay them back - because unlike the people in my past who let me pay never to pay me back, I could not do that and would pay up immediately.
So, as you can see, I have been a fool, I've got myself into the situation I am in and that's why I am here every day, rambling away to anyone who might come across this, hoping that there will be that one person out there who sees a little bit of themselves in my story, who has some spare money kicking around, and who decides to help out the fool, knowing that such a time will come when the fool will once again be up and running and will go off herself to help out someone else.
Regardless of what happens the world will keep on spinning - that is oddly reassuring.