The above quote is not from Socrates himself, but Dan Millman’s character “Socrates” in his book The Way of the Peaceful Warrior. The amount of bad information and memes on the Internet is astounding but I like the concept so I’m using it with this disclaimer.
I’m pretty sure I know what you’re going to say but maybe I’m a masochist, because I’m asking anyway.
Last year a “friend” I’ll call Lisa made me believe that her life was in danger from her ex-husband. I loaned her $2,000 to help her relocate her kids and her and of course at the time didn’t get it in writing that she was going to pay me back.
Once she got settled, the “friendship” imploded, I discover that pretty much everything that comes out of her mouth is a lie and then, yes she says she doesn’t owe me anything and that I, in fact, stole money from HER. She is also spreading nasty lies about my family.
I’m more than sure she isn’t going to willingly repay me and I was wondering if I have any legal recourse?
Give it to me….
Screwed & Tattooed
Dear Screwed & Tattooed:
Before I proceed, please understand I am not giving you legal advice.
In case you missed it on my website, I have clearly marked each page with a disclaimer you can read here:
You have legal recourse.
You can march on down to your county courthouse and file a small claims case against this woman, pay your fee, and wait your turn until you are facing her in a courtroom and fighting for your money.
However, know that if you go this route, they won’t just ask you to check your sidearm at the courthouse door. You will also be required to check your current mental health status, which you described to me in later emails as “really great!” In addition, you’ve got a pretty shitty contract claim.
You never negotiated terms, there is no written instrument describing those (non-existent) terms, no consideration, no meeting of the minds, and Lisa’s got a pretty good argument that she considered the money a gift, rather than a loan.
As my readers will remember from Ex-Friend’s Husband is Cheating and Never Been Kissed, often we come to a point in life’s road at which it is appropriate to think critically about our lives, the troublesome people we face, and the comparative details of each.
In other words, it’s time for a game of:
(version: Screwed & Tattooed v. Lisa)
Screwed and Tattooed, you’re up first. Let’s put your life into a few bullet points, shall we?
- Your marriage is rock solid (thanks to me and my advice from a year ago, by the way) +5
- Your kids are healthy, intelligent, happy, and thriving +10
- You have your own business and it is both successful and growing +5
- You own a beautiful home in a lovely neighborhood +2
- After weeding out people too stupid to see through her bullshit (she befriended all your people and then tried to turn them against you) you have narrowed your circle to a beautiful tribe of valuable friends. +5
- Sorry to be shallow, but you’re hot. Super cute. Major babe. MILF (if I played for that team). +1
Next we have Lisa, whose life is not faring quite as well.
- She is single and has a pattern of quick attachments followed by sudden breakups (once the guys wake up from the sexual haze and realize she is a sociopathic narcissistic compulsive liar) 0
- She has only one child and she lost custody of him to her supposedly abusive ex-husband because she was incapable of taking care of him. One child! For Christ’s sakes, even I managed to raise my one kid. -10
- She has a criminal record which is likely impacting her ability to secure good employment. -5
- Speaking of employment, she was just fired from her last job when they found out she lied on her application about the criminal record. She had been there less than a couple months when someone realized they hadn’t done the check and lo and behold, there was her record for solicitation and assault. Ouch. -5
- She lives off the kindness of others (again, people too stupid to see through her bullshit) and government assistance, dwelling in a dirty hovel of despair. -2
- The only friends she has are those she met though you, and one by one they are beginning to see who she really is. 0
- She’s cute too – I’ll give her that. +1
(version: Screwed & Tattooed v. Lisa)
Screwed & Tattooed: +28
This may seem like a shallow exercise based on “haves” and “have nots,” but it goes deeper than that.
Look at your life as compared to Lisa’s. Do you really have anything to prove? And do you really want to be the one who went after someone in such an inferior position as compared to you, according to the highly scientific and accurate DesCamp Scoreboard®?
Why take a sledgehammer to a fly that will not only not kill the fly, but will swing back to smash your adorable pert little nose?
You have excised this cancer from the body of your life, why would you invite it back in by going after the money you “loaned” her? Why initiate an ugly confrontation that will surely cause you angst and anxiety? Your life is good – why rock your happy little boat?
Lot’s of “whys” there for you to think about. I’m not punting – I’m making you do the work that should lead you to the obvious solution: do nothing,
You may be “tattooed” but you surely aren’t “screwed.”
You may be out some money but this was a very good lesson for you so maybe you should count your blessings. You’ve learned to be more circumspect in who you trust and let into your inner sanctum. That is a priceless lesson so send Lisa a thank-you note instead of a summons for a case you would almost surely lose.
An incredibly wise woman and scholar wrote these searing and precise words:
And when my children wail and ask unto me:
“Mother! What, pray tell, is the price of peace?” I know that price can only be defined by the Almighty. As I bow my head in solemn prayer and reach deep into my heart to search for God’s answer, God speaks to me! My Lord speaks to me and says,
“In your case, about two grand. Walk away and live your life, man.”