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Tired of Covering for Cheapskate Friends

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Here's the latest installment of the Friendship Court.

womans club

Diane from Los Angeles writes: I am a fan of and I am happy to tell you I have what I fancy as a vuvclub of my own. We get along great and do things together all the time and are constantly "chipping in" to buy each other gifts on occasions. As in all groups, some are "do-ers" and others are not and the "do-ers" ("I'll pick up the gift") are always laying out money for the others. The problem is that the others don't always readily fork over the cash and this causes tension. It is embarrassing to nag for small amounts like $15, but why should anyone of us finance the other's gifts, even when the amounts are small? And it is aggravating when the amounts are bigger and one of us has laid out hundreds and has to wait to be reimbursed. The "do-ers" don't want to do it anymore. How should we handle this problem?

Guest blogger Leslie AdlerThis is a "do-ozy" of a dispute. This kind of tension is exactly what you don't need if you want to sustain your vuvclub. You, or the "do-ers" should bring this up at a group gathering in a non-confrontational way. You should say that the topic of chipping in for gifts needs addressing and that what you are about to say is not directed at any one person. Add that some of you have more time than the others and/or are always willing to take care of doing the shopping, but laying out money for others causes unnecessary tension and discomfort that hopefully you all want to avoid. Then, propose solutions. Either: (i) prior to an occasion, the "do-ers" will communicate (via e-mail or phone) that they are planning to go out and purchase a present that requires $$ from each and will request that the money be dropped off at that person's house or mailed if they want in on the gift (if you don't drop off you buy your own gift) or (ii) agreeing to a system where you take turns being the one who does the shopping and the pain of "laying out" will be felt by all. Either one of these viable solutions will be acceptable to all or other solutions will be offered. Whichever way it works out, it will address a topic that needs addressing! Thanks for "telling it to the Vuv," Diane!

Does this happen in your vuvclub? How do you handle it?

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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Marge January 8, 2009, 4:29 PM

My “mah jongg ladies” (my vuvclub) have hashed this out this way: one of the ladies was a repeat offender, so finally , when an occasion came around where we were chipping in for a gift we told her she should pick it up and pay for the whole thing with the money she owed all of us….and we showed her the amounts in writing. She was embarassed and has been paying up since.

my say January 8, 2009, 5:24 PM

Ok, what is a vuvclub? And why the gifts? I would not want to be a part of a club that expects money from me.

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