By Julz Pulley

Ever wonder why folks take forever to pay back your money? Do you accompany friends on shopping sprees, even as they owe you.? If your answer is “Yes” to either of the above, then read on to regain your dollars and sense!

Have you ever found yourself in the position where your single friends giddily assume that you have access to magical money, simply because you are married? Or, maybe you are the default wallet when your friends and family yen for a night on the town.

Do certain friends take your success as an affront to their very existence and seek to compromise your security by using your address, and or your credit, desperately attaching themselves to your budget? Do you think you only imagined that look of pure, unadulterated hate, when you told your friend about your promotion and raise, because only a month later she’s got a story perfectly parallel to your charities? Besides, who borrows money from people they hate, anyway, right?

Do you envision your friend boringly scoring the interior of her nostril, as if to excavate some ancient artifact-untold riches, at the very moment she promised to call you about her loan? Do your friends quote the portion of 1 Timothy 6:10 that suits their end, you know, “Money is the root of all evil” knowing that you don’t have the heart to correct them with the entire verse: “For the hunger of money is the root of all evil”? Somehow these friends who have not been to church, temple, or mosque in donkey years, manage to exploit all the biblical privileges, hoping that you missed those Sunday school lessons.

If you’ve answered “Yes” to any or *gasp* all the questions, you just may be a financial punk.  Don’t go feeling sorry for yourself, just yet; your deliverance is nigh. On my deliverance day, my friend and I got lost trying to find a department store. She was so dogged in her search that as I rubbed blisters into my feet to keep up with her, I couldn’t help but think wistfully, “Gee, I sure wish she would find a way to pay me back with the same single-minded focus.” And later, I helped her carry some of her many bags back to the car, I was shocked with the recurring urges to push her into oncoming traffic.  I knew in my heart that it would not be the right thing to do. I knew that if I were to fall on her with my elbows (useful trivia: hardest bone in the body) and knees that that too would be wrong. When we got back to the car, I was in knots from forcibly keeping my hands to myself and I had a tension head ache from clenching my teeth. Yes, I knew that violence would not get me any closer to recompense. Likely, more would be taken from me, such as my freedom … to use the restroom … at my leisure … and in private. Besides, I never could pull off horizontal stripes or Tang orange.

The beginning of my deliverance, like most watershed moments, came in owning that I was a punk. Some of my friends saw me as a cash cow! It mattered not that I had a high self-esteem and thought that I was being kind when I generously extended myself. Perception, like possession, is 9/10 of the law (don’t quote me, just go along with me. I’m going somewhere). That’s like what 90₵ on the dollar? So, when you loan/give money to your friends, it really no longer is yours.

A bad loan puts a chink in your armor, your security. It is your volunteering to make yourself vulnerable, for a time so that your friend may gain some relief. I liken it to being underwater, with your well stocked oxygen tank & seeing your friend in obvious distress. You take a great gulp of air, before handing over the tank to your friend, assuming your friend knows that you are holding your breath, on their behalf. Naturally, she will return, right? droppedimage-3
Ah, but here is the rub – she doesn’t return, as scheduled, if at all! Yet, somehow you manage to make it to shore. And, Monday, you are back at work, buying her lunch and no one is talking about the watery “the incident”. It may even occur to you that less than appreciating you, she harbors ill-will against you. This is your watershed moment. Much like the money you have worked for, likewise you must work for your deliverance. Relax, I am about to give you some fun options for earning your deliverance.

The next time you are invited out to dinner, take just one credit card. Arrive well before your host(s) and have a waiter tally your meal, including tip. Pay before your host(s)/leech(s) arrives. But, be sure to inform your waiter that your meal should be included on the tab, as usual. The waiter will welcome this diversion, as most are actors, anyway. Because you are a punk, take off your shoe and put your credit card in there, before you put it back on. Let the fun begin.

Right before your friend comes by to visit, look around your space, being careful to obscure anything that can fit into their car. Then, burn a couple of matches and use the soot to darken under your eyes. Warm a tea spoon of butter, in your hands, and rub it all over your face and neck. Put on your house coat and just as they arrive, splash some water on your face and neck, rub baking soda on the insides of your cheeks, and have a glass of soda water ready.

The baking soda will make your breath a challenge and the butter will keep the water from evaporating. When you sense they are getting to the true purpose of their visit, start to swoon & with trembling hand, take a sip of  your soda water, letting the foam run down your chin. So what if you are in your office, or the park? If you really want to make a transition out of Punkville, you have to be committed. Get an extensive lexicon. The garden variety leech, more likely than not, will not need of vocabulary that does not enhance their gifting.

So, when your friend looks at your new tv/car/house/ jewelry/vacation/economy pack of gum and homicidally turns to you with a deranged look of hurt, tell them that your garnered it via extrusionary means. You even may get a pass, if you tell them that you amassed it from a septuagenarian. Then, segue into what an interesting construction the English language is.

Lewdly, girate your hips, as you reference the elderly person and leave the leeches gears to grind out their own interpretation. Like a 2008 hedge fund manager, they are bound to make the wrong assumption – not your problem.

If after receiving these three viable maneuvers to acquire your deliverance, you still manage to reach into your sweaty shoe, choke on your baking soda cocktail, or help your friend load your HD television onto the top of their VW Bug, then your lot, my friend, is to remain a hopeless financial punk. Settle into a life of being milked dry by the aforementioned cash cow. Now, you can feel sorry for yourself.

While we are on the topic of your life’s path your archaeologist friend, you know – the digger, highly recommended you for a loan. So, can I hold a c-note? Remember, 2 Corinthians 9:7 – Jesus loves a cheerful giver.

*friend – kindly permit the term “friend” to be interchangeable with the terms “family”, “colleague”, “etc.”