Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Do you borrow money from your children?

“Hey, Alex. Do you have any cash I could borrow?”

“Maybe. What do you need it for, Mom?”

“I’m going to the museum with Gloria and I need $6 in cash to get in. Do you have some?”

“I guess so. You know, you really should put aside some of your paycheck for entertainment expenses like this. You can’t keep borrowing from me.”

“I know. I’m sorry I have to ask you for money again. If I use a bank machine, I have to pay the fees to take money out.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard that one before. When are you going to pay me back?”

“I’ll go to the bank and withdraw some cash tomorrow, OK? For heaven’s sake, I only need to borrow 6 dollars! You’d think I need to borrow the rent money or something.”

My son raised one eyebrow. “It’s not really about the amount, now is it? It’s about your lack of planning and the fact that you keep borrowing money from my piggy bank.”

“I always pay it back, though,” I pointed out.

“But you don’t pay me interest.”

“Do you really want to go there?”

He thought about it for a long moment, then sighed. “I guess not.” He dug in his pocket and carefully counted out six crumpled one-dollar bills. He shoved the five and the twenty back in his pocket as he handed me the ones.

“Thanks, sweetie. I really appreciate the loan.”

He walked away, muttering something under his breath about interest and loans and my frequent borrowing that I totally ignored.

I picked up my phone and dialed Gloria. “I borrowed the $6 from Alex, so I can go to the museum. Would you mind driving? Alex was so grumpy I didn’t want to ask for gas money, too.”