Dear Abby: Twenty years ago, my oldest sister, “Olivia,” loaned me $3,000 at a time when I was struggling to make ends meet. I promised to repay the loan at the end of the year. The time came and I wrote her a check for the full amount, but she didn’t cash it. She said she didn’t need the money and the loan was forgiven. Fast-forward 20 years: While Olivia has remained financially stable, I am now in a better place financially because of an inheritance. After learning about this inheritance, Olivia asked me for the money back! Because I can afford it, I plan on repaying her, but I can’t get over her surprising request. Do you have any words of wisdom to help me make sense of this?
– Unsettled Sibling
Dear Unsettled: Your sister may have forgiven the loan all those years ago because she thought repaying her would have caused you financial stress. Now that she knows you’re well able to give her the money, she would like to have it. You and I don’t know why she’s asking for it, but trust me, there is ALWAYS a reason.
Ask for separate check
Dear Abby: I quit drinking three years ago. I realized I had a problem, addressed it, and I’m now sober. I never was a big drinker socially. I drank alone. When I go out with friends for dinner, they usually rack up a large liquor bill, which is evenly split. Occasionally, I’ll ask that the liquor portion of the bill be subtracted from my tab, but doing so makes me feel awkward. I enjoy going out with these people, but I don’t want to add another 20 to 25 percent to my tab. What’s your advice for addressing this situation?
– Sober in the South
Dear Sober: Congratulations on your sobriety. A way to avoid being charged for the liquor your friends consume would be to quietly advise the server at the start of the dinner that you would like a separate check.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 60069.