Comment: Miss Manners: Is It Rude to Sue Someone Who Loaned You $182 B?

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Miss Manners: Is It Rude to Sue Someone Who Loaned You $182 B?

Dear Miss Manners, _______________________________ Jan 2013

I'm writing to settle a quibble between myself and a friend. Four years ago, my friend was in very bad shape. [Dire straights.] She was heading toward financial ruin... I [borrowed $182 billion from China.] Offered my friend a $182 billion loan. This past October my friend was able to pay me back in full, including interest. I'm not ashamed to say that I profited from this loan. [China has not asked for their $182 B back yet.]

Last week, my friend sent me a thank-you note. I saw no need to send a thank-you note in return, as I was the one who did the initial favor. Unfortunately, I've since learned she is now considering a lawsuit against me because the terms of my loan were supposedly too harsh. Do you think she's doing this because I didn't send her a thank-you note as well? Please let me know who's in the wrong.

The United States Treasury Department

Dear U.S. Treasury Department,

You are a generous friend, and this borrower is lucky to count you among theirs! As for the thank-you note, it isn't customary to send a thank-you note for a thank-you note, thank goodness. It is considered polite, though, to call or electronic mail (in this "modern age") to let someone know you've received their thanks. Assuming you did this, it would be wise to give your friend a chance to explain. Perhaps she is obligated by some fiduciary duty to her stockholders, in which case I wouldn't take offense. That sort of thing is, alas, becoming more and more common.

That said, I wouldn't lend this particular friend any more money, and perhaps this experience will make you think twice before entering into such arrangements again. As you've learned, friends and money mix about as well as etiquette and politics.

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Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul