How would you handle this? Savannah and her friend went to the mall at the beginning of June. After letting them shop for a couple hours, I picked them up. They had several bags of clothes with them. Savannah showed me what they'd bought - some earrings from Claires and some clothes from Aeropostale and Forever 21. They had lunch at McDonald's. Savannah had even bought Brooklyn an outfit from Baby Gap. Now Savannah used her own money for this shopping trip; money she'd saved from allowance and birthdays. She's a big saver. She carefully weighs the pros and cons and debates whether she wants to spend her money on it. How sweet was it that she thought of Brooklyn and used her money to buy her this cute outfit? I was really touched by that. (I was going to reimburse Savannah for the price of that outfit, but it didn't fit Brooklyn, so I returned it and gave the money back to Savannah.)
OK, so the other day, Savannah wanted to buy something with her money and I told her she could go ahead and get it. She didn't say anything, but she was acting strange. I finally pulled from her the fact that she had lent $77.08 to her friend back when they went shopping in June. Apparently Savannah had tried calling her friend to ask for repayment, but the friend never answered her phone or called Savannah back. Savannah was really upset about it. She was in tears, in fact. I offered to call this friend's mom to let her know about it. Savannah agreed.
So, I called her mom who told me she was unaware that her daughter had borrowed any money from Savannah. She told me to call her back the next day so we could arrange a time for me to pick up the money. ??? OK, whatever. I called her back two days later and she informed me, "We seem to have a problem because my daughter said that she only borrowed $20 from Savannah."
Now, I didn't want to tell this woman that her daughter was a liar, but I know that the earrings alone cost over $20! I'm the one who picked them up from the mall. I saw everything they'd gotten. It was more than $20 worth. Still, I didn't want to start a fight or anything so I suggested we let the girls talk and see if they could work it out. We put our daughters on the phone. This friend told Savannah it was only $20 and hung up on Savannah. Savannah was in tears again.
Unfortunately Savannah didn't save any receipts. She has the card that some of the earrings came on. It still has a price sticker of $14.99 on it. (Her friend got an identical card of earrings plus one additional card of earrings.) I looked online for the prices of some of the clothing they'd bought. It added up to $70-something. Now, I don't want to sound naive, but out of all my kids, I know Savannah is the last person who would ever lie. I'm quite certain she didn't pull the figure of $77.08 out of thin air. That was the amount on the receipts (not including the tax) that Savannah added up when they first got home from the mall back in June.
The problem is - how do I convince this woman that her daughter is perhaps not being entirely honest about this. Just maybe she's embarrassed or scared of getting in trouble with her mom. How do I broach this without outright calling her daughter a liar? I don't know the mom. This isn't a girl Savannah's been friends with for years. She'd just met the girl this past year.
If it was my money, I'd probably just drop it and deal with the loss. But this is money that Savannah has saved for years. And what bothers me even more is that I had to tell Savannah to go against her nature and not lend money to friends again. She was trying to be helpful, thoughtful and generous and I had to tell her that basically she couldn't trust others to be the same way.
I'm just sad for her and don't know the best way to handle this. Darn those stupid parenting books. They never mention anything like this! I so didn't sign up for this! And you know, I wasn't overly thrilled when I first met this friend, but didn't want to say anything bad about her. This girl was absolutely rude and obnoxious during Savannah's band concert. A few of us wanted to slap her that night. But I figured Savannah could form her own opinion of this girl.
Savannah and this "friend" bought a couple matching outfits that day. Savannah has only worn hers once and no longer wants it. Maybe I'll eBay the clothes to try and get some of her money back.