Wednesday, December 20, 2006

don't trust rich brats

There's this kid I've known since he was 14. I helped him get started in falconry when his parents weren't being real helpful. They were wealthy and tried to get me to pick up and drop him off like I was a nanny. I'd drop him at his home but I made his parents bring him over. When the family moved to another state I talked to some falconry contacts and got him set up over there.

Fast forward six or seven years. Kid is now an adult and a licensed falconer. He catches snakes for fun and has promised about five times to send me a rattlesnake head in gratitude for my help. After a very lengthy apprenticeship he's finally turned general. He's gonna trap a tiercel Harris because that's what I flew and he had some great times with that bird, so he asks me to make a tiercel hood for him. I usually charge $60 for this but for him I knock ten bucks off. As luck of the draw goes, he traps a female, so he can't use the hood.

Also, kid is going to get married. He's just barely 21 but apparently he's really in love, they've been living together a couple years. I get an invitation for the wedding and I immediately a) fire off a couple gifts off their registry and b) buy a plane ticket.

Two weeks before the wedding, crisis. She breaks up with him -- wedding cancelled. Kid is in emotional hell but he promises to pay back part of my nonrefundable ticket and return the gifts. Several weeks after this he's promised about 4 times to pay me for the hood as well. His life is upside down from the breakup and he tells me he's going to do this and that, something different each time. He loses the check he'd written to me, he finds it, and yet somehow it never actually has made it into the mail.

At this point, my generosity of friendship is over. It's not the money per se, but the promises that get made over and over and never actually happen, and it had been going on long before the wedding fell apart, so that isn't really an excuse. It bothers me to lose a friend, but it's just gone too far this time.

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