Opposite of loan-sharking? Loan-baby-bunny?
December 16, 2010 8:30 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a fun way to say: "you don't owe me that money anymore"

A friend of mine owes me some money. Just lots of things that have added up over the last few months. And I've decided that for Christmas, I'm just going to write off the debt.

I need some sort of wording to put in a card that doesn't sound snarky (I'm afraid of giving the implication that she took too long to pay me back. It's really not like that.)

I'm thinking something along the lines of "IOU". But that doesn't seem clear enough. (Or I guess that should be "UOme").... but regardless, not clear enough.

Please teach me how to say this...
posted by cheemee to Work & Money (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
mock up a "bill paid!" slip with a doctored copy of a check written to yourself in the amount they owe.
posted by nadawi at 8:33 PM on December 16, 2010

Best answer: Hey Fred, for Christmas why don't you donate the rest of that cash to a worthy cause instead of paying me back.

Leave it at that
posted by the noob at 8:33 PM on December 16, 2010 [9 favorites]

This is tough to do in a cutesy sort of way, precisely because it's a serious matter. I would think you would want to be very specific here. Maybe a more somber "consider your IOU paid off" would be more in order?
posted by Gilbert at 8:35 PM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

I don't know you or your friend, but I point out that clearing the debt could make your friend very uncomfortable. Especially if it is a relatively large sum to you or her. I think it is a great gift, but I am not sure she will take it that way and on top of that, if she wasn't planning on giving you a gift, she may now feel obligated which in essence will be paying you back.

Having said that, I still think you should do it. I would say something like, "I already won the friendship lottery with you, I am so rich with friends that money means nothing. Remember that $300 you owe me? Forget it; I have." I am sure you can improve on it, but I would say something like that.
posted by AugustWest at 8:40 PM on December 16, 2010 [4 favorites]

Best answer: We're square. When you can, someday, pay it forward.
posted by uncaken at 8:41 PM on December 16, 2010 [17 favorites]

I really like AugustWest's response.

Personally I don't "lend" money to friends because I don't want to lose the friend over money. The rare few times this has occurred, I just give it to them and tell them I don't want it back.
posted by brownrd at 8:52 PM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

How about instead of an "IOU" you use the null set character to make it an "IØU"?
posted by holterbarbour at 8:56 PM on December 16, 2010

Response by poster: I have a couple favourites, but great answers everybody. I'll probably end up with some sort of combination of a few of these.

Although I'm marking best answers now, please continue to add suggestions. I haven't gotten the card yet, so I'll be writing the message tomorrow.
posted by cheemee at 9:07 PM on December 16, 2010

Do you have the option to say this in person? It seems like something better said in person. A lot of these might come across as glib, or passive-aggressive, or any number of incorrect interpretations if just written down.
posted by meadowlark lime at 9:17 PM on December 16, 2010 [8 favorites]

Best answer: How about delivering it in a form similar to a Monopoly community chest / chance card? Get out of debt free, bank error in your favor, etc.
posted by germdisco at 10:05 PM on December 16, 2010 [6 favorites]

You owe me money. I hired a big guy called Joe to break some of your fingers - to give you a bit of incentive!

But then the Christmas spirit came over me, and it seemed better to gift you the cash. So we're square now. (Maybe someday you can pay it forward). I hope you don't think that this Peace and Goodwill to Mankind has made me sappy though. I'm still a cold-hearted bastard, and if you go around spreading any rumors that I'm soft... well, Joe still owes me a favor.

Merry Christmas!
posted by -harlequin- at 11:12 PM on December 16, 2010 [3 favorites]

I like uncaken's approach.

There are many messages that could be delivered in forgiving a debt and some of them could lead to lingering feelings of indebtedness - that your friend still owes you some huge favour, if not money - or inferiority/superiority in your friendship. The message you want to send, I think, is exactly what uncaken is suggesting (beautifully compact, I might add): that the money is not important to you and you don't want your friend to be burdened by it; that you recognize this is an act of great kindness and that your friend will want to reciprocate; and that your friend can do so by being kind to someone in return, whenever he is able to. This lets him repay both the monetary debt and your generosity in forgiving it.
posted by PercussivePaul at 1:10 AM on December 17, 2010

I think it's best said in person. The sentiments that you consider yourself lucky to have a friend like them and they should pay it forward when th opportunity presents itself are good.
posted by arcticseal at 6:52 AM on December 17, 2010

Response by poster: I appreciate the sentiments about possible feeling uncomfortable, but I've thought about it, and I really don't think it applies here. I myself get uncomfortable with monetary gifts VERY easily, but I know her, I know our friendship. And this amount won't make her uncomfortable.

I wanted the message to be very lighthearted to basically say, that I don't care about the money. But I think AugustWest and PercussivePaul's angle is better. Now I think I want the emphasis to be more about our friendship being more important than the money.

I can't give in-person as I'm going away and don't have time to see her before that. But I'll make sure to follow up when I get back to express things in person as well.

Thanks everyone!
posted by cheemee at 7:33 AM on December 17, 2010

Hand her an envelope of cash, when she opens it say, "that's for you," then pirouette around once, snatch it back, and say, "I'll take that."
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:43 AM on December 17, 2010

oh, not in person.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:44 AM on December 17, 2010

Before we were married, kataclysm's dad loaned us some money to buy a car; we were about halfway through paying him back by the wedding date. Included in the card he gave us was a slip of paper marked 'I. O. U.' which had been torn in half...
posted by FlyingMonkey at 2:11 PM on December 27, 2010

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