Monday, November 20, 2006

What to do...What to do...

I've got a dilemma, and I'm really not quite sure what to do. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. My mind has been so wrapped up in school assignments and family stuff that I'm not sure I've got a clear perspective.

It's regarding a family member who we love very very much. This person, who I'll call X, stays with us often. X is a young adult---old enough to vote, but not yet old enough to buy liquor. Lives at home, goes to school.

A few months ago X was visiting and we went to a used/new CD place. My kid had earned some money and wanted to add to his CD collection. X asked to borrow some money (32.00) to get some CDs, and promised to pay me back immediately---was waiting for some money from a summer job.

Since then, I've never seen a dime. I've asked about it from time to time and have gotten the brush off "I needed it to pay for my books", etc. Ok. Bad me. I know what they say about loaning money to relatives. I was stupid.

X was visiting recently and I got a nasty surprise. I never allow anyone to use my computer except for the big kid, but I allowed X to check email. Once. A few days later I got 3 receipts in my inbox from Itunes to the "tune" of about 65 bucks.

Apparently X decided to check to see what the kid had on his Itunes for his Ipod, because the kid brags about what a big list he has. There's a link on the program on my computer that goes directly to the Itunes store, and guess what? All my stuff was on file from the last time my kid bought Itunes (about 4 months ago). X didn't even need to enter a password to buy stuff. It was all "remembered" somehow.

Not only that, but there wasn't an "instant" receipt, like when you buy something online. I would have caught it immediately if it had. Those suckers trickled in over about a 2-3 day period. One of them came in at 12:20am. I know there was NO ONE on my computer at that time. I thought it was fraud on the part of Itunes. ggggrrrrr.

You can't get a "return". Once you buy it, it's downloaded to your Itunes program (where you in turn download it to your Ipod, which X did).

Yes, I know my basic stupidity about letting someone use my computer and "remembered" info got me caught in this. I'm kicking myself. Hard.

So over the last week or so, X has said after being confronted:

Well when I downloaded the music, I thought maybe we could make a deal.

A deal? The time to make a deal is BEFORE you reach into my wallet and steal my money!

I don't see what the big deal is. It's only 65 dollars.

Only? Then why didn't YOU pay for it? Why didn't you hand me 65 dollars the minute you did it? That's right. It's ONLY 65 dollars when it's not YOUR money! Not to mention you committed credit card fraud!

You shouldn't have let me use your computer (aka it's all YOUR fault for trusting me)!

What? Does that mean that women shouldn't leave their purses in your general vicinity or else it's THEIR fault if you steal from them? Gimme a freaking break!

It's not the same thing.

Oh? How is it different?

I see how it is. It's all about money with you.

I could not freaking believe this. This whole thing came on the heels of my post "Oh, The Irony" (scroll back, it was around a week ago) about people who say this stuff when they're trying to screw their friends or relatives out of money in court.

I've threatened X with refusing to pay the credit card bill and reporting it as fraud unless there is some effort made to pay me back. Immediately. There has been some dissension in the family over this. Other family members think I should let it go so X doesn't get any kind of record for "youthful hi jinks". I've insisted that X come and work the money off, because there is an actual crime involved. There has been too much letting slide of "youthful hi jinks" in this damn family. It's the principal of the thing.

X is not interested in working it off. I'm a big meanie, and it's "all about money with you".

So here's the dilemma.

We all go to my mom's house for Xmas.

In the past, hubby and I have made it a gifting habit to give all the young family members of a certain age a small token gift (toiletries, etc) and a cash gift/or gift card. No favorites. That way they can have some walking around money or buy what they really want. They all love it, because it's not like, well, you know---bunny slippers.

I don't want to push criminal proceedings, but I am completely unwilling to let this go. If X doesn't make good on this, giving an equal cash gift really sticks in my craw.
I hate feeling so angry about this.

Would it be out of line to forgo the cash/gift card gift (but give the small token gift), and put in a card that all the debts are paid? I would at least feel better about the whole thing, and X wouldn't be under the mistaken idea that I was going to just let this go. Bad behavior has consequences. I wouldn't say anything nasty in the card, just say that our gift was the debt.

Then I could put it behind me.

I don't give a rat's patootie what the family says---it's not being unfair. I could give them ten pages of what was unfair about being put in this position.

And if X doesn't like it, well tough sh*t.

Am I being really Scroogy?

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

my mom would say this X has not been taught manners when growing up. stealing is stealing. giving and taking are two different things.

i don't know what advice to give you. i don't have kids or know anyone personally near the age you are speaking of.

i'm peeved that X would be so hardheaded and shirking responsibility type of individual.

Scarlett_demon said...

Fuck it, the kid is a theif simple as. Relative or no, sorry but fuck it! I'd give no gift and file criminal proceedings! But hey your call, give the card if you feel it settles the matter. Bastard! Sorry..

Anonymous said...

I think X deserves a swift kick in the butt. But barring that, and with the hope of preserving at least reasonable family relations, do the gift card thing.
However, the pessimistic side of me thinks that he'll just get mad (his sense of entitlement is certainly very healthy) and won't have learned anything. He'll just think "Aunt Attila's such a bitch."
Even so, I do believe you have to take a stand.
I'm more interested in whether or not you still allow X that open invitation to stay over. I'd make it clear that he burned that particular welcome mat.

Anonymous said...

OMG! I don't think you are being Scroogy at all. X made his/her bed and he/she should lie in it! Pfffttt... I must agree with Mel that it will probably cause a rift, even if only for a while, but you do need to take a stand somehow and this is a perfect way to do it. He/she deserves it and i t would be a good way to make your point without being really nasty about it (X will probably think it's nasty, but really it isn't)

carmachu said...

Stand your ground against the family thoughts of "youthful hijinks"

Its not. Its theft. Worse, its theft from a family member. It was wrong for X to do. You know it. I know it.

No. Do NOT put in a gift card that all debts are forgiven. What kind of message does that send? "hi, i know I took something that wasnt mine and now I dont want to pay it back, but heck all is forgiven."

Sorry darling, its a bad message. The kid has to pay it back. in some way shape or form. Whether its $5 a week/month or whatever, but it has to be done.

And no gifts till it is. Its a life lesson that X needs to learn.

I mean, if he did it all at once, his story would make sense. But X didnt, he hid what he was doing, and trickled it...I mean at 12:30 am....he was being sneaking stealing and got caught. And now is trying to pull a fast one.

No, your not being scooge. Your being a parent. Its something that has to be done. Its a life's lesson he needs to learn that stealing is wrong.

mia said...

Is there any way you can handle it before Christmas? How about taking him to Community C------ and having him volunteer? "10.00 an hour" until it's paid off or 6 hours of volunteering. There could be worse ways to spend a Saturday.Then buy Christmas gifts as usual because the debt has been paid. There are consequinces to your actions. Period.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Carmachu. Don't forgive the debt. You forgive mistakes not theft and the kid is doing enough rationalization for himself without your help. I'd take the little twit off my Xmas and visiting list. He has serious integrity issues and the rest of your family will figure it out eventually even if they are mad now.
Be grateful you're not his mom.
Kids do well with concrete things: write up his debt on paper and say that you are willing to consider ways he can work off what he owes you.
If he doesn't, write him off.
I don't have much advice on pressing charges--you could go either way.

Attila The Mom said...

Thanks all for your words and advice. I hate hate hate being in this position, especially since I have to keep reminding some family members that X is not the victim here.

As a point of clarification Car (not that it makes anything better), X didn't download anything at 12:20am. It was all done that one time on the computure.

For some reason, ITunes split up everything into 3 receipts and didn't send them all at once, although everything was ordered at the same time.

I got the last receipt like 2-3 days after the event. It was weird, because I was sure somebody had hacked into my account (I had taken off all my info and changed all my passwords). But the receipt had the original date of the download on it.

Mia---we've been trying to handle it before the holidays. Given the kid some choices of things to do to earn the money back. X is totally uninterested. Still doesn't see "what the big deal is".

What's probably going to happen is that someone in the family will end up giving X the money to pay just to shut me up and X will still think it was not "a big deal". grrrr

Scully said...

First - I would say it is a big deal, no matter how X or your family see it, and you have every right to be furious.
Second - I think you should sit down with your own little nuclear family and discuss how X's actions made you feel betrayed, not only because you were stolen from, but because it was family and someone you had invited into your home and your private lives. I would focus on your own feelings rather than X's actions. Then if they are not on your side, well...that's another issue. The kids are likely to take X's side because it is easier for them to empathize with him, but you didn't become a parent to make buddies, right...
Personally, I would not be able to have a familial relationship with X after this because it is such a betrayal without so much as an apology. Christmas presents or even cards would be out of the question, but that is just me and my feelings. That is a personal decision, and I wouldn't presume to tell you what that should be, as I don't live in your family dynamic.
I really think it's rotten that your family hasn't backed you up on this because it isn't "all about the money." It's about trust and integrity and love. I don't envy you this one at all, and I hope X comes around for everyone's sake, including his own.

Ruth Dynamite said...

This is far more than youthful hijinks. It's not funny or pranky. And his response is very problematic. (It has nothing to do with you!)

I would sit the kid down one more time and tell it straight: he violated your trust. You might tell him he's no longer welcome in your house unsupervised (if at all) until he (a) re-pays his debt and (b) apologizes the right way - that is, shows some level of remorse and understanding of why his actions were wrong.

Christmas is Christmas. Include him the way you include all the other kids. He needs to know he is loved just as he needs to know his actions were wrong and you won't abide them.

On that note...hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!

TxGoodie said...

If he can't do the time he shouldn't of done the crime! And it WAS a crime and I'll betcha it's not the only one nor the last one he's committed.

You are the victim here, my friend. Tell the relatives to stick it. Tell the kid to pay up or else. If his parent(s) are lame enough to bail him out of this so be it. This kid has people padding his corners and it's got to stop now. He's a punk, pure and simple. He's on his way to bigger and better crimes mark my words. He has NO character and he's not going to get any at Walmart.

You can't trust him now. You can't trust him in your home if he isn't willing to apologize sincerely and pay for his THEFT he should be persona non grata! You can't allow him to show your boys how to scam and win either.

He will hate you now, but if there is even an ounce of character in him he'll thank you one day and respect you for setting boundaries in your own home. Don't feel badly, NONE of this was your fault. It's your computer and you were being nice to allow him access to it.

Anonymous said...

A nice card relieving the debt, as a token gift....Piggy Bank, Book on Proper etiquette, coal

Kim Ayres said...

Stealing is stealing. I don't envy you one bit. I don't think I can add anything to what everyone else has said here. If it is allowed to be swept under the carpet then it sets a dangerous precedent and the child learns nothing, other than if s/he kicks up a fuss then s/he can get away with anything. That attitude to the world will ensure s/he ends up in jail or with a criminal record sooner or later.

X's parents really ought to have been in like a shot explaining to their child that the behaviour was wrong.

If my son was responsible for something like that then he would be made to pay back, with interest. I'm surprised at the lack of support you're getting.

Heather said...

Okay, here I go.

A family friend of mine, M* has a niece named E*. M's brother, Scott, went to St. Barts ( or some other foreign beautiful island) and bought E* (his niece, too.) a beautiful necklace. We're talking at least 5K on this necklace. E* didn't send a thank you, didn't acknowledge she got it, etc..So last Christmas, when Scott drew E's name in the Christmas exchange, he didn't buy her anything--Same concept as you, kwim? She was ungrateful and didn't understand why and was really angry that she didn't get a gift, but Scott's mindframe was "If she couldn't even thank me for that beautiful necklace, she doesn't deserve anything else from me."

It's not the same thing, but after reading your entry I immediately thought of the story because it IS about being ungrateful. You know, if X had just said to you, "Look Aunt "name here", I shouldn't have done that. I'll try and pay you back, or can we work something out, " you'd be much more inclined to help him out, wouldn't you? Just like if E* had said to Scott--"I'm really sorry Uncle Scott...The necklace was beautiful, I love it, I wear it all the time, etc.." he would have been more inclined to purchase a gift for her at christmas.

So there's my insight. You are absolutely doing the right thing. He needs to know that he has crossed the line, and abused your trust. And that you will not be giving him any more "handouts" or "help" because of his mistake.

Sorry you have to deal with this right before the holidays, hon.
Happy Thanksgiving!
xox ♥

Sven said...

It seems to me that you have two things going on here, the money and the relationship. I think your offer to forgive the financial debt in lieu of a gift card is more than fair. However, that in no way means that “all debts are paid”. He has clearly violated your trust, more than once, and has caused what sounds like significant family turmoil. That cannot and should not be excused.

I suggest you proceed with your plan, but explain that this does not mean the issue is over or that you have moved on. It doesn’t sound likely that you will see the money anyway so as long as that is an issue it will allow X to focus on that rather than the harm he did to you. Tell he no longer owes you the money but he does owe you an apology along with a firm demonstration that he understands the personal nature of the harm he has caused you, your family and your relationship. It is up to both of you to figure out how he can/will make things right.

He may not go along with it but at least you have been clear with him that it is about more than just the money.

Samantha said...

I wouldn't give the little buggar anything. Give him only a card saying that he is repaying his debt by not recieveing a gift or money. Someone needs to show him bad things have consequences.

karaoke queen said...

Wow, I think its terrible that no one else in your family sees how wrong this is.....

I would not buy X a gift/giftcard or tell him his debt is forgiven. That was a really sh!tty thing to do to someone, especially someone in your family! X is a thief of the worst kind, doesn't acknowledge he did wrong and doesn't feel bad about it. Unfortunately no matter what you do, I don't think X will change anytime soon without the rest of his family supporting you. :(

Miss Keeks said...

Ok. I have a couple of thoughts here. And you probably won't be too keen on them.
1. Don't give him any $ for Xmas and don't forgive the debt. If you do, you're enabling him as much as everyone else in your family. If he thinks this is no big deal (and he's certainly old enough to know better), eventually he'll convince himself that he is completely entitled to anything he. Clearly, he already believes that he is not at fault. This indicates that there may be some other problems at hand.

2. Don't allow him into your home again. Regardless of how the rest of your family responds he shouldn't be welcome. He stole $30 earlier--saying he would pay it back and never did. That's stealing. No matter what anyone calls it.

3. Call your credit card company. Explain what happened. You can let the kid know what you're planning on doing. He's had every opportunity to pay you back, but he hasn't.

I'm really sorry this sh*t had to happen at this time of the year. And your family may not understand now, but they will when he's stealing from them!

Rootietoot said...

no you're not scroogy. I think to "gift" the debt owed is extremely generous, and you shouldn't let the person come back to your house. Period.

I would probably settle it that way,and not do criminal proceedings. It's about $100, right? I realize the principle is that he stole, but I hate a fuss.

Settle it up, and make sure it doesn't happen again.

OneEar said...

I would address the situation head on with:

-ex-lax brownies
-subscription/home delivery of gay porn
-completed application to join jehovah's witnesses
-whoopie cushion

Don't let him know that it was you, and then, when you deliver his Xmas card, you can also infect him with a virus. He won't learn any lesson, but he's not going to anyway.

Nomad said...

Hi!!
I picked you up at coffee house chatter, love your bi-line...and the waffle thing...very funny.
I grew up sadly with little instruction about the responsabilities of debt or the value of a dollar mainly because we never had any (dollars) to talk about. I had to learn the hard way (and boy did I!) This kid does not realize the value of a dollar and the importance of repaying a debt(which requires self control amd a little advance financial planning both of which not many adolescents/young adults are too strong on). Maybe this could be a powerful time to help X learn a positive lesson. (Better with family than the IRS no??) The first thing I would do is address this kids parents and then let them deal with the punitive aspects of it, but be very very clear that the debt will not go away just like Visa or Mastercard and that you will absolutely not be happy until it is resolved by X in some way. You will be doing this child a very big favour. Re the breach of trust (re ipod is it possible it was not planned and just sort of happened? I can see a kid getting in over his head and then being too embarrassed to say anything) again maybe this is an issue for the parents as you do not sound like you are in a position to punish, but a logical consequence clearly stated to him/her and family like not within a mile of my computer would be sensible as well as repay the debt. (how embarrassing for him/her!) If it was my child and they were acting this badly I would feel compelled to get involved.
It should definately be made a big deal of!! You cannot parent someone elses kid, but you can let your feelings be known and I think you are right on base. Re the gift certificate, push to resolve it before Christmas and then you no longer have a problem.

Nightmare said...

FUCK THAT!! I'd beat the shit outta him/her...whatever X. and tif that isn't the case, I'd have his ass arrested! This bullshit of not having a record because he is a kid doing hyjinx is bullshit! that is how drug dealers work. They hire little kids to run the crack because no one will prosecute them.

Well I think that little bitch needs his/her head cracked open. Steal 90+ bucks from me and I'll take it outta yo hide!

I wouldn't give the little bastard anything either and if anyone says anything I would make it a public annoncement that he/she is a thief and not to be trusted, not to mention that he/she isn't welcome in your house anymore, who knows what else is missing.

Then call me cause I'll crack some fucking skulls for you.

Stinkypaw said...

Do what feels right to you - the kid needs to learn that he won't get away with everything (family or not!). He's old enough to commit the crime, he's old enough for the consequences.

I don't think I would give him any gift, he stole from you and obvious doesn't care about it. Total lack of respect and very good proof that he thinks that he's "entitled" to certains things, which is SO wrong!

Stand your ground! He needs to learn somewhere...

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, if you let the little creep get away with it this time - and this is the 2nd time - He's going to get you good next time. I would tell him if he doesn't pay back every penny, he's no longer welcome in your home.

Good Luck!

otter said...

ewwww...apparently this ain't the boy's first rodeo if he is that nonchalant about it.
As you decide....think about if you want to perpetuate the idea he has that anything bad or immoral he does is somebody else's fault...never his.

Special K said...

Are you being Scroogy? No. But if you give this kid anything more than a card, you'll be an idiot.

NO GIFTS FOR THIS SHITHEAD, TOKEN OR NOT.

What a piece of work.

carmachu said...

"we've been trying to handle it before the holidays. Given the kid some choices of things to do to earn the money back. X is totally uninterested. Still doesn't see "what the big deal is"."



And there in lies the problem. Its a life lesson he needs to learn. I'd call the credit card and call it credit card theft. I'd start pushing, but thats just me.


"What's probably going to happen is that someone in the family will end up giving X the money to pay just to shut me up and X will still think it was not "a big deal."

Then MAKE him earn it. Dont except money. Especially when you KNOW he doesnt ahve any. The rest of yoru brood is enabling him.

Chores or whatever. Make him do dishes. Dont DO anything for him till then. Nothing. Not one finger do you lift to help him till he earns it.

AT BEST he's a mooch. At worst, he doesnt think petty theft is a problem.

Thats NOT a good sign, TBH.

Thanks for the clarification.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth -- and my you're getting a lot of opinion here -- but I would still get him a gift. A gift is a gift. If you don't give the gift then it just inflames everything.

That said: I wouldn't forgive the debt, and I wouldn't let him over to my house for any reason whatsoever. He violated your trust.

I'd also talk to family members about this. A little guilt could go a long way. Only after talking with them would I consider criminal proceedings.

And then you could also try the ex-lax brownies.

Anonymous said...

I think you should give him a card with his "gift" in it--a "do-over certificate" entitling him to work off his debt to you by doing manual labor in your home or yard at minimum wage until he has repaid what he owes you.

Tell him he needs to regain your trust. Make him sign a promissory note to do it. And if he won't, then call the credit card company and report him for theft. Plain and simple. If he's not called on the carpet and held accountable, it's just going to get worse and worse.

I speak from experience from a family member who did similar things and was never made to repay. He's in a world of hurt now and can't do anything for himself. Nobody trusts him. It's awful.

Do NOT let this slide.

Annie Drogynous said...

What he did is completely irresponsible and unacceptable. Forget the rest of the family, talk to X's parents if you haven't already! And I wouldn't let him back into your house again until he makes good on what he did. In my opinion, he doesn't owe you $65, he owes you $97. Actually, why not make it an even $100 for putting you through all this crap?! Don't just feel like you have to write it all off because he's family. If it pisses family members off and/or annoys his parents that you have a beef about this, perhaps they should have remembered to teach him some manners when he was younger.

If you are able to, fight it with the credit card company. If you tell them an illegal purchase was made on your card, they shouldn't make you pay it.

As for gifting him or releasing him of anything, DON'T YOU DARE! Put Monopoly money in that envelope if you have to or even the court summons for when you sue his sorry as, you should embarrass him the same way he left egg on your face.

Bonnie said...

I'd suggest giving him a self-help book about learning how to take responsibility for one's own actions, as well as a gift card for a Christian bookstore (or whatever religious affiliation his family is). Maybe he'll throw them in the trash, but at least the message will get through loud and clear.

And definitely don't let him in your house again, until he has shown that he can be trusted.

Deb said...

I think your idea of handling it is the way to go. You don't want to be the relative that gets blamed that X can not get a good job in the future and thus leeches off his family because he has a record. (Not that it is your fault he did this, it is totally his)

Let him know his gift is paying off his debt, it might teach him a lesson.

Meg said...

I think that it would be the right thing to do. You shouldn't feel guilty about it. I mean, he stole from you and it wouldn't make much sense to give him money. I think you're being very generous to forgive the debt that way.

When my cousin asked me to lend him some money to buy his car, my mom told me I should have him sign a prommisory note. I thought it was a dumb idea, but I went to the library and copied one out of a book anyway. We both signed it and agreed on a payment plan and when the money should all be payed back. It worked. He payed all the money back according to the plan.

jfsouthpaw said...

I think the card is a great idea - because it lets YOU off.

You are not X's parent and so unless you've had a large part to play in his/her parenting up until now (I'm guessing not) I don't see why you should have to shoulder the burden now just because you're a victim of X's crimes.

Print off the advice here, removing any identifying bits and give it to X's parents....Or just put it in with the Christmas card/ thankyou letter. (Does X usually give you anything for Chrsitmas?)

As for the small pressie, what about one of those goats/ fruit trees/ mossie nets which goes to a family who need it to work themselves out of poverty?

Or, since the whole family is against you, give $100 dollars LESS out between them - after all, you're $100 down, it doesn't grow on trees.

Oh, I'd have X over lots - to clear the yard and have meals out there until the debt is paid. Get the neighbours involved.

Sheila said...

You are absolutely right about X forgoing his Christmas gift (and forget the token toiletries as well!) How dare he treat you like this. Its all about the principle. What does his parents have to say about this disrespect? You know, I think that he should forget about staying at your house for a while too! How dare he say its all about money to you...It sounds as if its all about ripping people off to him...

elizabeth said...

I don't think you are being a Scrooge at all. On the contrary, I think you are being too nice.

I agree with everything Miss Keeks said.

No xmess gifts until his entire debt is paid in full, and a sincere apology.

Good luck!

Milly Moo said...

You are absolutely NOT being scroogy - hell, I wouldn't even give him a small gift, but just a said that's tersely written, "Your debt is now repaid."
He is old enough to 'understand' the importance of stealing, borrowing and the responsibility in paying it back.
Hold your ground - you are RIGHT!

kim said...

i can see borrowing something and forgetting ..once
i can see getting something on the computer and not realizing it was charging you even
but his reaction to being called on it is whats really the problem.
kids have to know theres a consequence to their actions, and they should never be allowed to blow off a responsibility to make it right like that.
the enablers that are covering for him and making excuses are the same people that created this crappy mind set he has. dont pay attention to them and stand by what you think is right. you wouldnt let your own kids get away with that and youre setting a bad example for them if you dont put your foot down over this.
at christmas time i would explain my position (again), find 5 minutes to have a conversation with him and tell him it was wrong you know its wrong and wont accept it, even if others will you wont. you feel he owes you an apology and expect some effort to pay you back somehow. then give him a card for christmas and a gift (possibly a book on manners) but not cash...and dont erase the debt ...no way!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I picked a doozy of a time to link to your site from Boo7. You’ve got quite the problem and are inundated with suggestions. My three kids (all boys) have always paid the consequences for whatever “crime” they committed. I swear, sometimes it was harder on me than them. And part of your dilemma is that you do love this young man. Makes it tougher. I’d give him a card at Xmas – no gift. And mention in the card that this particular debt is paid. Perhaps he’ll realize that this gesture of yours is truly a gift. Any future “crimes” on his part and you’ll have to get tougher. For now, you should do what you feel is right, what you are comfortable doing.

Ramblin Rose said...

Hi found you via Coffeehouse Chatter...

What a dilema!! I've had cousins like this!! Abosolute wankers and everyone covers for them!!!

Here's what I 'd do report it to the credit card company let the adult 18 i'm assuming live with his consequences and hopefully the credit card company will go after him...

I'd report it to the police even if you dont want to press charges I'd make documentation over it in case he does something worse later...

and no way would I say your debt is paid off ... I'd make the sucker work in a homeless shelter or somewhere he can see people less fortunate for him and seeing that he owes you 92 dollars he can do 1 hour for every dollar!!

if you have a policeman as a friend see if he can see the x and say something to scare the shit out of him.

As for the gift, if you feel you want to give him a gift then do so...

However after what he has done to you I'd be taking him off the list just as santa does....

Good Luck...

Apricoco said...

Just chiming in with my 2 cents. I wouldn't forgive the debt. I also wouldn't give even a "token" gift. And X shouldn't be allowed to come to your home again. If you don't want to file a fraud report. Then leave it as is. Sometimes it costs us money to have troublemakers out of our lives. And If he wants to make amends then he should come and work it off, with HARD labor.

happykat said...

You probably aren't checking these coments anymore, but I want to chime in here.

First, there should be no score card for giving. I really don't think holding your spirit of Christmas and love hostage because of X's idiocy is something you start in your life.

Second, he was a purely immature, self-centered brat. He should step up and take responsibility. Apparently, he won't of his own accord.

I would talk to his parents (assuming they are the ones that want you to drop it) and explain how if you weren't related that he would most certainly be in deep do-do. Ask for their support outright (leaves the ball in their court).

I would also tell X that he is no longer allowed to use the computer (or anything else of value) and explain how he violated your trust. I wouldn't barr him from your home, but i would explain to him that you still love him as family but that you are still very dissappointed, hurt, angry, and distrustful of him.

You're not out for blood, are you?
You want family cohesiveness, yet you want the little shit to be responsible. I'm just saying that the knee jerk reaction is understandable, but in the long run may not be the wisest.

Ri said...

You are not at all being scroogy. I would be livid if someone did this to me me. Apart from lesson on giving relatives money .. a professor in school used to drill into us - never reward bad behaviour.

Here's what I would do. No present or gift card or cash for X. But a regular card wishing him Merry Christmas.

I also don't think I'd go ahead with criminal proceedings but talk to X about what he plans to do about returning the money and if he has no intention of giving it back ..then telling him its wrong and leaving it at that. There's no point burning bridges within the family.. but I'd be very wary of X thereafter.

Brenda said...

In your second paragraph you said he's a young adult so he's not exactly a kid, right? I'd call the credit card company and report credit card fraud and let them find out who (they VERY seldom do). Someone who has no qualms about stealing from beloved family would not think twice about stealing from anyone. You'd be doing his future a favor.

Anonymous said...

First, clear your cookies out of your PC and change your itunes settings. Because I had a similar problem (my 14 YO son bought 2 songs W/O telling me before hand), I solved it by putting money in his itunes accounts so now he and other can only spend so much and my checking account isnt hanging out there like that.
Second, stand your ground on this. YOU did nothing wrong. The kid/adult will never learn responsibility for his actions unless he is made to pay. Put his ass to work around your house to pay it off and DO NOT buy him a Christmas gift until its paid off.

Ma Titwonky said...

Are you being Scroogy? Absolutely NOT. You are expecting someone to be responsible for his own behavior, and further, you are providing the way for him to make amends. That's a whole lot nicer than I'd be in a situation like this, and I've been in a similar situation.

Kathy said...

I'm not sure you are even checking comments on this anymore, Lord knows you are too busy for it... but here goes.

Part of having someone, friend or relative, spend significant time at your home, is enforcing your house rules (heck, society's rules) on them. That is how young adults, become responsible adults, because the responsible adults in their life teach them.

Nobody in your family should be supporting this criminal behavior, but if they are, it's on them. You shouldn't have to compromise your knowledge of right from wrong to accomodate a spoiled brat and his enablers.

You might not be able to get anything back from your credit card company, since it was your computer he did it on. But, if you do, they will most likely require a Police report.

If you can get your hands on the I-pod, I'd be sure to delete anything he added to it at your expense. You might even want to see if I-Tunes will give you any credit, since the problem happened from their lack of security.

I'd give him a Christmas card, letting him know how much he is loved. I'd give him a smaller gift card than the others receive. In a seperate note, I'd let him know that while you love him, you don't like him very much because of what he has done. Let him know you've given him ___ towards his debt, as part of his Christmas gift. Give him one last chance to work off his considerable debt, and have the priviledge of spending time with your family again.

Rock__Atilla__hard place... I don't envy you this mess.

lildb said...

HELL, no, you're not.

I'm sure about fourty-seven people already beat me to it with this thought, but I don't care. I wanted to comment when I read the post a week ago but I had my hands full of squirming toddler, which makes for not so easy a time with the comments. anyway. hugging you b/c you're fabulous and have balls.

p.s. what Mel said.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to come in on this discussion so late. If X is stealing from you - a family member - I can only imagine what else he's pocketing without compensation to the rightful owner.

No gift card for Christmas and hope the kid keeps his mouth shut. I'd hate it that you'd spoil everyone's Christmas by telling those gathered that X is a thief. Better he learned his lesson from you than from someone on a street corner or in jail.