DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend and I went out to dinner, and she brought along her cousin, “Kate,” who I had never met. Kate was short on the bill, so I ended up covering for her because I was able to and she said she would get the money back to me. Since then, she hasn’t reached out to me. I called my friend and asked Kate’s number and called her. She assured me that she would send it the next day, but again I did not hear from her.
A week went by, and I asked my friend if she could pay me back or at least get the money from her cousin for me, but she was totally against it and said she didn’t want to get involved. We ended up getting in an argument because this is someone she brought around me. I understand that her cousin is at fault, but I feel like she has a responsibility to me as my friend since she introduced me to her family member who screwed me over. Am I wrong for feeling this way? What else can I do? -- Burned Friend
DEAR BURNED FRIEND: The mistake you made was paying for the cousin’s meal with the idea that you would be repaid. If you paid it as a gift, great. But fronting money to someone you don’t know is always risky. Yes, you have the right to expect that your friend would vouch for her, but did you ask your friend? You made assumptions. Now, in the best of worlds, your friend should have paid for the person she had tag along to your dinner. Your friend is wrong for bringing her without letting you know and for allowing you to pay for her meal.
This is a mess. Your friend is implicitly involved because she brought the woman to the meal. Make that clear to her, but know that chances are slim that you will recoup your money.