Saturday, February 12, 2011


B-Daddy here, filling in for Tiger Lily.
Polonius, in the first act of Hamlet famously counsels his son Laertes:

Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

Polonius is talking about a specific kind of borrowing, I believe, that between friends. In my observation, his advice goes double for borrowing from relatives. The problem with borrowing outside the normal framework of legal obligation is that the borrowed money becomes the "elephant in the room," dominating the thinking of both borrower and lender, corroding their friendship.

For young men in a dating relationship this is sage advice as well. Borrowing money from one's lady friend makes you look unmanly, and gives rise to the suspicion that you are secretly a cad. A young man wants to both be and appear to be the model of manly virtue, living within his means and taking care of his obligations being high on the list of his moral qualities. You want your potential mate to view in this way, and frankly, you wouldn't want to marry a woman who did not care about these characteristics in her man.

The converse is also true, with more room for an occasional exception, perhaps. A woman who continuously seeks cash from her man prior to engagement will cause him to question the basis for the relationship. It is good for no one.

So remember Polonius' advice. If you are ever in a desperate jam and have to borrow from a friend, repayment should be you highest priority, skip your next meal if necessary. It is a way to be that exemplar that in your heart you desire to be.

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