I have some issues with obligations and debt. Most people who have debt problems have problems that they have too much debt, but I go the other way. I HATE debt. I hate it so much that it colours many of my other interactions in my life where I go very far out of my way to avoid ever being in debt to anyone. This isn't just financial debt though, but also social debt. I don't like to be in the situation where I owe anyone anything; that feeling that someone might just wander by and ask me to do something I don't want to do but feel obligated to do because I owe them is intensely uncomfortable for me. This is even true with people I very much like and trust as just the idea that I have that debt outstanding is anathema. I am the guy who always insists on getting separate bills and always wants to discuss terms of repayment before anything else. This may well be all tied in with the fact that I always repay my debts; the very idea of not paying what I owe is simply unacceptable. When my inlaws lent me money to buy my condo I paid them back on time and with interest. We had not discussed interest beforehand and I expect they would have been perfectly content to get the principal back but I figured out the average rate of interest over the loan period in Canada and paid them the precise amount. Doing that made absolutely sure there is no debt whatsoever since we both gained and nobody was put out.
I don't know why I am like this. I don't recall any particular instance in my past where I was burned by being indebted to someone and my parents aren't like I am. They don't go into debt but they don't have my paranoia of unclear contracts. My father got into a business with his brothers without contracts and lawyers being involved and I would never do such a thing. I trust my brother tremendously but if that situation were ever to arise for me I would absolutely insist on everything being in writing and legally bulletproof ahead of time before ever signing my name. It is funny for me to watch people who aren't like this as I just can't fathom doing what they do. At one point Hobo and Full Bed had a apartment together and they shared bills pretty much at random. One person would pay for the phone at one would buy groceries and the other would pay the moving guy and they did not keep track. Despite the fact that I would trust either of them completely to attempt to keep their end of the bargain that is not an agreement that I could live with. I would be happy paying all the bills and collecting my due regularly or having any other absolutely equitable arrangement but just figuring 'It all equals out in the end' makes me shudder.
It isn't the money. I have enough money that these sorts of arrangements with reasonable people would never break me, it is the principle of the thing. I never want a small sum to cause resentment nor do I want to be bitter because someone owes me and doesn't feel obligated to pay. Something deep in my brain is desperately concerned with these things beyond all reason and necessity and although I recognize that I cannot make it go away just by knowing. Most people aren't like me and that can cause problems. Many people just want somebody to pay the bill, or they want to borrow some cash here and there and they figure it all works out. That is comfortable for them and not so much for me. It is a struggle for me to live within that framework and try to let go of my need for certainty and equality in the pursuit of peace. I wish everyone was more like me of course (I am not unique in that regard...) but acknowledging that they are not and trying to compromise is a uncomfortable necessity.
This actually came up yesterday in my WOW guild. I have a ton of gems acquired by buying in bulk at ridiculous prices. Based on past experience people expect me to bring gems to raids and supply them to anyone who wants them for free. This I find intensely frustrating. I know some people view it under the lens of "Sky has boatloads of money in game, so why would I pay him?" but that just makes me even more nuts because I play the money game for fun. Having others spend my money away wrecks my money game, and this is hard to communicate because nobody else I know plays the money game the way I do. They simply get enough to get by and stop worrying about it, so for them the situation of giving away 40 gold when they have 400,000 gold is painless but for me it is not. Obviously I don't need the money but I despise that sense of entitlement, of inequality, of debt. I buy things from people and I pay the going rate. Just like anyone else I am willing to spend time to help my friends but I draw a big, thick line between money and time in WOW. In many ways that makes absolutely no sense because money = time but it is a line I have drawn in order to make the money game fun for myself and erasing that line makes the money game no good at all. You might wonder why exactly I would torture myself over the precise correct policy to follow in supplying my friends with gems when the amounts in question are trivial compared to my fortune. You would be smart to wonder that, and I don't have a good answer aside from the obvious that everyone is a little bit crazy and this is my particular variety of crazy. I have resolved to try to set aside that conundrum and simply give away gems. I will ignore the cost and pretend it isn't there. Now we will see if I can manage to convince the mad, debt obsessed portion of my mind to submit to the greater good.