When A Loan Almost Became A Gift–A Storytime

Photo of the rainbow of short-sleeved t-shirts.  Blog graphic for blog post when a loan almost became a gift storytime at awomansoutlook.com

Usually, when I loan things, I make it known that it’s a loan because I don’t want any confusion. It’s easy to confuse a loan with a gift. 

Want to know what I mean?  Read my post about the difference between a loan and a gift, and continue reading so you’ll find out what happened next. 

How the loan happened 

This storytime happened way back when I was in college. At the beginning of the school year, I bought some new comfy long-sleeved t-shirts. One was gray, and the other was white. They weren’t fancy, just Fruit of the Loom cotton shirts.

The plan was to have some lounge clothes for the upcoming semester. 

After being back at school for a few weeks, the warm balmy fall weather turned cold quickly. Where I lived, it usually was warm until November. For some reason, winter visited us in September. 

A group of us went to our dorm Resident Director to find out what could be done. She had an apartment on the backside of our dorm. When we arrived, she stopped what she was doing and listened to us.

We were told that the heating system was programmed to come on in October. That was why it wasn’t on yet. She stated she had received calls from students’ parents and was taking these to the university to get something done.

Well, whatever she said or did worked because a few days later the heat was on!

Later that semester…

One day, I was in my dorm room doorway talking to one of the other girls who lived on the same floor I did.  We visited each other all the time. Some girls would leave their dorm rooms open.

As we were talking, a girl I had never seen came up and asked if either of us had an extra long-sleeved shirt she could borrow. She was cold and needed something to put on.

I wanted to help, so I piped up and said I had a gray shirt she could borrow. She took it, said thank you, and left. 

A  few weeks later, I saw her in the hallway and asked about the shirt. She said she would get it for me. So I waited and it never showed up. 

Stock photo

The return

So I thought the shirt was a loss; and I’d never got it back. So I went on with life. Well, autumn became winter and winter became spring. Soon it was time to go home for the summer.

So I was packing up one and guess who showed up? Old girl!

I was shocked! I really didn’t expect her to show up with the shirt but here she was. She handed me the shirt and I thanked her. She went off and I closed the door.

I wanted to finish packing so I put the shirt on my bed. Later, when I went to pack my clothes, I actually looked at the shirt and its condition.

It looked awful! There were holes around the neck and the cuffs of the sleeves. The shirt looked stretched out.

I’m shocked! This wasn’t the condition in which she had received the shirt!

When I was growing up, if you borrowed something, you returned it in that condition. If something happens to the item while in your care, you let the person know, and you both work something out. 

I thought about saying something, but then I thought what difference would it make?  It wouldn’t change the condition of the shirt. Though it may have put her on notice, but oh well….

Anyway, I took it as a life lesson and learned how to make my loans loans and not gifts.  


What I learned 

I learned that when you loan someone something, make it clear that it’s a loan. Then set a time frame for when you want the item back! Don’t let there be any gray area.

Something that I came across on the People’s Court is to text the terms. It can be as simple as “Hey I’m loaning this to you and I want it back in a week, month, or whenever”. 

That way you have it in words that this is a loan and you expect it back. 

The takeaway 

This situation was an eye-opening experience! This made me realize that not everyone was raised the way I was.

I’m not going to lie, I was hurt that I didn’t get to wear my new T-shirt. Just so you know, I ended up throwing the shirt away. It looked raggedy and I didn’t want it.   

Anyway, I took this lesson to heart and learned that I have to make sure it’s a loan and set a time frame so the other person is aware.

Nowadays with text messages, you can use that as a way to clarify the situation.

This is proof that you too have a meeting of the minds. 

Just saying!

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