“Should I Pay the Money I Owe?”

My boyfriend’s roommate’s girlfriend basically lives at their house. She has all of her stuff there, grocery shops, does laundry and for a while was parking in their garage. She had brought home some recently purchased dresses and one of them happened to not fit her. I offered to try it on and immediately really liked it. I told her I would pay her for it and write a check the next day.

The next day, I had an extra ticket for a concert and invited her last minute and she said yes. I told her, “This is great — we’re even now. I gave you a ticket (which was worth $120) and you gave me a dress (worth $125).” On the way home she actually agreed with me and never said anything further. (During the concert she did not offer to buy me a drink, food or even give me some money for the ticket).

A month has now gone by and I received a text from her asking if I could leave money for the dress on her boyfriend’s dresser. I texted her back and said I thought things were squared away when we spoke the night of the concert. She told me she thought I was joking and that she never would have taken the ticket if she didn’t believe it was free. She then said it was too late to return the dress and I have to give her the money for the dress as she no longer wants it.

What do you suggest I do: pay her the money and move on so I don’t cause tension between my boyfriend and his roommate? Or, should I stand up for the fact that she didn’t contact me for a month and now expects me to pay for not only her concert ticket but the dress as well? — Issue to A Dress

Sorry, I have to side with the roommate’s girlfriend on this one. You agreed to pay for the dress and you never did. If you thought the concert ticket should count as payment, that should have been articulated in the invite, not expressed once the girlfriend was already on the way to the concert with you. The fact that she didn’t offer to buy you a drink doesn’t mean anything. In fact, considering that you still would have owed her five bucks to make it an even trade, you should have bought *her* a drink if you believed she had agreed to let the ticket be payment for the dress. But, regardless, she did not agree to that — at least, not in seriousness.

Sure, you could argue that she did agree, and you might eventually win the argument. But at what cost? Is $125 really worth potentially driving a wedge between your boyfriend and his roommate? Is it worth feeling tense every time you and the other girlfriend are both at your boyfriends’ apartment at the same time? I say suck it up, give her the $125 and be glad you are apparently in a position to buy dresses and concert tickets without too much worry about how to pay for such things. Not everyone is so lucky.

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.


  1. artsygirl says:

    LW – Wendy is completely correct. You need to pay for the dress and I think I would throw in an apology to the other girl for the confusion just to make sure everything is smooth between you two.

  2. lets_be_honest says:

    For some reason, this made me think of Sobriquet. Anyone hear from her lately?

    1. Avatar photo sobriquet says:

      Ah yes, drama surrounding boyfriend’s roommates… I can see why you thought of me. 😉 I guess I should update soon… so much has changed!

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        YES! Update please 🙂 Hope you’re well.

  3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    I’m reading the second paragraph a little different from Wendy. To me it sounds like the LW said the stuff about being the ticket being an even exchange for the dress when the friend agreed to go to the concert, and then reaffirmed they were even on the way to the concert.

    LW, I think you should talk with the friend in person, polietly and tell her your confusion again. If my interpritation of the events is correct, then I don’t think you owe her any money. Perhaps you can meet in the middle?

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      I read it that way too, but then reread.
      Here’s how it sounds: 1. invite to concert 2. accept invite 3. imply that they are “even”
      That’s why its wrong to me. Gf accepted what she thought was a free invite.

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yeah, it’s really possible it could go any number of different ways- the LW didn’t spell it out that clearly. Regardless of what the sequence of events was I think the two should sit down and talk about the confusion and try to meet in the middle so neither of them are holding grudges.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        I wouldn’t do a sit down to talk. The gf clearly thought it was a joke and/or the lw came up with the idea after offering an “extra” ticket. It sucks for whoever may have technically been right, but in the end $95 is not worth the headache of this. The lw wasn’t going to get someone to pay for the ticket last minute anyway, so it would’ve been wasted money, and the lw has a nice dress. Call it a day and give up the $.

      3. Avatar photo theattack says:

        $95 is a lot of money to me. I would choose the headache over giving away that much money. We have no idea what LW’s financial situation is, but that much money could easily make or break someone’s budget.

      4. if $95.00 was that big of a deal to the LW she wouldn’t have excepted the dress in the first place. I also think that since it was last minute she probably wasn’t originally going to ask for money for the ticket.

      5. lets_be_honest says:

        Yes, that’s how I saw it too.

      6. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I would ask for money for a ticket no matter how last minute it was. I’ve actually done this before. The day before a game I was offered 7th row tickets to an Eagles game for a discounted price. I called up an old friend who I knew from college who was a fan too and offered him the ticket for the same amount it cost me. Just cause it’s last minute doesn’t mean you couldn’t get someone to pay you for it on the way into the concert- scalpers are always out.

      7. There is a difference between being offered tickets at a discount price on short notice, and then calling somebody up, and asking them if they want to buy one of the tickets, and when you already bought the tickets in advanced for full price, because you really wanted to go, but everyone bailed on you, and none of your friends could go, or wanted too buy the ticket so you asked your boyfriends roommate to go with you.

      8. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I don’t think when you buy the tickets matters at all.

      9. I think it does, because it shows that you always had intent to go to this event, and didn’t mind paying full price, which means you wouldn’t mind eating the $90.00 to have somebody go to a concert that you really really wanted to go too. Your scenario shows that you either didn’t have the money to buy tickets at full price, or didn’t care enough to go unless you got a discount on the tickets so it isn’t as big a deal to you to even go.

      10. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Just because I planned ahead and bought a ticket at full price doesn’t mean I am comfortable eating the money if someone backs out last minute… I don’t see how these add up in your mind.

        And it was a huge deal to go to the game I referenced above and the only way you’re getting into the Linc is to fork over $250+ or happen to have a season ticket holder friend who at the last minute can’t go and offers you tickets. And I don’t have $250+ for an NFL ticket. But that’s all irrelevant to this.

      11. So what you are saying is that you had a friend that had to back out last minute, and took a loss on the tickets, because they probably couldn’t find somebody who would be willing to pay full price? Sounds pretty similar to somebody who couldn’t find somebody to buy their extra ticket so they gave it to somebody so it would get used.

      12. But if someone backs out at the last minute, you might not *expect* to get your money back, at least not all of it. And someone who agrees to go to a concert last minute that they hadn’t planned on probably doesn’t want to pay full price – if they had wanted to go badly enough to pay full price they would have bought a ticket themselves.

      13. I can see where bagge is coming from here. If you months before the event (usually you’re not purchasing tickets last minute to a concert and if the price is $95 then it’s probably better seats in a higher profile concert, so I’m going to bet tickets sold out way in advance) and you have an extra ticket, it’s probably because you bought extras in case people could go or somebody bailed (and really the person who bailed here should have paid for the ticket if they agreed to in the first place, I’ve had that happen before and while it sucks, it was MY fault for not making them buy their own damn ticket). If you’re then just looking for somebody to go you’re not necessarily looking for them to pay, it would be interesting to know if the LW would have expected payment from the friend before the dress. Because, whether or not she was upfront about payment matters. If you say hey I have a ticket you should come that is different than saying hey, I have a $95 ticket to XYZ would you like to buy it? This is why friends and money never mix because people handle it so differently. You must be very very clear when talking to others about money or you run the chance of getting screwed.

      14. If I paid what was a substantial amount (to me) for something and couldn’t go, I would definitely send an e-mail to friends and ask if they wanted to buy the ticket from me. It doesn’t hurt to ask and try to make your money back. If nobody said yes, I might just give it to someone. But in my group of friends, I’m pretty sure someone would offer to pay if they wanted to attend something.

      15. painted_lady says:

        @ktfran – My group of friends would at least offer to pay as well. I kind of feel like this should have been openly talked about BEFORE exchanging anything, but if I were invited to a concert and no one said, “Other Person already paid for the ticket but can’t go,” I would assume that it was on me to pay. Or it would at least occur to me to ask. But then, I’ve also been in the owe-you-money-pay-back-by-buying-you-something position as well. I don’t remember it being weird ever, but I’ve definitely said, “Hey, this was $ and I know I still owe you $, so let me buy you a drink.” But I said that during the original conversation. So yeah, they both sort of screwed up, I think.

      16. Agree with everything you just said!

      17. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I was saying talk because I know if I was the LW and paid the 90 bucks even though I didn’t think I was obligated to I would hold a little bit of a grudge. And she could have tried to sell the ticket on the street on the way into the concert and made at least 20 or 30 bucks so. I dunno. Everyone handles things differntly.

      18. lets_be_honest says:

        I guess. So maybe when you give the $, say ‘I really didn’t realize I owed you, bc we talked about how we were even.’ Maybe the gf will be nice and agree.

      19. Honestly, the roommate’s GF doesn’t sound like someone the LW is in sync with (the comments about her leaving her stuff seems to imply something,w hat I can’t tell exactly) so I’d recommend she just pay the dress off, and never really make an effort w ith the gf since she isn’t the same kind of person as the lw who likes it when friends buy drinks and stuff.

        So the reason I replying to you gg is I need help! I’m failing MISERABLY at my drink limit this week as I’m seriously depressed over the football loss and have been filling my week with happy hours. And it makes NO sense to order soda at happy hour, I mean, $4 wells compared to $2.50 for soda. yeah no.

      20. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I had three beers on Sunday 🙁 The Seahawks loss was sad for me too. I was really rooting for them. They were the last team I don’t dislike for some reason (valid or not) in the playoffs.

        And yeah, soda at happy hour is dumb. Can you occupy yourself with something other than happy hour? Like a gym class or something?

      21. Oh, the gym. HA I am so bad, I got a new debit card (old one expired) and I haven’t updated my gym with it yet. I need to do that. Oh and speaking of $ and resentment so On sunday after the loss and in my haze of numbed depression I went to pay my tab and they put my whole tables charge on mine. Since it just included two friends orders (one I owed for her bday–and I’m not buying her a gift, and another friend’s like $10 meal, I just paid it and told the one gal to spot me later and the other happy birthday) But I’m not resentful as I know one, I could’ve asked for it when it happened, but my damn numbness left me feeling so dejected I didn’t care enough and two, my friend will totally get me back for that $10 sometime with drinks or something. and maybe one soda or something, but who cares about that. But if I didn’t have friends who paid it back eventually, I would have spoken up. its all about the dynamic you guys have.

      22. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Totally agree with your example. Some people can let the $10 owed sort of “ride” and get it back eventually. Other people want it now and want it calculated exactly. I’m more of the let it ride thing when it comes to drinks/dinners personally but I see both sides of this LW and her friend’s disagreement.

      23. Agreed! She asked her to go to the concert, and didn’t ask for money up front, only after the girl excepted, so the right thing to do would be to pay her for the dress, and just apologize for the confusion so you can all stay friends. Money can cause to many problems, and this would should be an easy fix as long as you don’t hold any resentment after you apologize.

      24. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        It’s ACCEPTED! Sorry, but you made this typo twice in this thread… 😉

      25. Thanks! I just have been typing really quick, because I got a new job, and not sure if I’m allowed on DW haha. Just trying to hide it, and not doing any spell checking!

      26. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        No worries. It’s just that excepted means almost, well, kinda the opposite of what you mean. Okay, well, no. Not really. At any rate, it’s actually an entirely different word. 😉

    2. Avatar photo theattack says:

      That’s how I read it too. She agreed to go to the concert, then the LW said they were even, and the friend didn’t dispute it. She even agreed to it on the ride home (which to me means that she did think the LW was serious if she’s going to bring it up a second time).

      I don’t think the LW owes the friend money. The friend verbally agreed to it, whether she thought it was serious or not. $95 is a lot of money to give when you thought you already paid for it. Otherwise, the LW might have sold that concert ticket to someone else! I think if the friend won’t let it go, then the LW should only give her half of the money because at most she’s only half responsible for this miscommunication.

      1. It was last minute, and the LW most likely couldn’t get anyone to go, so she asked the roommates girlfriend to go. If I have that happen to me, I usually suck up the cost of the event I’m going to, because it is better than going alone.

      2. Exactly— I thought this was what everybody did. I wouldn’t dream of asking my friend for ticket money in a situation like this.

      3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        No, everyone doesn’t do this. A lot of people are VERY tit for tat when it comes to money. We have a friend who calculated things down to the fifty cents (Well I paid for the $15 cab and you’ve only bought $13.50 worth of drinks in return so you owe me another shot). Yes it’s annoying but he’s a friend so we go with it.

      4. UGh those people are such killjoys. I phase out those friends as I never feel really comfortable around them. Like i never feel that if the situation were dire, they’d have my back. For anything. I also hate people who keep score just in general. Scoring only works for sports! Not friendships.

      5. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Yeah, this guy is my fiance’s super close friend so I just go with it (and have my fiance deal with the money calculating). But it gets really old, really fast. We’re planning a weekend trip with him and his girlfriend, who thinks the same way, and I am dreading the tit for tat calculating that is going to go on.

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        We didn’t go on a weekend trip last year with my friend and her bf because he’s like that. Not worth it. Glad your patient for your fiance’s sake.

      7. I have a friend I think I’m gonna not exactly ‘phase out’ but stop inviting over too. She’s been over to my house twice now for dinner, and even taken home leftovers but has yet to bring a bottle of wine or flowers. I also ended up paying her tab last time we went out to happy hour because I had to hear her sob story of how she applied for all these jobs and didn’t get it and how hard her sitch is (but she’s getting unemployment…so yeah she’s not starving) IDK, I know i chose to do that and i need to stop getting sucked in like that, but not bringing a bottle of cheap–seriously $3.99 bottles of wine are great, I’m not picky–says a lot to me.

      8. lets_be_honest says:

        I’ve struggled with things like that too lili. Depending on the friend, I’ll either defriend or just let it go.

      9. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        Truthfully? I wouldn’t go…

      10. oh gosh- good luck with that. me and jake took our first “friends” vacation last year, and i was *so* worried about them being weird about money, but they werent. it was a totally unfounded fear anyway, but still. we had a great time.

        i dont think i could seriously handle people who are like that. i am way to laid back… it hurts my head to think that much math when i pay my own tab, not to mention splitting everything into percentages based on consumption or something ridiculous…

      11. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        @BGM and katie- We’ve traveled with them before so I already know what to expect but it still drives me nuts. And to make things worse they always want to coordinate the hotels/cabs/etc so we end up owing them $50 or $100 bucks that gets paid back in food and drink purchases. I would rather just write him a check for the amount and everyone pay for their own stuff during the trip. Oh well. My fiance gets to deal with it because it is his friend.

      12. Yeah, I am with you Lili. My boyfriend has a friend like this (who I really need to stop mentioning on this site…he is the “It’s my birthday, so everyone drop everything!” friend that I brought up yesterday, & he’s also the one who shook everybody down at his Halloween party)

        Anyway, one time, we (my bf & I) met him & some others at a hookah bar, & at the end of the night, this guy was like “yeah so, can you each give me $20?” We’d paid for our drinks, but he wanted money for the FUCKING HOOKAH that he ordered before we even got there. Yes, we smoked out of it, but seriously?

        I dunno, I just feel like that kind of attitude is such a friendship killer. Like—we’re all friends here! You get me this time, I’ll get you next time. It may not (& probably isn’t) perfectly even, but who cares?

      13. I Know my way prolly shafts me a good amount of time, but IDK I guess I just hope that karmically i’ll get it back in the end. God that friend sounds horrid! I feel SO BAD making people pay for my choices. Hell, on my birthday I chose a place with giant pizza and ordered one for my friends and PAID FOR IT MYSELF because I don’t understand making people pay when you do all the deciding. IDK, i’m just overly generous though, I know. And i’m working on curbing that a bit so I’m not so broke sometimes and a little more conscientious and aware of the friends i’m being generous to.

      14. lets_be_honest says:

        It is a friendship killer. I can’t stand people like that.

      15. i agree!

        and, furthermore, if i do “get you” this one time and you never “get me” back… friendship killer.

      16. Yeah, I know. I just say, “Okay, I bought $35 worth of sushi. Just spot me a dinner next time and we’re even.” And if we go some where and my dinner is worth $12 instead of $15, whatever.

      17. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I wouldn’t normally (if I had the money. Otherwise I would sell one or both of the tickets), but they both had an item of comparable value they couldn’t use. To me it only makes sense to trade them.

      18. camorzilla says:

        But they’re not friends- it’s her bf’s roommate’s girlfriend.

      19. I think that makes it even more of a case not to charge, it’s like you are asking out of desperation, just so you have somebody to go with.

      20. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I would think of it more as a business transaction. I don’t think desperation negates payment.

      21. I would never assume the ticket was free, unless someone got it for free (I get free tickets to sporting events a lot and take friends for free because the tickets were free).

        I have asked those same people to go to concerts with me, and they’ve always paid for their ticket. In the days of stubhub and ticket scalping, it’s silly to assume that you couldn’t get sell the extra ticket and make at least some of your money back.

      22. I would offer to pay if someone offered me a ticket as well. And if they said no and were being nice, I would buy a couple of drinks, or dinner, or do something nice in return. But that’s just the way I am.

        If I were the LW, I would be a little annoyed. But I do agree with others in that if she didn’t state it clearly up front, then she should pay the $95.

      23. In fact, if tickets were given to a friend for free, and that friend decided to take me, I would still buy a drink or a snack or something at the event. I know it didn’t cost the friend anything, but hey, he or she decided to invite me over others and I think it’s a nice gesture. Also, that friend will remember for future events.

      24. The friends who we take to games (with the free tickets) do this, and it’s a really nice gesture.

      25. lets_be_honest says:

        wkfs, twice.

  4. I’m kind of confused as to why she thought the ticket was free. I think like Wendy said you should have been explicit about the price up front, and asked if she’d like to trade one for the other. I think it’s odd that she agreed and then backed out, but maybe for some reason whatever you said or how you said it led her to believe that you weren’t serious?

    This is why I try to never owe friends money, things like this happen and you run the risk of ruining the friendship when people get ‘confused’ and then angry. I would pay her the money and vow to never do anything similar or if you do be very, very explicit from the beginning what the expectations from both parties are.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Yup, treat it as a lesson learned.

    2. I agree with you. I seriously doubt this girl thought the “trade” comment was a joke. Who makes jokes like that? I suspect that she realized it wasn’t free, but decided to pretend she didn’t. That said, the LW probably should have been more explicit, and I guess this is just a lesson learned.

  5. Agree with Wendy. If I’m reading correctly, LW, you said this sort of on the fly, on the way home from the concert? Because (I’m speculating your motives) you were put off by her not offering to reimburse the ticket, or offer to pay for drinks?

    I mean, you invited her last minute. The ticket was “extra”— why should she pay you for that, whether or not she gave you a dress worth a similar amount, on a different occasion? I’m just not understanding your logic, here. A physical item is not equal to the experience you gave her, a concert implied to be a “treat”. Just give the $95 and apologize for being weird about the whole thing.

  6. It sounds like there was a lack of clarification on whether this concert ticket constituted payment. In fact, the way the letter is written, it sounds like you thought it up on the fly. (Not sure if that’s what you did, but that’s how it reads.) As for her not buying you a drink, maybe she didn’t have the money and was too embarrassed. She did just spend a bunch of money on dresses, after all. Maybe she couldn’t have afforded to go to this concert if you hadn’t invited her. Or, maybe it just didn’t occur to her. Who knows? Anyway, you owe her the money. Pay up and next time you make a deal, make sure the terms are clear.

  7. i think its this quote that bothers me: “This is great — we’re even now. I gave you a ticket (which was worth $90) and you gave me a dress (worth $95).”… you should have paid for the dress and if you didn’t want to give her the concert ticket for free then offer to sell her the concert ticket…don’t just assume that you are even (you made that decision yourself, which is pretty tacky)

    1. Yeah, this— she doesn’t get to decide that anything other than the $95 dollars makes them “even”. The presumption is tacky.

      Also, maybe my friends & I are weird, but if I bought a dress that didn’t fit, & it wound up fitting my friend, I’d probably just GIVE it to her? And if *she* had an extra concert ticket, she sure as hell wouldn’t expect payment from me if she invited me along with her somewhere. In fact, both of these scenarios have actually happened in my one friendship, & money didn’t exchange hands either time. I promise we’re not rich—AT ALL—but maybe it’s just a sign of being looser with money? I dunno, I just think this whole thing is kind of odd.

      I suspect there are other issues here, though. Like how this LW felt the need to mention that this girl “practically” lives with them, parks her car in the garage, buys groceries, & does laundry in her apartment. So, maybe the advice should just be: LW….have a talk with your boyfriend’s roommate’s girlfriend about contributing to rent, so you don’t have to feel bitter over $95, haha

      1. Oh okay, actually— re-reading, I see that the LW doesn’t live at the house with the bf, roommate, & this other girl. But still, I’m sensing some underlying thing here about the fact that she’s there all the time?

      2. oh yea. the underlying resentment/hatred/whatever it is was painfully obvious, lol

      3. I was actually in the reverse situation. A friend of mine invited me to go to a concert with her around Xmas and I agreed, knowing I would have to pay for it. When the time came, I couldn’t go. I paid her the money anyway and told her to go without me or better yet, find someone else to go, even if that person couldn’t afford to buy the ticket from me. I considered it my money spent and I had to pay.

  8. I see this as the LW had an extra ticket and didn’t purchase it intending to be the payback. To me, this makes a difference. It’s as if the LW was out of the money anyways and decided to make it back by inviting the roommate’s gf. I’m not saying this is wrong – but to not clarify beforehand is. To me “hey I have an extra ticket, want to go?” implies you are counting it as a sunk cost and doing something nice. It really irks me when people do this stuff because many times, people would rather have the money than whatever it is you are handing off at no cost to you. Next time, negotiate upfront or just write the check and if a spare ticket comes along, sell it or invite someone who you think of as your guest and not your payment.

    1. At first I thought that the LW invited the girlfriend on a nice friendly trip to a concert and then was like “SURPRISE! Not going to pay you back for the dress now!” And I was like, um… how in the world do you think that’s OK?

      Now, looking back over the post, I feel like maybe the LW expected the girlfriend to magically offer to reimburse on her own, and then when she didn’t, tried to passive-aggressively hint at it by saying, “OK, now we’re even,” feeling as if the girlfriend were already in the wrong. That makes her letter make a little more sense to me. I admit, if I accepted a ticket from someone I wouldn’t assume it was a free invite. BUT on the other hand, if you “invite” someone somewhere but expect reimbursement, you kinda have to say so. Sorry LW – if this is a symptom of you being awkward at talking about money, take it as a $95 lesson that you need to improve your communication. I think the girlfriend agreed out of surprise/pressure because she felt you sprung it on her, and the way you did it wasn’t fair even if at the time you felt like you were being screwed over.

      1. OK I got off topic there and meant to add it as a separate comment, not in response to you, katie… but I guess it is at least somewhat apropos, hopefully!

      2. Aaand, I called you katie. Sorry, kare. Failing at typing today.

  9. You know… when I have an extra concert ticket, and I mean like I’m going to this concert… not one of those, “I have these tickets but I can’t go!” … I would not make someone pay to go with me. If I weren’t going, then I would sell the tickets. But since you were going, I’m sure she thought you wanted her to tag along for company.

    Also, unless it involves meals, I find “trades,” extremely tacky. Pay her. You should’ve done that to begin with. I’m sure she’s been thinking you were going to pay her for the dress for the last month, and since you haven’t, she finally decided to bring it up before a significant amount of time has passed.

    So yeah, pay her and move on. I’m definitely siding with your bf’s roommate’s girlfriend here.

    1. I agree. I actually did this for my birthday last year. I bought tickets for a concert I wanted to go to for myself and my boyfriend. We broke up, so I had an extra ticket. I invited a friend – and ordinarily if we had planned to go to this concert together, we each would have paid for our own ticket. But in my mind, I already paid the cost. I also thought it would be rude to invite someone last minute and expect them to pay – especially since they know they are a backup plan. I don’t think it’s right to act like “Hey so I got cancelled on and don’t want to go alone, so can you free up your schedule to go with me? Oh and if you could pay for yourself too for doing this, thanks!”

      1. Definitely. I’m with you on that. I just find it to be very tacky. I already paid the cost, so big deal.

  10. LW, pay her back. Reading the letter even from your viewpoint, the ticket sounded like a free offer. When you have an extra ticket that will go to waste if not used, and ask someone to go with you so that it doesn’t go to waste, I think it very much sounds like a free offer. Like, “I have a gift certificate for this restaurant that’s expiring tonight, want to go?” sounds like an offer of a free dinner. If you wanted her to buy the ticket from you, you should have been VERY clear about that WAY before the concert. Not to mention that you already promised to pay her back! I just can’t see how she would think that by accepting the ticket, she was agreeing to call it even. Making a light-hearted comment about it on the way to the concert, when it was too late for her to back out, changes nothing. Frankly, it sounds like you were about to lose $90 and duped her into not only rescuing you from TWO debts/losses in one fell swoop.

    1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      Your gift certificate example doesn’t really work though- with the assumption that most gift cards are gifts, one hardly ever buys them for theirself. The LW bought this concert ticket so she was going to lose money. She could have sold it on the street on the way in or put a facebook message up but rather offered it to this friend in exchange for the dress.

      1. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        I dunno. I get invites to all sorts of events here in LA that I would never normally pay to go to but I always accept these invites as the tickets are always freebies to begin with. LA is the land of free event tickets for many, it seems. Unless, the LW said up front that she was thinking of a trade — ticket for the dress — then I think the other girl would feel very much tricked.

        Telling somebody, “Hey, I have an extra ticket tonight, wanna go?” in no way directly implies the need for reimbursement. This was a bait and switch as I see it.

      2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Not everyone lives in LA Mark 😉

        I took this as the trade convo came up from the start. Like “hey I have an extra ticket to the concert tonight, we can trade!” and the friend didn’t object. If the LW was being assuming things and didn’t mention the trade stuff until they were like at the contract then yeah, it’s not cool and she should pay. But I didn’t take it that way.

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        I hope she chimes in to clarify.

      4. But seriously? If you were in this scenario, you’d rather sell the extra ticket on the street & go by yourself, to avoid giving your friend a free night?

      5. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I would probably do that. Not because I want to avoid giving my friend something free, but because I can’t afford to give away that much money. I also don’t think of going to something alone as horrible.

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        But you likely wouldn’t be in a position where you had an Extra $95 ticket then. Right?

        ps I went to a concert alone last year. It was on my bucket list. Awesome and highly recommend.
        pps sweet talked my way into VIP, got free food and booze the whole night and dave matthews could practically have spit on me.

      7. Avatar photo theattack says:

        If I saved up to go to the concert beforehand it would happen. I assume what happens in these scenarios is that two friends agree to go, so they put both of the tickets on the same card for seating purposes. The friend backs out and never pays the other friend for their ticket. Now someone has two tickets although they only intended to pay for one. It doesn’t mean they can afford to give away the $95 ticket.

      8. lets_be_honest says:

        But if your friend backed out, you tell the friend she owes you if she can’t find someone else to buy it.

      9. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Ideally that happens, yes.

  11. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

    Honestly, if I were the other party here, I would feel duped by the LW.

    Wendy is right.

    You owe her the cost of the dress… The way you offered up the ticket definitely made it sound like you just wanted her to come. Then, once she said yes, you pulled a bait and switch by saying “Great! Now we’re all square!” Look, it’s all VERY possible the roommate’s girlfriend had little interest in attending the concert but was going simply to be polite and out of an effort to be friendly…

    1. Completely agree. If you have an extra ticket that you want to SELL, you shouldn’t ask someone if they want to go with. Asking someone is an invitation that I would expect to be free. If you wanted to get money out of it, you should have asked her if she wanted to buy the extra ticket. I am still at a loss as to why you expected her to buy you drinks?…

  12. kerrycontrary says:

    Yeh I would pay here. I’m sure that if the gf was given a clear choice between cash or a concert ticket, she would’ve chosen cash.

  13. katiebird says:

    The problem isn’t the type of deal (I see no problem in exchanging two goods of equal value) but the problem is that you didn’t make it clear up front thats what you wanted to do. Think of it from her point of view, she gives you a dress, you offer to pay for it and then invite her to a concert. Wow! A new friendship! This is awesome, she thinks. Then, on the way to the concert, you drop the bomb that the concert she is attending with you is not in fact free, and you now have no intention of paying for the dress. She can’t just ask you to stop the car and let her out because you no longer want in on the deal, so she’s stuck. $95 is a lot of money, she probably needs it. Pay up and be more careful next time when you make a deal.

  14. Grilledcheesecalliope says:

    I disagree I think you are even. She had a dress she couldn’t use, you had a ticket you couldn’t use. Either of you could have chosen to return/sell them to get the value or more but choose to give them to eachother. You basically traded. Did she respond like it was a joke when you mentioned being even? If not and if the principle is worth it I would tell her no.

    1. It’s not the same scenario.

      The LW asked to try on the dress, and the LW asked if she could buy it. Not only did the girlfriend not initiate that, but she could have returned it and received her full money back.

      The LW asked the girlfriend to go to the concert. Again, the girlfriend didn’t ask her if she could go along. If the LW didn’t tell her upfront that she expected the girlfriend to pay for it or use it as barter for the dress, the expectation is she’s offering the ticket to the girlfriend because the LW couldn’t return the concert ticket.

      1. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:


      2. Grilledcheesecalliope says:

        I see your point. I guess I just think differently. If I bought something I then couldnt use and agreed to give it to a friend I wouldn’t expect them to pay for it. If I wanted the money I would sell/return it. I also would offer to pay a friend for tickets they gave me. If I was in the other party’s shoes I would have gladly accepted a trade. I also think the LW is likely to feel resentful if she pays. If the friendship is important however I might just pay her 95 but then be careful in the future. I think the gf is a little rude for not offering to pay for the ticket.

      3. I’d have offered to pay for the concert ticket, but it’s hard to know what the relationships are like between the roommates/their significant others. It might be a situation where they take turns paying in social situations. That’s not uncommon, but the LW asking to buy a dress is very different.

        If the LW intended to use it as a fair trade, she needed to explain that upfront. The dress has a defined value ($95) to the girlfriend, but the concert needs to be looked at more from an intrinsic value because it wasn’t a decision the girlfriend initiated. Also, the LW can’t assume to know that the girlfriend is willing to accept a different form of payment than was originally agreed upon.

    2. lets_be_honest says:

      There is no way she could’ve sold the ticket for the value of the ticket at the last minute. The girl, however, could’ve returned the dress for the value of the dress.

      1. Grilledcheesecalliope says:

        I’ve bought and sold last minute tickets on craigslust multiple times. Sometimes for face value or more if the thing was sold out.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        Oh, like how last minute? How could you even get the ticket to the person if its last minute? I knw you can’t pick up from will call unless your name is on the ticket.
        ps funny misspelling…craigslust

      3. Grilledcheesecalliope says:

        Like an hour before doors and the person just met me at a restaurant. Smart phones are amazing. I dont think the LW should absolutely not pay, in the interest of peace I probably would. But I also don’t agree that she is as obligated to pay as some people commenting.

    3. The difference is, she could have returned the dress, so it wasn’t a sunk cost for her.

  15. LW should have made it clear that the ticket was being offered as a trade for the dress, at the time of offering the ticket. It does not sound like that was the case here.

    Maybe the GF felt awkward at the time about saying she didn’t consider it a trade for the dress, especially if the LW said it during or after the concert.

  16. ok, everyone, can we talk about a much more pressing issue here- who the hell just willy nilly buys tons of clothes that dont fit them?

    1. i’m wondering if they were purchased online? the only reason i can see not trying something on before buying it 🙂

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        I’ll do that. I’ve even ordered in a couple sizes knowing I can just return if it doesn’t fit.

      2. really? you still have to pay return shipping, dont you?

        i never shop online for that exact reason. too much hassle. also, when i go to buy something in the store i usually pick it out, agonize, leave the store, look at other options, go back to the original store, agonize more, buy it.

        also, i have only *once* bought something without an intended purpose, and i was eventually able to wear it to a wedding.

      3. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        that’s crazy I shop online for EVERYTHING except jeans – because jeans are crazy. I do what LBH does too – like if it’s at a place that I don’t know my size (clearly not talking about lululemon and victoria’s secret) I’ll just guess and no worry about if I’m wrong. I’ll just send it back. Normally you get free shipping to your house and then you have to pay shipping to return it… but I figure it’s a wash because it’s only like $6 and I probably would have spent that much in gas getting to the mall.

      4. If you buy jeans from Madewell, you can ship them back for nothing. Labels are included in the package. I’ve done this and it works wonders! But this was before there was a Madewell in my city. Now I can just go to the store if I want to.

      5. Be careful about this (not you specifically — anybody who online shops).

        Most companies now DO include a “free” return shipping label. These labels don’t cost the company anything until the package is picked up and scanned. If you never use it, it’s free.

        But if you do use it, usually the company takes the cost of the label out of your refund. If you’re exchanging for a different item, you make out fine. But if you’re just returning for a refund, you actually do technically end up paying for shipping.

        It’s something that I’m sure tons of people are fine with, but I just had to pipe in and mention that old standby “nothing’s ever really free.” Shipping is a huge expense for online retailers. I work for an online bookstore and I know we make just as much money on shipping as we do on the actual merchandise (proportionally).

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        Yea, if you know your size and like the same few stores, its much easier to shop online. I only shop at basically 3-4 stores, so its easier. Plus, if you spend a certain amount, usually shipping is free. Pants are tough though, even at stores I go to often.

      7. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Yeah agreed with the pants. And now that I’m thinking about it I always buy suits in store. It just seems like brands of suits can size completely differently. I normally shop at about the same 3-4 stores too. And a lot of the time with shirts and stuff I’ll want a small but a medium would most likely be fine too. So if it’s a little big or a little small I’m normally fine. I’m just not that picky. I usually only return stuff if I don’t like it – rarely is it a sizing issue.

      8. I prefer to order clothes on-line from places where I can return to the store if necessary. Sometimes, there’s a great on-line sale and free shipping, so I’ll order something and if it doens’t fit, return it to the store. It’s so easy!

      9. lets_be_honest says:

        No, I’ve never paid return shipping. If I had to, I wouldn’t shop that way.
        I’m also convinced I have a shopping addiction, seriously, so just ignore my shopping advice lol.

      10. lets_be_honest says:

        I’m tempted to start a forum about this. Any other members of S.A. (shoppers anonymous) out there?

      11. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Proud member. Although I don’t really spend that much money – but I online window shop almost daily. So I know when all the good sales are and stuff – and I know how much things should cost so I feel like I never get ripped off. Like Steve Madden boots – I’ll wait until they go on sale because they always do. Victoria’s Secret is also crazy – you’re pretty much getting ripped off if you pay for anything full price.

      12. lets_be_honest says:

        Yea, if DW is slow, I’m online shopping. Its terrible, and its gotten worse in the past year. I can’t pass up a sale. Do you like Victoria’s Secret a lot? I’ve found their stuff kinda falls apart. What do you buy there?

      13. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        I only really buy plain fitted t-shirts and stuff there… also some 3/4 length shirts that I can wear under suit jackets… I think that type of stuff doesn’t need to be really nice and I don’t feel bad replacing them every year since I only pay about $10 for them. I also buy swimsuits and bras there.. but not underwear.

      14. I miss being a normal sized bust. Honestly, the last few times I lost weight, my bust stayed the same. I HATE not being able to ditch the large bras when I’m thin(ner). Stupid apple shape.

      15. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        But yes – overall their clothes are cheaply made so won’t last forever… I get some of their PINK tank tops for yoga too. But you get what you pay for – that’s why they’re so cheap. 🙂

      16. Same with Banana and Gap and Old Navy. They ALWAYS have coupons or sales.

      17. lets_be_honest says:

        Yea, but they also have a sale every 10 minutes, which leads to trouble! Same with jcrew. Always 30 off sale items.

      18. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Please show me these coupons!

      19. lets_be_honest says:

        go on their website. it’ll show up on the regular page if there’s a sale.

      20. Also sign up for their emails. yes its annoying to have to delete all the stuff they send out on the daily, but you do get good coupon codes that way and stuff to print at home too!

      21. Yes to both Lili and lbh. That’s how I find out about them. Or, you can like them on FB.

        And jcrew is trouble too.

      22. and if you get the credit card you earn rewards. i’m constantly using it (and paying it off) and earning rewards. every 500 points gets you $5. and they also tend to have higher percentages off if you use the credit card as well.

      23. lets_be_honest says:

        good point jly. The only credit card I use is Jcrew, because you get rewards and perks. Free tailoring, and free gift cards. Think its $25 for every $500.

    2. Grilledcheesecalliope says:

      Anyone at Forever 21, those dressing rooms are gross and the lines are like disneyland. But nothing there costs $95.

      1. kerrycontrary says:

        I always get super hot and dizzy in forever 21. I also don’t go in there anymore because I feel way too old (I’m 25). I think its the fumes from all the cheap clothes.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        Haha, I almost had a panic attack in abercrombie and fitch a few years ago. All the music, perfume, music, dark rooms, etc. Too much. Felt like an old lady that day. I couldn’t even find my way out of the store.

      3. Grilledcheesecalliope says:

        I feel too old also. Evertime I wander in I feel like the whole store gets skankier. But I do love the cheap sunglasses and hair accessories.

      4. i pretty much always hate everything in there. and i feel like its “trendy” or whatever, so i try… but i just hate it all.

        i guess though im too old to be in there too. someone wrote on here the last time we talked about clothes that your not supposed to shop at juniors stores if your not a junior anymore… so, im implementing that. sort of.

      5. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        F that. I get all my snowboarding gear in the little girls section and it saves me a fortune!! Juniors stuff is always cheaper. So while I fit in there that’ll be where Imma be shopping at. But yeah I can’t do abercrombie anymore – although I do have some cute sweatshirts from high school that still fit. I am just such a plain dresser it doesn’t matter where I shop really. Like a crew neck long sleeve fitted shirt is the same everywhere. And I don’t wear patterns.

    3. Haha, I think some people will buy a bunch of stuff with the intention of trying it on at home and then returning what doesn’t fit or doesn’t work with their existing wardrobe. I assume those people have much more in the way of disposable income than I do. I can’t really even imagine paying $95 for a dress right now unless it was for a special event.

    4. There are times when I’m shopping and don’t feel like trying something on. I’ll buy it, then decide if I like it or see if it fits. If I don’t or it doesn’t, I return it within a week.

      1. One of my biggest motivators to lose weight is so I can be sample size (well not size 0, but like normal measurements for a petite size 4/6) is so I can start utilizing Rent The Runway for special events. With all the facebook pics at every fancy dress occasion, I’d rather spend $90 on a designer dress and return it than buy a lesser dress and have it sit in my closet and then shock and horror-repeat it and have those pics plastered all over my wall. I actually re-wore a $90 dress within the same month last year and although it was in two totally different crowds, facebook had me in pics in that dress and I was SO embarrassed. I know. I KNOW. petty concerns of a fashionista. But still. Facebook pics ruin outfit repeats.

      2. I used Rent The Runway once. I loved it, so handy. They even send you two sizes! And I totally agree, I would rather spend $50 or $100 renting an amazing dress for a special occasion than buy one that is just so-so and know that I’ll only wear it once.

        But I like clothes and fashion too. I’m a self admitted clothes and food snob.

      3. ME TOO! I’m at SUCH a weird body proportion currently that only empire waist dresses flatter me and I own quite a few of those and re-wear at will. IDGAF if I’m OVER dressed somewhere, if I want to wear my long empire waist dress, I do. I want to be able to wear a Nicole Miller dress to a fancy event and Look KILLER GOOD, for that I’d gladly pay the $100 to rent as opposed to $1000 to buy.

      4. lets_be_honest says:


      5. I don’t give a Fuck 🙂

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        love it!

      7. BTW I know I talk in emphatic tones (with caps) online a lot, but I do as well in real life. I’m such a intonation driven speaker.

      8. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Omg I’m SO glad you mentioned Rent the Runway! I have to wear an evening gown to something soon, and I was not looking forward to paying for that at all.

      9. I had a good experience with them theattack. And I love that they send two sizes in case you aren’t sure. I would definitely recommend trying it out.

    5. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

      And equally importantly – who complains about $90 when it seems like they’re both spending that much on the regular. Lesson learned, LW.

    6. I hate, hate, hate, hate returning anything I’ve bought. So if I buy something that doesn’t end up working for me, instead of returning it I usually just donate it to Goodwill… UNLESS it was really expensive and I want that money back, or unless I know I can exchange it easily for a new size.

      I once got a pair of shoes on clearance at Burlington Coat Factory and when I got home, I noticed they were both a Left shoe (and of course I only tried on one at the store so I wouldn’t have noticed). Those I did bring back, if only to see if they had the Right shoe, which they didn’t so they let me pick out a new pair at a discount.

      But yeah, that’s why I’m very hesitant to do online clothes shopping either. I browse like hell online and bring my wishlist to the store. Even sites with ridiculously easy shipping policies, I don’t care, I won’t do it. But I may be weird in that I don’t keep any shipping materials at home, so any item return would mean a trip to the post office and that’s already too much hassle for me. (What was that forum topic title… “I hate being an adult” … )

      1. Hey Shopaholics, if you shop Modcloth through my affiliate link, I get a commission:

        They have super cute stuff!

      2. I need to check that place out more. I’ve never ordered anything from there, not sure why. They have super cute dresses though. I’ll have to check it out more.

      3. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Their dresses are amazing. The bride in the wedding I was in last summer had all of us wear different shades of blush pink dresses from there so we all got to pick our own and it is seriously a dress I would wear again. And the pictures came out so well – they looked great together.

        My brother-in-law is getting married next fall and I’m a bridesmaid in that wedding too and she is having navy and a lime green be their colors and I keep sending her links to modcloth navy dresses.

        In summary: I love modcloth dresses. You can wear them to work, to lunch, to weddings.

      4. Link to the wedding pics? I have a wedding porn problem. 🙂

      5. Are their sizes normal? Like, I would order what I usually wear?

      6. pumpkinbread says:

        it’s generally pretty consistent with what you might be used to(american sizing), but they do a good job with details like if there’s a fair amount of stretch or no stretch (the website will often say they recommend sizing up/down).

        also on some of the more popular dresses, the user reviews can also give you a better idea of if it would work with your body type (e.g. where the dress hits your leg, if you’ve got bigger/smaller boobs, etc).

      7. Thanks! I’ll have to consider adding this place to my list of stores I shop. And help Wendy out!

      8. lets_be_honest says:

        Good to know, I think their stuff is cute, but I don’t think I’ve ordered from them.

      9. lets_be_honest says:

        Can you get links for other stores easily? I do a lot of online shopping at jcrew, gap, madewell, banana republic, anthro and nordstroms. Maybe sephora too. Any of those would be awesome.

      10. lets_be_honest says:

        and kate spade or longchamp. Just went through my bookmarked stores.

      11. I can’t wait for my best friend to go to Paris again, last time she went she asked anyone who wanted a Longchamp bag to give her cash and she came home with a few in her luggage since they fold up so small and in paris cost like half of what they do here. I didn’t have the $ then to get a bag, but man I drool after every long champ I see.

      12. lets_be_honest says:

        I have a big one and a small one, I should say had. My sister “borrowed” them forever. There’s an outlet near me, but I wonder if you can order them from paris and have them shipped.

      13. Good question about the shipping,. I think one of the reasons a friend of ours even asked Celine (not her real name, but it sounds so cute and french no?!haha) is because the Paris flagship has patterns that are only available in Paris. I’ll try and find a link to the design she asked for, its SO CUTE!

      14. lets_be_honest says:

        Oh god, I thought you were about to say you got the celine bag. Please send the link!! I considered a custom one once, where you pick the color, metal, etc. and have it monogrammed. Maybe that’ll be my bday gift to me.

      15. Haha Honestly, I don’t like Celine bags too much. The ‘face’ they make is so not a happy one. I’m totally THAT person, who wants the upward curve of a smile haha. Oh ok so here’s the pic of my friends bag–

        I think the design is Autour DeHaLong or something. I just texted her and thats what she said she has. I want to buy so many things but I need to pay off credit cards. Sigh. My latest spending ban is that I can only buy something new if something else needs replacing.

      16. lets_be_honest says:

        Nice bag! I love collabs.

      17. Are we secretly long lost sisters LBH?

      18. lets_be_honest says:

        hehe. Wendy’d be rich if she added those for us 😉

    7. Many, many people. I dreaded the days I worked in the dress department. I would ask people if they needed a fitting room, they would smile and say “No thanks, I’m in a hurry so I’ll try on everything at home and just bring back all the ones I don’t like”. I didn’t work at a very fancy place, but it sucked to sell $4000 one day and the next be in a different department and be -$3000 because of people like that. It’s like you didn’t even show up for work.

    8. Avatar photo honeybeegood says:

      Happy to know I’m not the only one who say’s “willy nilly” I get teased by my bf every time I say it. It’s not my fault when he puts dishes away willy nilly though!

  17. Avatar photo the_optimist says:

    Yeah, pay her back. Look, you can afford a $95 dress and, presumably, a $90 ticket. Originally, you were planning on paying for both, right? As in, if you had another companion to the show, you would have had to fork over the money for the dress to this girl, right? Or did you accept the dress with the intention of “repaying” this girl with a ticket all along?

    Either way, I think you went about this pretty sneakily, whether you meant to or not. Repay her, and in the future make sure you’re up-front about what you’d like/expect before offering someone something.

  18. Whatever you do – do NOT let the boyfriend/roommates get involved in this.

  19. Who agrees to take a $90 ticket without offering to pay for it? Even if I’m pretty sure that someone intends to take me to an event as their treat, I still ask. I’d say this is even more important if you are only willing to go if it’s free.

    1. Personally, I would ask, but I can see how an invite can be taken as just that – an invite, not a trade. However, many people are unfamiliar with how expensive concerts can be. I’ve suggested concerts to friends and they will say “Okay, so it will be about $20 for a ticket?”. If you don’t go to many concerts or events, you might not think of a ticket being so expensive.

  20. I’m clearly in the minority here, but whenever somebody offers me anything of significant monetary value (and I would count $95 as significant), I never assume that it’s free (unless it’s from my family). I don’t understand why the other girl would have assumed it was free, even if it was “extra,” and I don’t see why the other girl isn’t in the wrong for just assuming it was free.

    1. Oh, she’s definitely in the wrong too and had she been the one to write in I would have told her so. Tacky to accept a pricey ticket from someone and not only not offer to pay for it but not buy the gifter a drink or offer to drive or pay for gas or anything like that.

  21. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

    So here is my actual advice: It seems there is about a 75% split saying that you should pay back the money for the dress. Regardless of how you feel – I think you really should to keep the harmony. Even if she’s being a sneaky little shit and in her heart of hearts knows she agreed to call it a wash after the concert – that’s not what she’s proclaiming now. So I think you need to give her the money. You don’t want this to build resentment. But that also means you should give her the money and then yourself not resent that fact. Just let it go. Give her a check, smile, and ask her if she wants to watch an episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Roommate stuff (although I get that you two aren’t exactly roommates – but your boyfriends are so it’s kind of the same thing) can get out of hand quickly. And since the majority of the people agree with her you just need to pay her and let it go.

  22. Just pay the $95 to her and just chalk it all up to a learning experience!

  23. stilgar666 says:

    Return the dress to her. LW is out a pricey ticket, over what might be a miscommunication, but it goes both ways. Girlfriend can give the dress to somebody else.

  24. Meguinan89 says:

    I understand what you mean about the concert. If she thought she was getting a ticket for free, why didn’t she buy you something at the concert. That would be the courteous thing to do, if she was under the impression that you were going to still pay for the dress and she didn’t have to pay for the ticket. I would talk to her and put everything out there nicely. The fact that she bought this up months after probably means she’s hard up for money. Even if you agree on a lesser amount due to a free concert ticket and the miscommunication, the both of you might feel better after that.

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