Dear Eye View
About a year ago, my mother temporarily transferred a financial asset of hers into my bank account in order to escape a tax issue. Now she’s asking me transfer the asset back to her. This is impossible seeing as how I’ve spent it. It will take a few years to pay her back. We have only recently established a good relationship. Mom was largely absent during my childhood and I carried a lot of anger; she is a self-described difficult and “hard” person. A few years ago I made a conscious effort to start fresh with her. I reached out and we keep up by phone but we haven’t seen each other in a few years. We’re getting together for Thanksgiving where she’ll meet my child, her only grandchild, for the first time. She said she wants to do the asset transfer then. I’m terrified at the thought of confessing this huge betrayal and jeopardizing our newly established relationship. Should I wait to tell until after she’s at least met my child? I doubt we’ll go from the airport straight to the bank, so I’d probably have at least a day or two before having to drop the bomb. Or do I come clean before the visit? I think she would cancel and probably would not speak to me for quite some time.
—Don’t Want to Talk Turkey
I understand your concern. Since Thanksgiving is a holiday at which sharp knives are used, I urge you to tell your mother before she gets on the plane.There’s some kind of karmic justice in a long-neglected son suddenly making nice and making him the bagman of the fraudulently deposited funds of a tax-evading mother. But since your mother is a self-described “hard” person, let’s assume she won’t see this through a Buddhist lens. Tell your mother now, assume the festivities are off, and keep your doors locked.
Have a Happy Thanksgrifting and watch for Black Friday.