Friends and Money

August 16, 2012 at 8:01 am | Posted in Friends Then and Now | Leave a comment
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As a kid, you generally grow up in a neighborhood with other kids whose parents bring in the same average median income as your own.  In my neighborhood, a town where only 1% of students qualify for free/reduced price lunch (a common indicator of income level), money was never really an issue.  Our parents provided for us, and sure there were families that had more or less than others, but we all received the same education and couldn’t always tell the difference.

Fast forward to adulthood.  I know a wide range of young adults who, while still the same age as one another, are no longer on the same level financially.  Some still have support from their parents, some do not.  Some got their careers off the ground, some are just now figuring out what they want to do to make their own money.  Some were lucky enough to land a high paying job while others struggle to pay their rent.

Rewind for a minute, back to college.  College was when I met people who were truly different from everyone I knew growing up.  I was drawn originally to people who had a similar upbringing from me — lived in nearby towns, and I would maintain those kinds of friendships.  But I became close to people with very different upbringings, people who grew up on the wrong side of town and people from the middle of the country with very different values than East coast folk.  I learned a lot about different kinds of people starting in college and up through the start of my career.

So now as life becomes more and more expensive, I try to be conscious and sensitive to other people’s budgets.  I myself am not made of money, and of course with wedding planning I’ve been on a seriously tight budget, but I never want to put anyone in a position where they feel like they can’t come out because of money.

Because the amount of money one person makes is not what makes them my friend.  Money can buy you a lot of fun, but you can have fun in a dungeon, so long as you are in good company.

Though I do not recommend hanging out in a dungeon regularly.

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Don’t Treat Me Like Your Married Friend

April 24, 2012 at 7:35 am | Posted in Friends Then and Now, Relationship Woes | Leave a comment
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Ever since I got an engaged, I have seen a change in the way people interact with me.  It’s almost as if I’m playing some sport and I just got traded to the other team — the “serious couples” team, the “married” team.  Typically, I try to be very sensitive to the “other” side — the single side, because I know a lot of people are not there by choice, and societal pressures to “settle down” can be overwhelming.

But today I need to stick my neck out for all the engaged folk who are not “settling” or “settling down.”  Just because I’m getting married doesn’t mean I don’t want to go out and have fun.  I may be wearing a ring, but don’t brand me as boring.  I still want to drink, dance, sing, party.  I still want to be your wingwoman and help you get your game on.  I can still listen to your dating stories and talk about hot guys.

I may have found my partner, but I’m not ready to settle into a life of dinner parties with other married couples.  I’m not about to buy a house and start a family — not yet.  It may seem that I have my shit together, and in some respects I do more so than others, but I still have things that I want to do, and that includes hanging out with you.

I still want to do girls nights out.  I still want to be considered one of the guys.  I don’t want to sit around talking about wedding planning.  I want to shoot the shit, talk about the crazy things we do and did, what’s on tv and in the movies, what’s going on in the world.  I want to tease you and let you break my balls.  I want to be there for you when things are good and things are bad.

I want to be your friend — not your “married” friend who doesn’t go out anymore.  I don’t want my pending nuptials to wedge a block between us.  Sometimes, we are going to be going through different things at different times.  We might be on different pages but what made us friends still remains.

So don’t treat me like your married friend, and I won’t treat you like my single friend. Relationship status is not a disease.  You are you and I am me.

Slumber Party!

March 10, 2011 at 7:25 am | Posted in Friends Then and Now | 6 Comments
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As a kid, play dates were awesome.  But what’s even better than play dates? Sleepovers!  Sleepovers meant that we could stay up and hang out with our friends for longer than usual, and when we woke up in the morning they’d be there ready to hang out again.  Sleepover parties were a big deal in late elementary school and middle school.  They would be the way to celebrate birthdays.  A bunch of kids, (never boys and girls together — yucky!) playing truth or dare and gossiping with flashlights in sleeping bags.  That was fun.

Towards the end of middle school, sleepovers changed a little.  I would stay at one of my friend’s places every Friday after hanging out around town, because she lives closer to the village and people would hang out at her house. My dad would pick me up the next morning. It wasn’t really a sleepover.  But I would also stay over at my other friend’s house, who lived two doors down from me, because God forbid we stop hanging out.  In high school, sleepovers continued to transition into an easy way to go out and stay out much later.  And sometimes sleepovers were a lie said so you could stay over at a boy’s house (not ratting anyone out here, but you know who you are *wink).

In college and beyond, if you had a “sleepover” it was either because you were hooking up with someone and fell asleep afterwards, you were drunk and passed out a friend’s house, or you had guests come in from out of town that had planned to crash at your place.

The idea of sleepovers for sleepovers sake became foreign.  Why would you choose not to sleep in your own bed?  Hanging out with friends is somehow more valuable than a good night’s sleep.  I never slept well at sleepovers. I was always the last to fall asleep and the first to wake up. And I was okay with that. I didn’t want to miss a minute.

I must admit, when my friends come visit and stay over, there is a sleepover vibe.  My one friend falls asleep immediately while my other friend and I chitchat.  There is something about those late night chats that bring out a certain vulnerability, a certain honesty.  Perhaps the night just brings out some of the best conversations.  Perhaps this is why sleepovers just won’t die.

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