I came to the realization recently that it’s challenging to have a close relationship with someone who comes from a different social status. I used to believe that relationships are blind and you can have friends who are wealthy, middle class, lower class, or poor, and it didn’t make a difference.
I don’t think I understood the frustration before because, on average, I hang out with people who are rather frugal. We’re in debt because we took out student loans, went to grad school, aspired to higher education. We’re in debt because we made the wrong bet (hello, Zynga, I should have shorted you!) or bought a home when we should have been renting. Let’s face it, most Americans, most people are riddled in debt. The 99%, right?
I can imagine how tough it must be to not have a job and watch while your friends plan weekend trips to LA or Miami. Or maybe you get tired of agreeing to split the dinner bill when all you ate was a salad. That’s painful. I’m going to be brutally honest and mention that Dean has a friend who is a leech who rides on everyone’s credit card, but no one has the heart to tell the guy to PAY HIS FAIR SHARE. I’m fuming at the bar thinking, how old is this guy? Older than me and he doesn’t have the dignity to offer a penny. So instead, I’m like, don’t ever invite him again. That’s sad when you have to draw the line on a friendship because you feel taken advantage of.
On the other side of the spectrum, I had the dismal experience of hanging out with a friend of a friend who has so much money she doesn’t know what to do with it. During lunch, she could not shut up about the various pied-a-terres she has been looking to buy. Here’s what’s distressing, this same woman is nouveau riche who comes from middle-class roots. I had to ask, “What are you going to teach your daughter? How are you going to show her that she leads a privileged life and that she needs to be extremely grateful for what she has?”
Her response? “You can’t fault my daughter for coming from money, especially if that’s all she knows.”
Check please! I hightailed it out of there. Not someone I want as a friend.