Friday, April 07, 2006

Quarterly Friends

I have a friend who I have lunch with, perhaps, one every three months. We were fast friends in college – became real college girlfriends. Not the kind where you get naked with; well, not sexual with at least, we have seen each other naked. The kind of girlfriend where you call her up right after you get home from a date and tell her everything about the guy – "his nose seemed crooked; I couldn't help but stare at it", "he tried looking down the waitress' blouse!", or "I think I could be in love". The kind of friend you wanted to share your life with – all the little juicy experiences, the funny moments, and even the pain. That's who we were.

Life changes. She got married to a very rich family. Yes, you don't need to read the last sentence again; I intended on saying that she got married to a very rich family. She fell in love with someone in a social class above us, and she got married. I used to think that there were no social classes in the United States. But that was because I didn't get a glimpse of the rich and figured the poor was like me except they didn't contribute to 401Ks. Sort of naive.

We were still friends when she was married, and at first, I sort of assumed that I would be in the wedding party. Maybe not the maid of honor, but definitely one of those in the tacky, puffy dresses. Not a dream of mine, but an honor I thought my friend would bestow on me. But I wasn't. She explained that her fiancé had cousins and friends of the family that needed to be in the wedding party. I was invited to the wedding – there were eight pairs in the wedding party. Eight! It was the most elaborate wedding I have ever attended or will ever attend, and the only member of her family/friends that was in the wedding party was a brother. Sorry for all of the background, but I wanted to give you a flavor of her and the start of her marriage. She had to make some sacrifices for her marriage – not saying that excluding me from the wedding party was a sacrifice, but it sort of telegraphs the types of sacrifices she may have to start making.

Well that was more that ten years ago. Has it been fifteen years? Nah, a little more than ten. And we have our quarterly lunches – we started having them at "the club," but many years ago, we began meeting around town. I am not part of her life in any real sense, and I sometimes don't even know why we still meet. I wonder if she meets with me to stay in touch with what she was so she won't get totally lost in what she has become. It is hard for me to tell.

And this whole set up is to type one sentence that she told me last week, "It is really hard having money." Like she wanted me to feel sorry for her. She has a live-in nanny helping raise her children; she will never have to worry about retirement; she can buy pretty much anything she wants, and she says, "It is really hard having money."

I felt like saying, "I hear it's really hard to have a cocaine addiction." Or, "It's really hard to be deployed to Afghanistan." Or, "It's really hard when your husband beats you senseless with a baseball bat and you have permanent damage just because you were fleeing with your child." But I didn't.

My short, compassionate answer: "I hear it is really hard to have money."

You see, I have had friends who have committed suicide or attempted suicide, and I always wonder what was so insurmountable that they would see this as the only out. And their lives were not really messed up – there were short-term problems that would probably work themselves out anyway. Okay, I know suicide is really complex, and that people tending to be in danger of committing suicide may have chemical imbalances or other factors giving them that "out" early in life. But my point is that things we may see as no big deal, some people find hard.

I have read lots of strong people lately, and I sometimes think, "I could never survive that." And you know what – most of us probably could survive it because we have to, if given those circumstances.

One last thing – I have been thinking about priorities lately. How and why I spend my time doing what I am doing. Basically, am I doing what I deem important to me? I guess I am asking this of myself to chisel out some time to write. I want to write every day – well, maybe five days per week. And some days, I may have little to show for it, other days a lot, depending on my inspiration. Good thing is that I already write five days per week – but now, instead of this 15 to 30 minute of e-doodling, I will have to carve out another hour or so. Seems doable.

I need to write another light post, for my sanity alone. Have a wonderful weekend, be good, and make someone laugh.


Joe said...

I think it's pretty easy to become wrapped up in our own lives and lose perspective on how fortunate we are compared to others.

As for the reason behind staying in touch with you, I'd imagine that has more to do with the wonderful person that you are than it does with her not wanting to lose herself.

I'll head to a bar this evening and ask a woman for her phone number. That always makes them laugh...

Mike said...

Yanno...i would certainly hate to have that money problem she is dealing with. Maybe I'm way off base but I considered that a condonscending remark made by her.

Video X said...

i really really like this story. kind of's not cuz it's dramatic or crazy or funny or any of's a little bit sad or something. very...thinky i guess? you must be a very open minded person...because you seem to consider all possibilities given a situation. not really sure how to say what i want to say but that will have to do!

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

I totally agree with you on those "I couldn't survive that" feeling. But you know, we do survivive stuff we never thought we could. People are really amazing...and a lot stronger than we give ourselves credit for.

There's a song out now called "Move Along" and when I read your post it made me think of that song and video (I think it's by The All American Rejects). Life sometimes hands you pile after pile of shit...and what do we do? We move along. What other choice is there really?

~Deb said...

Maybe I need to get over this. (I’m having a lot of resentments this morning for some reason) I have to let it go. My best friend that I grew up with---someone who has practically almost lived in my house in the summer time and did almost everything together---never invited me to her wedding. Yeah, we let a year go by where we hardly spoke, but it was because we had different lives, but we still contacted one another from time to time. Her mother was a hard-core Catholic and her son was killed in the Waco Texas fiasco. They were totally against ‘gays’. Which is fine. That’s there thing. As soon as my friend heard that I was a lesbian---she didn’t want anything to do with me really. She sent off all the invitations and I didn’t get one.

I was hurt, but more so a little sad that our friendship boiled down to judgment. I guess people are different and sometimes get brainwashed with “other people’s” way of thinking.

Anyway, I wouldn’t take offense to not being in the wedding party---in fact---be GLAD you weren’t. What a pain in the ass to get fitted for the wedding and doing all the b/s that’s involved. You’ll have a better time just ‘attending’ rather than ‘being in there’. Watch—you’re going to be so happy.

And for the record, I always love your ‘serious’ posts as well as your light ones. You mix it up all the time which has me coming back daily.


Grant said...

I think having money is hard just because it frees up more time to make yourself miserable. Idle hands are the devil's workshop and all that. Abraham Lincoln once said "Most people can handle adversity. If you want to test a person, try giving him power." I think it's the same with being rich.

I'm not rich, but I'm far better off now than when I was a child (for a time, the whole family lived in one room) and I like having money. It gets me all sort of nice things like Satan Sue and SuperMoo Y2K+5 (my home PC - yes, I have names for most of the inanimate objects in my apartment) and trips to see NBD. Which reminds me, I'm lonely and need to break a tooth.

When in jr. high, a wealthy classmate's mother committed suicide. Nobody knew why she did it, except I heard the adults later say "You know, she was acting really depress the last few weeks." Nice of them to say something about it afterwards.

Seven said...

I have/had two friends that married into wealth and both of them changed in the negative dramatically. Maybe it is hard; and maybe as Grant says it is only a revelation of a person's values and character.
Suicide cannot kill the soul. The soul/spirit is given to us forever and killing the earth house of the soul does in fact leave you without a form on earth, but you have not changed anything. The spirit remains and now has more work to do. I expand on that thought in a post dated Dec 9, 2005 written as a response to a suicide at Christmas that affected a good friend.
Thoughtful post on your part. Thank you.

GirlGoyle said...

I was just commenting to a friend of mine yesterday that I don't understand why rich people feel sorry for themselves. I'm not saying that money buys happyness but it sure as phuck helps! Sheesh. I will never get it. Probably cuz I'm not rich

Goddess said...

I remember being poor. So poor that I was lucky if I got to buy the name brand mac and cheese. And now I am not poor, by any means. I think I was happier poor. With money, comes all the other stuff, and that is exactly it, STUFF. Rich folks tend to not enjoy their families as much, because they are too busy "doing stuff" and "buying stuff" to have any real bonds with children and the rest of the family. In rich circles, it does matter where you buy your shoes, and payless aint going to cut it, no matter how cute they are. It does matter what type of purse you are carrying, and it matters where you get your hair and nails done, and it matters what you or your spouse is DOING with your money, how are you investing it, are you making more, more more! When you are rich, people just assume that you are so cultivated and educated and intelligent, and that may not be the case. (not to say that someone is not intelligent, but, well, if you do not get what I am saying, phooey) These are stresses, that if you havent grown up with, may really seem hard to you. It isnt so much the MONEY, it is what comes along with all the money.

kathi said...

You are so much nicer than I am. Honest, I would have said everything you thought about saying. If only for her own good, she needs a reality check.
Wait, maybe that's why I have so few friends.

I can't wait for you to write something and make some money on it. You are going to be such success story! You've already got an amazing fan base.

Leesa said...

joe: funny you wrote, "As for the reason behind staying in touch with you, I'd imagine that has more to do with the wonderful person that you are than it does with her not wanting to lose herself." I figured we still lunched because I did table dances for her. Joke!

mike: a condonscending remark? yeah, I thought about that. something I did not mention is that she thinks hubbie is cheating on her, but I don't think she will ever be able to move away from the money. Ouch. Now that was cold.

VX< thanks. I take that as a compliment.

stacey: I am so out-of-it with popular music. Have never heard of them, but I get the message of their song.

~deb: some things are very difficult to get over. The situation sounds like a "her problem," though the resentment is a "you problem." But I would feel the same way you do, sweetie. I am working on something similar right now. And with regards to the wedding, at least it wasn't a cash bar!

grant: I know you have been published, but when you come out with a book, let us know. It would be a wonderful read.

rick: I think your post was Dec 19th, not 9th. Strong post.

girlgoyle: I like what Mother Theresa said, “God has not called me to be successful; He has called me to be faithful.”

goddess: I have had the same feelings. Not sure if it is true or not. Perhaps the government can give me a grant, say $21 million, and I will compare my happiness before and after. Just kidding.

kathi: you said: "You are so much nicer than I am." you would abandon your flesh and blood while they are vomitting in front of their school, so I am wondering how much nicer I would have to be, that I don't make fun of him while driving away? Just kidding. I have seen very compassionate comments to many bloggers from you - I think you are sweeter than I am. Seriously.

Prata said...

Welp...I recall having a conversation with someone concerning leaving the comfortable life to have happiness. You know, I won't get into that, but money is a motivator for people to stay in relationships that they aren't exactly pleased with for whatever reason. I know this. I've experienced it. It sucks. Well, I'm not sure how the other side feels about it, whether it sucks or not; howver, being on the outside and looking it...yeah there's that.

Maybe I should be a nicer person and not argue the point like you managed to do Leesa. ^_^

Shannon said...

I can see your point in writing this... I myself had a few friends that were this way. One of which I was a bridesmaid in her wedding. When the wedding was over, I never heard from her again. No thank you card, no pictures, NOTHING. So, I made a promise to myself to band those people from my heart and my life. I would rather have 3 great friends that would do anything for me (As I would them) then to have fair weather friends, that easily dispose of you when they have used you for their own selfish purposes.

Thanks for reminding me of how lucky I am thou.. I love my little circle of friends..

Have a great weekend!

Monica said...

Leesa...Knock Knock!

Go to my blog for the punchline.....
Heart- Monic(no's my favorite Joke)

Leesa said...

monica: Here is a joke I just got from Mark (I don't get jokes, so it is funny that you and Mark gave me one within minutes:

A driver is stuck in a traffic jam on the highway. Nothing is moving.

Suddenly a man knocks on the window.

The driver rolls down his window and asks, "What happened?"

"Terrorists have kidnapped Bush, Cheney, Rice, and Enron execs. They are asking for a $10 million ransom. Otherwise they are going to douse them with gasoline and set them on fire. We are going from car to car, taking up a collection."

The driver asks, "How much is everyone giving, on average?"

"About a gallon."

dasi said...

Ok, I LOVE your joke... but this is supposed to be about your post. Personally, I have NEVER been a bridesmaid - well, actually I was a junior bridesmaid for my uncle's wedding when I was like 12, but that's it. Not even in my brother's wedding, for pete's sake, since they had one attendant each and his wife has a sister. But I'm ok with it now. And as far as it being hard having money...? As a single mom who gets maybe 1/100th of the child support my daughter is owed who is majorly in debt and busting her ass to make ends meet, I think I'd like to find out for myself... I bet I could deal with all the "hardships..." ;)

Lisa said...

Sheesh! I hope I never lose touch with reality that much. I am thankful for the life I have, even if I feel awkward in its comfort I'm playing dress up or something. (and I'm nowhere near as affluent as your friend, just a zillion times moreso than when I was a kid or on my own. hubby was also poor as hell his whole life and has worked damn hard to get where he is. We both appreciate it a lot.)

steff81 said...

I can completely understand the feelings that come when a friendship changes. I had a friend like that in college. We were college roommates, we took our first "adult" road trip together, we bonded. But, the bond did not survive her getting engaged. I'll admit that I played the jilted friend part to the hilt and she just flat had better things to do than acknowledge her friends. We didn't speak for almost two years. Then one day out of the blue we just started emailing each other. I can't describe how getting back in touch with her (now that we're both in a different place) has blessed me!

As for your friend, I guess the grass isn't always greener. At least you're doing the best thing a friend can do...listening.

Also, thanks for dropping's always nice to see new faces!

Liz said...

How awful for her.. yea right.

You are much kinder than most people would have been with your response to her. Hope she buys lunch every time.

LisaBinDaCity said...

What an irritating comment. It's one thing to say it to another person of the same social/financial status but tacky in the extreme to say it otherwise. She needs a reality check on the way the rest of the world is.

LisaBinDaCity said...

What an irritating comment. It's one thing to say it to another person of the same social/financial status but tacky in the extreme to say it otherwise. She needs a reality check on the way the rest of the world is.

Leesa said...

dasi: I have never been well-off either. I do know that as I get older, I can see how stuff owns us, rather than we owning stuff.

lisa: hubbie and I are also more well-off than our parents, but I wonder if we are better off.

steff: I love when friendships are re-kindled.

liz: she does buy lunch, but that sort of evolved. She did not want to insult me, and she knows all this is to her is signing the credit card. The expense is not felt for her. And sometimes it is better to be kind than right.

LisaBinDaCity: I don't think she was trying to be tacky.

YouToldHarpoTaBeatMe said...

While reading this post, all I could think is "Hard how? Please tell".

Hard liiiike "family" coming out of the woodworks asking or expecting donations? Harrrrrd liiiike compromising your own happiness for a lil' piece of paper that carries alot of weight (ala The O'Jays)?

I was wondering if juuuust maybe, Mr Silver Spoon isn't all that he's cracked up to be and now she's pondering over what takes precedence in her life... happily flying solo or cashflow.

"N" Search of Ecstasy said...

Hey Ms Leesa! I hope that you are having a great weekend. So far mine has not been all that good, but hopefully it will get better!

As for this post, hmmmmm its hard having money huh? Well its not nearly as hard as NOT having it is what I say!

Take care

Leesa said...

youtold: we all make choices. She made hers, and perhaps she is happy most of the time. Being an occasional friend, I am not sure what her normal mindset is. Perhaps I am the quarterly reminder of where she came from; though I hope I have changed over time.

n search: and not as hard as what you have been through recently. A friend disappearing. Must be really hard.

Monica said...

Leesa...sorry hun, the weather's been great so I've been outside.

okay...the joke explained...twirl your finger in the air (kinda like you're doing something inapropriate to someone inapropriate over near your know, a whoopdy-doo finger motion)

Knock Knock!
Who's there?

he heh hee hee!
Get it?
(it really is funny. Trust me.)

cherish said...

I would love to have some money so I can see how hard it is to have money. I know they say money does not buy happiness but heck I would like to give it a try.

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