Lauren Rodrigue and I gchat sometimes during the day. We gchat a lot about having no money. We gchat about wanting things, but being unable to buy those things, because of no money.
I reread all of our chats from the past six months to see if I could find any growth. Are we getting smarter? Are we getting less whiny? Are we messing up less? I found that we have not yet progressed to talking about Excel spreadsheets and tax law (NEVER), but I think we’re moving in that general direction. Kind of.
Lauren: Have you looked at Ruche.com
Logan: I don’t do that. I don’t do online shopping.
Lauren: Oh sorry. Oh my god. I am so sorry. For ever even suggesting.
Logan:: It just doesn’t work for my lifestyle. I am an emotional shopper. If I want to buy a new dress, I want it NOW, not in 5 to 7 business days.
Lauren: I don’t usually buy things online, I just look at shopping sites like how some people read magazines. Well I also read magazines. But I like to browse stores’ websites and think about the clothes and how I’d wear them. I usually get inspired to go change my outfit or to go find something new to buy anything anything anything I can possibly exchange money for. To me online shopping is like a thought exercise for actual shopping.
Logan: I don’t do that. I just take myself out to dinner every time I feel sad.
It is so hard to say no! It is especially hard to say no to our friends, who we love, or who we like well enough but think for whatever reason that it is imperative that they love us. And it especially hard when the “no” is because of money. Or is it easier, money being an inarguable reality like the weather? “It’s raining / I’m broke.” No, it’s harder, because it is hard to acknowledge to our friends that we might be coming up short, that the thought of spending is making us hyperventilate, and that even though we love them maybe we don’t have or can’t afford to part with the $1,000+ their wedding will cost us.
Q. HOW TO DECLINE WEDDING INVITATIONS I’m getting many wedding invitations these days and unfortunately I just can’t afford to go to all of them. Some friends understand, but how do you explain that to the brides who just don’t seem to get it and keep pushing you on it?
A. CAROLYN HAX You don’t. You’re under no obligation to explain at all, though with a good friend you’ll want to say something, of course: “I would love to go but I can’t afford it.” Done. If pressed, you ask them please to respect you enough to accept that you’d go if you could. Beyond that, the couples’ behavior makes for a good sorting tool. Remember who was gracious and who was pushy, and then, as you continue to be called upon to invest more money and energy in your friends than you have to give, choose to give to the gracious ones.