I had some thoughts the other night that I thought I would share.
I'm the poor friend. The chink in the hangout plan, because I can't often afford to eat or drink out, or go on trips. It bothers me some times more than others. Thankfully, my friends are not jerks - with one exception.
One person in my social circle feels the need to constantly brag about money. She's one of the "Well, should have majored in STEM!" types whenever someone's having money troubles, and goes on about how much money she has. She does all this traveling and goes out to all these events and does all this shopping (surprise surprise, her family is rich). But I find myself often feeling bad for her. Many of my other friends don't want to spend time with her. She'll invite people to all the exciting things she brags about doing, but usually can't find anyone to go with her.
I, meanwhile, have very little money. But I cook fancy dinners with my roommates, have drunken board game parties, and go to free events around the city with friends, both new and old. Sometimes my friends invite me to dinner or a concert and say, "Don't worry, I've got you. I just want to spend time with you." In my free time, I'm on the phone with my mom, and we're giggling about that time we had to sleep on a cardboard box because we couldn't afford a bed yet, and when "lunch" was a bag of Skittles and a glass of water.
Having all of that means so much more to me than money. Don't get me wrong - money's fantastic and I can't wait until my awesome new job shells out my first paycheck - but it honestly means nothing if there's no one to share it with. I'm not worried about forgetting that when I stash away my EBT card for the last time next month. My friends have shown me the most beautiful versions of themselves in their love for me, and what's been seen cannot be unseen.
Ignore the haters, y'all. I'd rather be poor and loved than rich and alone any day.