Why It’s Hard For Broke And Wealthy People To Be Friends
My boyfriend and I just spent the weekend with a rather wealthy couple and the discrepancies in behaviors were hilarious. There were so many times that my partner and I looked at each other nervously, making a face that said, “This is either going to be expensive if we don’t speak up or awkward if we do.” Our friends, for the record, and generous and thoughtful individuals who would never want to put us in an uncomfortable situation. But when someone is just that rich they are so, so far from understanding the habits and thought processes of the broke, that even when they think they’re making a choice that works for everyone’s budgets, they’re still far off the mark. Here is why rich and broke people can barely hang out.
They want Uber X
They are trying to order this Uber X so they can roll up to the event in style and comfort. Maybe they suggest you all just order a limo to take to the wedding together, or a private driver. “We can split the cost so it won’t be so bad,” they say.
You want the shared Lyft saver
Meanwhile, you’re over here trying to get as many people as possible to split an already shared Lyft with you. And you’re selecting that “saver” mode that saves you a few extra bucks by dropping you off several blocks from your destination.
They order apps for the table
Your wealthy friends just start ordering whatever they want for the table. Whatever they want. They look at a menu, see what looks good, and speak that order out to the server. There are no other steps involved. Suddenly there are two pitchers of margaritas, calamari, guacamole, and poke tuna stacks headed your way.
You’re splitting an entrée
Meanwhile, you and your partner were just going to split an entrée. That’s it. You were not going to drink alcohol because the margaritas here cost as much as a full bottle of tequila. And you have to tell the server, “Uh, yeah those 15 things they ordered are on one tab and uh, this club sandwich is on ours.”
They want to eat any time
When they’re hungry, they eat. They aren’t going to walk a few blocks to the sandwich place that is half the price: they are walking into the $14 sandwich place that is right here.
You wait for happy hour
You and your partner will wait for happy hour to kick in. Even if you’re starving, you will just wait it out until that clock strikes 5pm. You don’t just get to eat wherever you are, at any time you feel hungry.
You stay with them
When you visit your wealthy friends who live in another town, you stay with them. You get a beautiful guest room with a private bathroom and Nespresso machine. You really wouldn’t be able to afford to visit them if they couldn’t give you a place to stay.
They stay in a hotel
When they visit you, they get a hotel. You awkwardly offer your guest room or couch, but you all know you just made them uncomfortable. They have to find a polite way to turn down that storage space/office that you call a guest room.
They want to valet
They want to valet the car, or put it in the on-site structure that will cost $20 for the night. Whatever puts them closest to the front door of the venue when they park, that’s what they want to do.
You want to park far and walk
You want to park for free, even if that means parking a 20-minute walk away and going through a sketchy neighborhood, or circling for so long that you run late to the event, just waiting for a free spot to open up. You awkwardly pass the valet many times, while your wealthy friends are just wondering why this is happening.
They get this round of drinks
When you go out to a bar, before you can even say anything, they’ve given their credit card to the bartender and said, “We got this round, you get the next one.” It can be very awkward for your man if the man in the other couple says, “We” (as in the men) “got these).
You just wanted a drink
Your plan was to have a drink, and the cheapest one available. You were just going to pay for that alone and call it a day. Now, you’re on the hook for buying four individuals a drink at some point tonight.
They go where they want
Your wealthy friends just go where they want to go. They go to the movie theater they want to go to. They go to the restaurant they want to go to. If they want to go somewhere, they just go. I’ll explain why this is surprising in a moment.
You need to use gift cards
You need to go to places you can use a gift card. That may mean just seeing the awkwardly-timed 2pm showing of a movie at the only theater you have a gift card to. That may mean having brunch at a sort of weird spot in a strip mall, because you bought a Groupon for it, not realizing it was between a phone card store and a questionable “massage parlor.”
You can pay them back later
If you forget your wallet, your friend just gets you, and says, “You can get me back later.”
They can’t borrow from you
Meanwhile, if your friend forgets his wallet and wants to buy a $250 t-shirt, you stand silently staring at the ceiling. You cannot offer to get this for him and have him pay you back later. It would overdraft your account.