Dear Agony Aunt,
A dear friend of mine has had a sudden and drastic change in financial circumstances. Whilst she used to attend all sorts of social functions, such as concerts and the theatre, she can no longer afford to join in most events. Various friends have paid for her to attend an evening here or there – but she’s not really comfortable with that and clearly that can’t go on forever. I don’t want to lose the friendship but how can we continue as friends if we can’t ever spend any time together?
Signed: Fair weather friend
Dear Fair Weather Friend,
It’s a sad indictment of our society that we think large amounts of cash are necessary for us to socialize. Whilst it’s lovely indeed for various members of your circle to take turns in shouting your povvo friend, you’re absolutely right when you say that it’s unsustainable. Apart from anything else, unless you’re a poverty stricken artiste in the 18th century, it’s not ok to bludge on anyone in the longer term.
So it’s time to get creative and think like a poor person!
You could host a dinner party, or arrange a picnic with your group of friends. There are loads of free events being held around town all the time, so get online and check them out. There is a website called Freetix.com.au which offers free tickets to concerts, TV shows and all sorts of other things – take a peek and see if anything grabs you.
If you’re the outdoorsy type, Sydney is blessed to have some of the most beautiful National Parks and walking trails which are, in my opinion (and let’s face it – I’m always right), some of the most spectacular in the world. And there are even some right here in beautiful Kuringai – so get out there and enjoy them!
When we keep our friendship groups to only those in the same economic world, we are really limiting our universe. Just because people don’t have money, doesn’t mean they’re not absolutely fascinating and have loads to offer. To have a wide circle of friends and acquaintances from all walks of life makes us, and the world in general, far more fun to be in.
So hop to it.