Miss M has a new post about friendships and how they are impacted by economic status. I don't disagree with her conclusion that we tend to keep our closest friendships with those who are also close to our class.
But it does cause me to reflect on my closest friendship.
L and I met in graduate school thirty-five years ago. We are both loners. Neither of us married. Depending on where we were living (currently we're in the same city, but we've been as much as 2000 miles apart), the closeness of our relationship has ebbed and flowed.
We discovered early on that we travel well together, so we've always taken vacations with one another. She is the friend I went with to Japan last October.
Since my heart surgery, and after my daughter returned home to her family, L has been dropping by for dinner four nights a week. She has also provided me with transportation since I'm still not released to drive.
We're a lot alike. But NOT financially.
She is quite wealthy and always has been. Not only does she come from a wealthy family, but she has taken private sector jobs that pay very well.
We have worked hard over the years to keep money from being an issue.
We both like to eat out. In general, we take turns paying. When I'm paying, we're likely to hit the local Thai restaurant. When she craves something more exciting and more expensive, she pays. We don't try to keep the money even--just the number of times each of us pays.
On vacations, we tend to agree as to the quality of the lodgings we want--we both want a certain level of comfort, but she never insists on top-drawer accommodations. We both like to play tourist, so I make sure in advance that I can afford the museums and other attraction costs. We both agree to fly coach. Actually, she flies a lot in her job, and she takes coach, then, too.
Shopping has always been a joke between us. She is an inveterate shopper and she loves it. I'm not. I accompany her with a book in hand, and I head for the nearest chair while she scouts out her "must-have" purchases. She comes home from our vacations with at least one extra suitcase of new stuff while I tend to be happy with a couple of bookmarks or coin purses.
But in spite of our class differences and the variance in our financial status, we have remained friends all this time. I would hate to think that something like money could ever change that.