Ok, I can't STAND it anymore...so I'm glad this forum exists. I have a co-worker who, personally, I enjoy very much. We are about the same age, have the same number of kids, drive the same 2005 mini-van, do the same job, and generally have a lot in common....EXCEPT...her extreme debt - which SHE constantly brings up ,and it drives me NUTS. I want to face punch her so many times it's not even funny.
Last week after a two-day convention downtown, this CW – Melissa - and I stopped at a nearby bar afterwards for a drink. She showed me her professionally painted nails, new salon haircut and highlights, her latest (deeply discounted to $200) boots, etc. She looked great – and I “oohed and aahed” over everything for her benefit. She whipped out her Iphone 5s and texted her 12 and 14 year old kids on their Iphones and then ordered a $7 drink. I found out my beer was $4 and said we should go somewhere else. She said, “We’re only staying for two – would be a pain to walk next door to another bar just to save a dollar.” For the record, the bar next door (see drankbank.com) was offering $2.50 happy hour pints! Sigh, I went along with it because I’m an accommodating friend, and unlike Melissa, I rarely go out - - even for happy hour specials. It had been months since I actually bought myself two beers a bar.
Going on 20 years of frugal-assity, I can afford the $10 tab (w/tip). I was wearing comfortable walking shoes because I rode the bus into the city for the convention from my suburban park-and-ride both days. My clothes – likely no match for Melissa’s - are comfortable, professional, and clean though definitely not designer or new.
By the time our second round of drinks had arrived, I’d known more about Melissa’s ongoing troubles with finances than I cared to. I cringed inwardly to find out, she’s got tens of thousands in credit card debt. “My husband needs a second job” she said. I listened patiently for a while but eventually said, “Maybe you shouldn’t spend so much money?” followed by silence. “Nope, I really don’t spend that much, my husband just needs to earn more…”
I have no words. I’ve worked with Melissa three years now. As our friendship has grown, so has my knowledge of her finances. And by the way, I never bring up the subject of money; she’s always the first to mention her dire financial straits to me...
I try to help - not lecture - but when I do attempt suggestions…she ends up debating and defending her spending to me.
We once compared our monthly expenses (bored at work I guess). I busted out my monthly budget on a spreadsheet. Some examples:
Me: Utilities (gas and electric): $150. She spends double. By the way we both own four bedroom homes, similar square footage. Mine will be paid for in 2 years, she just re-financed for another 30 years....
Me: Cable and Internet $100/month (yeah - that might deserve a backhand)
Her: $200+/month (Face Punch for sure). Her punk 14 year old son who tells her she's a bitch just HAS to have HBO and the Sunday football package. Which reminds me, she "surprised" her husband and son w/50 yard line football tickets last winter after crying about not being able to qualify for a HELOC because she doesn't have enough equity in the home she's owned for 15 years. Ug.
She struts into meetings w/freshly manicured fingernails, clutching a Starbucks most mornings. Then cries at lunch about her debt. She once asked me for a $20 loan on a Thursday (next day was payday) because she had to get to the bank that afternoon to avoid being overdrawn til payday. WTF.
Clothing. Don't get me started. She nearly gagged when I told her I got my bathing suit this year from Goodwill. It still had tags on it (from Target) and I got it for less than $5. She was repulsed. Then promptly gushed about three new pairs of skorts for her upcoming family Disney World trip (so she could get in and out of the roller coasters of course). I asked how much for each pair. "ONly $30 plus tax - EACH!" OK, so $100 for three pair of shorts for a vacation you certainly can't afford? Maddening.
Now all summer long she's been posting "Brunch w/the hubby" and later that day "Dinner w/Awesome friends at such and such a place" all over facebook. Are you kidding me? Sometimes I see photos of her flaming Hawaiin foo-foo drinks (likely $12 each) when she ventures out to these restaurants she absolutely cannot afford. And today she had a fun post on facebook asking all of us if we could recommend any good contractors...she wants a new patio poured...aaaaaggghhh.
Forgot one more: went back and trolled her FB page.
CW: Enjoying summer and Usher!
Commenter: Where are you sitting?
CW: Lawn (sad face). Spent too much on Section 2 at Lady Gaga last week. Had to be economical.
EXACT WORDS - Couldn't make this shit up if I tried!!!