If you make way more money than me, we can’t be friends.
How do I know?
It happened to me, and the Bear. We were both teaching and went to a New Year’s eve dinner at an expensive restaurant with two other couples.
They were ordering wine and appetizers and desserts without even fucking looking at the right side of the menu. They were drinking and laughing and waving the waiters over to order more and more shit.
The Bear and I were huddled in the corner of the table.
“If we split the spaghetti, we can get another class of wine. No apps, no desserts.”
Then the bill came.
“Just divide it by 6,” a friend said, without a second thought.
We didn’t want to be the assholes arguing over who ordered cake. So we held our breathe and squinted when the check came.
$250 and then add a tip…
At the time, $250 was one-third of a house payment.
These people were social workers and nurses, how the fuck could they live like this?
Then I remembered. One wife worked for a bank. The other wife started a business in healthcare. Shit, even the social workers probably made twice what they were paying teachers.
It hurt paying 20-percent on the credit card loan to work off that dinner debt. The juice ran all the way to May when that summer teacher money rolled in.
“We just can’t go out with these people any more,” the Bear said. And she was right.
Our share of the collective wine bill would have left us living under a bridge and biking to work.
It’s been 25 years since that New Year’s. I left teaching shortly thereafter and in a few years tripled my income. The Bear retired from teaching (twice) and is double dipping. It’s much better now.
We’d still choke on a $125 a person meal, but it wouldn’t take us 6 months to pay it off.
But to this day I still ponder the buying power of everyone else at social events. Even the pendejos could spend us into oblivion, but they don’t because they are a bunch of cheap bastards. Respect.
I think about it every time we rent our time with the 1-percent at the LJBTC community. If those people dealt only in cash, everyone of those fuckers could probably find our net worth in the dryer most weekends. (or at least the maid could).
But the good thing is, like Hotel California, once we check in, we only leave the facility for wine runs to Safeway. We can keep those costs under control. That’s the only way we can make a friendly income inequality work.
Cause if you make more money than me, we can only be friends if we hang together at the LJBTC Community.