When you are poor and your friends are poor everything is fine. They love you and you love them back.
When you get blessed with a large sum of money (via lottery, inheritance, settlement, or even hard work, etc.) friends start loving themselves less and hating you altogether. Even when you take them out for dinner. You have to take them out for dinner because you don’t want them to believe that you changed. But you changed. And so did they. They are fake and you are fake. You are all so fake that the waiter won’t do small talk at your table and won’t even come back to check on you. Surprisingly, all the animosity is not about the money. It’s all about who is the bigger douchebag. And, of course, you are the bigger douchebag, because you have all this money but you are too cheap to also order dessert. “We don’t need the dessert, do we? After all this food...” Yeah, right! Douchebag!
Now, there are 2 future possibilities: (1) you lose your money and (2) you keep your money... and, somehow, get richer and richer. In the first case, your friends will stop being your friends. And, again, it's not about the money because you don’t have it anymore. It’s about who is the biggest loser. And, of course, it’s you because you had all this money and lost it all. And who wants to hang out with a loser?
But there’s the second alternative where, you, lucky bastard, keep all your money and, somehow, also get richer and richer... And your friends still remain your friends. In this case, they will want to get in business with you. Now it’s your chance to become the Maecenas of the old block. You’ll hear things like:
- “Hey, I have an idea for an app. You just have to come up with the money. We will make billions. Nobody else has done this before. It wakes you up in the morning and reminds you to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. But here’s the catch. If you want to lose weight, it will remind you to skip dinner. Eh? What do you say?.... And this will be only the free version. If they want to be reminded to drink water, they have to pay!... And they also get rid of the ads. And if they also want to be reminded to breathe, they have to pay even more! For an upgrade! Dude, it’s pure genius!”
- Or... “I’m selling my old toilet seat. It has a great sentimental values, so I’m asking you first. My girlfriend cleaned it well and sprayed it with perfume. And you can also buy the wheel that I kept from my grandpa’s truck, before sending it to the junkyard. You can turn the wheel and pretend you’re driving while being on the toilet seat. That will also be so much fun for your kids, when you’ll have them. Or, you can buy our house altogether and also give us a loan, so we can buy a bigger one, at the beach. Of course, you can visit whenever you want and deduct all the accommodations from the loan you gave us. Good times!”
- And finally... “Dude, I’m going to Hollywood. So, I was thinking you could sponsor my career, you know, until I get the breakthrough role in a movie. Like, I will never forget what you did for me that kind of thing. Like, you will get to be there when I get an Oscar, like for free, you know what I mean, or an Emmy. Stuff like that...”
At this point in time, to make it sweeter, you can throw the reasonable approach into the game. Like, if they need money, they could work for you. Like, running your errands, cat-sitting or giving your grandma a ride from her bingo parties. If she didn’t like her glass of cherry afterward, life would be so much easier... However, you won’t have to worry about any extra expenditures. This will always remain just a courtesy call. Because the answer will always be: “Dude, I thought we were friends”... And they’ll hang up on you. For good. And, you guessed it, it’s not about the money. It’s all about who is being the biggest scum of the earth. And it’s you because you don’t care about your cat and your grandma. Money dehumanized you and your friends feel sorry for you.
Now you have no more moves. And you need new friends. Friends with money. At this point you have no other choice but to stick to what you have and, somehow, get richer and richer. Because your old friends won’t take you back and the new ones... Well, these people have known that they cannot have friends without money, way before you did. And they will be fake. They will pretend to smile while, all along, being paranoid about you losing all your money and coming to ask for theirs. But still, it’s not about the money per se... It’s about you being a potential liability which implies irresponsibility, immaturity and, possibly, mental disease. And who wants to deal with a basket case? In return, you are also faking smiles while feeling paranoid about being dumped if you ever get broke... Then, what is the solution? Faking it at a whole other level. You have to pretend that you are too busy getting richer and excuse yourself.
Meanwhile, you have to get busy getting richer and richer, or you’ll get bored. And when you get busy, something amazing happens. You are no longer lonely and you don’t have to fake it anymore. You don’t make friends... In exchange, you are developing meaningful business relationships. And it sounds so sophisticated!... They appreciate you and you appreciate them in return, thriving in a reciprocal and mutually beneficial environment. You have meetings, bookings, appointments, business talks over lunch and dinner or a nice break from all that, golfing together or splashing each other with clean ocean water, in the Bahamas.
And this is how everything can also be fine, when you are rich. Because it’s never about the money...
© FLORIANA FABIAN