We are almost three months into 2012 and it seems like it should be Christmas again. We have already broken our yearly lie to ourselves called New Years resolutions. We claimed we were going to lose weight only to eat more bad food than you should. We claimed we were going to go to church more only to go to Living Room Missionary Episcopal Church of Latter Day Saints.And then there is the one where we take an annual inventory of our circle of friends.
We do this often. We put our friends into these categories. Sort of a Top Five in our friend pecking order. The number one friend is the Family friend. You guys are thicker than thieves. You consider them family for real. When you have a family function, they are there like they have your blood coursing through their veins. You would give them a body organ if needed. You would bust someone’s head open to the white meat if they crossed you in any way. Number two is the Good friend. They are the ones that you would go with to your local pub or bar for the happy hour special to catch up with the latest office, boyfriend or girlfriend gossip. But you are careful not to invite them to your house because their drama may somehow find its way to your front door. The number three and number four slot are held by the same friend, the acquaintance. They are the ones that you know through someone who you know that someone knows. They are the ones you speak to based upon if you prefer Twitter or Facebook.
Number five has the coveted bottom of the barrel slot. These are the friends that you want to avoid all together. These are your Cheap friends. Now maybe they are unaware or they just don’t care. But they just seem to always are tapping on that last nerve because they are so damn cheap. Cheap friends come in many shapes, forms, and ethnic backgrounds. But they come with the same basic playbook.
They are the friends that when you guys go to your local Costco, Sam’s Club, sometimes your favorite Wal-Mart, and harass the poor ladies giving out the free samples of the Hot Pockets or the bakery special of the day. They are looking at her with this” You need to get busy baking and hurry up and refill my pineapple, mango, orange juice blend” stare-all because they want to get full on the bakery’s dime. This is to all to avoid spending fifty cents of their gas to run through your local MacDonald’s drive thru to spend three or four dollars which is right next door.
They are the friends that invite you out to dinner just to hang out only to do what they have done to you twenty times over-never, ever pick up a tab. They always insist on two checks. They embarrass you further by being the friends who eat their whole meal, complain that it was nasty, and insist the manager comp the meal and give them a free gift card so they can come back to do it all again on their dime.
They are the friends that you would never dream of inviting to a party at your house. This is because they never bring anything but themselves. But they somehow always leave with more food to last them for the rest of the week. They are the friends that want to come hang out at your house every weekend. You try avoiding them but with modern technology, you get caught up every time. They only come over for five reasons. One, to eat up all your food. Two, drink up all your alcoholic beverages. Three, to suck up all your air conditioning and heat because they are too cheap to turn it on at their house. Four, to watch up all your HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime because they are too cheap to pay for their own premium channels. And five, look up every conceivable website on the internet because they are too cheap to spring for internet service.
Now while the thought of these people can be entertaining at times, the thought of these people can also make your blood pressure go sky-high. At some point, you have to take a moment to be self-aware. Are you that friend that contributes nothing but headaches? Now don’t get me wrong. With the economy these days, no one blames people for trying to cut corners. Totally understood. But cheapness can’t be tolerated. We all know someone who is so tight with money they would make a dollar holler. Pull them aside and ask them this question. How much do you want to invest into my friendship bank? Because just like your local bank or credit union, after a while without deposits, they automatically close.