I was on the metro yesterday (on my way to a law school alumni networking happy hour) and the girl next to me had a tote bag that read “Friends are more important than money.” While that seems like an honorable sentiment at first blush, I actually found this slogan to be extremely befuddling. Under what circumstances do friends and money actually conflict, such that this priority has consequence? True, you shouldn’t screw over your friends to get money, but you shouldn’t screw over anyone to get money, even strangers, because screwing people over is wrong. So is lying and cheating and stealing, which are all ways of winning money and losing friends, but only tangentially to the fact that they are categorically wrong.
Being on my way to a law school alumni networking event, it struck me that most douchey DC people with lots of money also painstakingly maintain their friendships, because they are seen as promoting, not conflicting with, the pursuit of wealth. Except to the extent that for most of my life, being a good student and a hardworking scientist or attorney often prevented me from going out with friends, or making friends, although it did advance my now somewhat lucrative career. But what mother would tell her child that being a good student and responsible employee is less important than going out with friends?
I value my friends, presumably more than I value disposable income, I just don’t see the two battling heads up such that this slogan is has any more significance than “Friends are more important than pizza.”
Normally I would have just stared at my shoes and had imaginary debates in my head, but said girl looked over at me and complimented my skirt. Needing to respond anyway, I replied, “Thanks, my mom got it from Costco. That’s an interesting bag you have. I find the slogan a bit confusing, though. What does it mean to you?” To which she replied, “Let me guess. You’re a lawyer.”
Luckily I only had to sit there paralyzed by impotent rage for 30 seconds because it was my stop and I stormed out. Well the joke is on her and her stupid bag and her dumb empty wallet. Because I’m gonna invite a bunch of my FRIENDS over to play poker tonight and TAKE all their MONEY. BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
So hey there buddy, ol’ pal! Whatcha doin’ tonight? Come over my house and play! Start time is around 8pm, won’t it be fun? RSVP so I can count my friends (in $10 increments).