I was not being frugal…

I went out with friends this Friday to get caught up on everybody???s lives and just have some fun chatting about all sorts of things. I realized as I was driving home, though, that they might have gotten the wrong impression about something based on what I ordered. Here???s some background:

I have previously posted a commentary on how being unemployed and then underemployed had affected my ability to spend money frivolously. I remember going to a caf?? by my apartment every week and spending $20 on breakfast. But after being unemployed and underemployed trying to keep my daughter in private school and in competitive gymnastics through it all, I have a harder time spending that much money on myself.

And if my friends have been reading all the various articles about how consumer spending has been affected by the recession, they might know that there???s been somewhat of a trend to save money dining out by ordering an appetizer instead of an entr??e. I ordered an appetizer when I was out with my friends on Friday. But I did not order it to save money and be frugal. Here???s what my thought process was on Friday when I was looking at the menu.

???Okay, what do I want? It???s been a long time since I???ve eaten at Caf?? Ole, what do I like here? I can???t remember what I used to get when I was here. Oh, wait a minute, I know what I used to get. Chimichangas, where are the chimichangas? Here they are. No, that doesn???t look right, those don???t sound like I would like them. Wait, it was the mini chimichangas which were appetizers. Let???s see if they still have those. Good, they do. I know, it???s an appetizer but it???s the only thing I know I???ll like so I???m going to get them.???

The number one reason that I would not think about being frugal on a night out with friends, why I would not feel guilty ordering whatever I wanted and maybe treating someone in the group to something, is because I do not consider spending time with my friends as frivolous. I never have and I especially don???t consider it frivolous since I???ve experienced being unemployed and then underemployed. When life takes those unexpected twists and turns, like being laid off from your job of 14 years, it???s your friends that help you stay on your feet. I also want to be able to return the favor and sometimes friends don???t tell you their needs in an e-mail or a Facebook message. But things come up when you???re face-to-face and some random comment can make all the difference in your friends??? lives. So I will never consider an night out with friends frivolous and I will never feel the need to be frugal during a night out with friends.

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