Sixteen

Out of all my close friends,

I feel the most financially secure, because I never had to understand anything related to money until I got my first debit card for college. I never even bothered to apply for financial aid, just very expensive private college I was told that I had enough money to pay several full tuitions for. I’m not old money or super rich, but I’ve always been comfortable. I wasn’t brought up feeling privileged nor did I abuse the money available to me, because I was constantly reminded of a time when our family had nothing but happiness and a future. Now that I’ve grown up a little bit, I try to satisfy myself with the beautiful souls of people I meet instead of the seduction of luxury and privilege.

That is why I splurge more on my friends than myself. When friends come to visit, we drink the chrysanthemum tea I didn’t have the heart to drink by myself. On their birthdays or gift exchanges, I strive to be the best gifter by browsing shops until I purchase something that reminds me why that friend is special to me. I sometimes pull an all-nighter to put together a CD playlist with songs that flow together so perfectly that my friend better not notice the song changes. When a friend needs a $60 ticket home to see her parents over Thanksgiving, I’m standing next to her at the train station with my debit card ready. It may seem like I’m trying to buy my friends, and I can’t control what you think. All I know is they expect nothing from me, and I expect nothing in return from them. The gifts were artsy, thoughtful, and, yes, sometimes pricey, but they were never extravagant or pretentious. To me, anything less than wonderful when it comes to treating my friends is unacceptable. My friends deserve the best and all good things, and I will be one of those good things.

Through my friends simply being who they are, I learned how to build relationships with time and honesty instead of things, and I hope I can use these lessons with a very important, yet unknown person in the future. Just as I do with my female friends – alright, friends, since all my friends are female – I will prove to my husband that I am worthy of our relationship and the time we spend together through laughter, much love, and tender care. 

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