My friend and I had a talk on whatsapp sometime back. He is the same guy who I visited in Baltimore and who’s getting married in January 2017. He was expressing his views about trying to move out of India for settling abroad with his wife. The topic moved to how I am looking forward for a friend to get a project in US/Europe, to have another vacay together and how fun that would be. He said he was jealous and how he would love to take more trips. He started talking about it boiling down to our paychecks and that being the reason we can do all that. The discussion even turned to him calling our other guy friend SK hopeless because he has become very non-committal about making plans with ‘I will let you know’ as the most often spoken sentence by him. Ironically, his wife keeps asking why don’t they all meet up more often. I took my certain stand on the topic which resulted in him again focusing on our paychecks and the seemingly comfortable lifestyle we have in US with our high frequency of taking holidays and trips.
When he told me about SK, his wife and that he has to depend on them to plan a trip for him and his wife eventually which seems near impossible, I was not entirely convinced. My stand was that you should be asking people once or twice and if they don’t commit, you should go ahead with your plans. Unless their reason to want to wait seems solid, I don’t see why anyone should wait around. His point was about SK changing after being with someone. It did not particularly resonate with me (and I am thankful for that!) because my best friends, with who I just took another roadtrip to the Bay Area, have never let their married life making me feel cut off. Same goes with Mad and DD and exactly the same with other non-Indian couples that I hang out with. In my previous relationship, we always looked forward to times with friends and had no qualms about that. I have been the 3rd or the 5th wheel plenty of times without feeling awkward that I am imposing myself on them and hopefully they felt the same when I was with the xBF. I understand they need their privacy and their personal time together. But they are also setting such great examples for me to follow in the future when I will be committed. One need not say goodbye to a social life and friends and become hermit crabs after getting hitched. Practically, atleast until children come into the picture because that’s a whole another topic of discussion.
I asked him to ask SK and the rest once or twice if they want to hang out or take a holiday together. Any more than that is a game of chasing and we don’t entertain that. All of our trips have involved quick agreements on where to go and who all want to come. If out of 6 people, only 3 are ready, he should go ahead and plan it with the 3. There is no reason to can the plan. If you keep waiting for all 6 people to come to a conclusion, the plan is going to take 20 years to take shape. Moo very well knows what I am talking about here. 😉
My other point of disagreement was him blaming income and other expenditures. I agree that holidays and trips are expensive, specially with the flight and hotel costs, but there are so many ways to budget travels and it can be even a quick day trip, if you REALLY want it. He was trying to say that the reason me and Abhi-Nish and the rest manage to hang out is because we have the spending capacity. I will not be in denial that we do have a slightly better spending capacity than a lot of my peers with the same level of experience in India, but he should know that if we earn in dollars, we spend in dollars as well and even we have plenty of responsibilities back home too. We hang out because we want to, and we don’t depend on how much we can spend. It could be as simple as driving down for a lunch or doing an activity that was a good deal on Groupon. All my friends who are married or in relationships, also have other set of friends who are couples or are single. Sometimes they do their own things, and sometimes we all hang out in groups, or sometimes it’s just me and the two of them. We all do actually want a social life and that’s the whole reason we have managed to stick together yet. That feeling is not governed by how much we make. In fact, we are free enough with each other to express if we are feeling the pinch of cash at any point.
There cannot be an end to this argument. Maybe it just depends on how some people prioritize their lives. I have very few friends and it would be a sad situation if I lose even those. And my love for traveling isn’t hidden at all. As far as I am concerned, I don’t think I will be very happy if the only face I see is my other half’s. Let’s see if I turn out to be a hypocrite or not!
PS: This comes across as a super whiny, better-than-thou post. I am not trying to say that I am better than others in the way I am living my life. I feel I haven’t been able to put across the main point that if you want to be with friends and/or travel, you will do it come what may. Gaaah! I give up. It’s not my day.
12 thoughts on “Of hanging out, dollars and couples…”
I think it is about prioritising, like you said. It is true that once you are married your perspective on money changes and you think about saving for the future (whatever that means….children, home, old age, parents..). But if you have ‘socialising’ somewhere in the top of the priority list, you will make time for it and also plan your resources accordingly.
Personally speaking, since I got married, I LOVE staying at home 😛 it is so much fun, just the two of us, being crazy. Also a traveling job makes you want to stay at home more 🙂
Anyone can save any amount they amount. Spending time with friends doesn’t even have to be at the swankiest of places. There are ways around everything.
Problem is my friend SK has a tendency to put all the blame on others and to get mad if he decides something once in a blue moon and others don’t get involved.
I love my time alone, but I don’t want to be alone at all times. When I was ‘we’, the same applied for us.
Honestly my main beef with this buddy was his ‘paycheck’ reason for everything or cribbing about how he cant do things because others don’t join in. I disagreed majorly with him on that.
I totally agree with you! This was one of the main reasons I traveled solo in Europe. Before that every time I tried making a plan (even to nearby places) with friends it never worked out. Kabhi paise nahi hai, kabhi chhutti nahi hai! You can’t keep waiting for others to live the life you want, no?
You have done Europe solo? Awesomeeee! I can’t travel alone because I find myself boring. But if need be, I will do it. I planned to go to Portland alone but 2 friends were ready.
Arre paisa n chutti is secondary. I get tired of ‘let’s see, dekhte hain’. Sheer lazies or no motivation and imaginary world responsibilities.
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This – “don’t think I will be very happy if the only face I see is my other half’s”, is why you pick a pretty face. Tell your mom.
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Round 2 of the boxing match begins now!
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It was actually pretty well said. I’ve been in the same situation plenty of times and now hubby and I just make our own plans.
Lol I put the postscript cuz I hated my post. I am glad you understand! That’s the best way to get things done. Aana hai toh aao, otherwise we are going.
Think these are two separate issues – spending capacities and people changing after marriage. Regarding spending capacity, assuming your friend has a well paying Indian job , (that should not be compared to US salaries but rather good in the indian market) it is simply a matter of budgeting. Every one – single or a couple has a certain amount in mind that they are comfy spending on travel and it is a certain %of their income. That said, complaining that someone earning in USD takes better or more vacays makes no sense.In fact indian public holidays seem way more and here I am struggling with planning a decent getaway around our limited leave. Also indians in the US go home to india every other yr atleast and that takes up your vacay days. Regarding ‘better’ holiday spot access to someone in the US ,i would say there is a maldives for every hawaiian holiday you see on your US friends fb posts or even Goa for that matter. So its a matter of setting a travel budget, expanding it if you want to travel more and not comparing to others.The next topic is people changing in a relationship or marriage..this one I will say I don’t want to live in a bubble and say things never change and social time with friends come first always. I for one would prefer a tronger rock solid marriage than stronger friendships and marriage and relationships need a lot of nurturing and care those first few years. I would stress on balancin
ng time between stuff you love to do as individuals( cricket, work out , swim), time with each other, time with family( this could be skupe time with in laws and parents for US residents) and finally time with friends. Everyone ranks these differently and has to balance their priorities as they see fit in the limited free time they have
Very well explained Pop! I struggled to put across the first point you put forth.
With respect to second, of course things change. But with my married friends, we are still having a good time so far… The frequency changes now and then, but the essence remains the same.
I also am aware of the change that will happen. Why I want to be someone. I don’t want a situation where everyone will get so immersed in their lives eventually and I will be left wringing hands wondering what to do over the weekend. 😀
So true… its mindset of people here that people who are settled abroad are very rich, but they dont even think once that if they earn in dollars they are also spending in dollars, also managing their individual responsibilities
True that. People are just ignorant.
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