I’m sorry, but it shouldn’t be expensive to be a good friend.
It’s not about living in the right house, or fancy decorations or going out and buying brand new patio furniture. It’s not about catering five-course meals or throwing elaborate parties or picking up the tab for the entire table at the hottest restaurant. It’s not about lavish vacations you can barely afford, feeling the pressure to over-extend yourself financially sprucing up your house, or going into debt to impress anybody.
You can be a good friend today. As you are. With exactly what you have. You can host people in your driveway with lawn chairs and you can feed everyone frozen pizzas, or invite people to a BYOF night at the park by and that way everyone can do what feels best for them. Play cards, or board games, or just sit around and talk. Just get together and enjoy each other’s company. That is literally all it takes.
I used to think I needed to have all the “right stuff”, but now I know that mismatched plates are the perfect kind of “dinnerware” for a night in with friends. Box brownies are chewy goodness. Potlucks are underrated. Old quilts make perfect picnic blankets. Big pots of potato soup go a long way and aren’t expensive.
It’s just about being together, let’s not overcomplicate it.
Sure, fancy dinners are great, but the real gift is being present. The real gift is listening (and hearing), the real gift is sharing stories and hearts. The real gift is just as easily found with plastic cups in our ratty sweats as it is in high-heels using three different forks. Maybe it’s even easier.
Friendship shouldn’t be a luxury and it shouldn’t be some exclusive club that only allows those on the “it” list to get into. Friendship is for everyone and shame on us as a society for making it seem unattainable.
It should be easy. It should be simple. It shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg and a giant wad of $100 bills to build friendships, so don’t buy into the hype that you need this or you need that to invite people into your life and don’t let anyone make you feel like you can’t afford to have friends.
The truth is, you can’t afford NOT to have friends and it costs exactly $0 to be authentic, kind and fun to be around, and that’s all it really takes.
Written by Amy Weatherly and Jess Johnston
Photo by Matheus GO