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To be so irate over a friend's attitude

(55 Posts)
pingu2209 Thu 07-Feb-13 16:52:34

My friend goes on and on and on at me about how she has no money and can't afford to give her sons' birthday parties, take them places or buy them expensive toys such as Nintendo DS etc. She plays the violin and is fishing for sympathy on a regular basis.

She constantly compares what I do with my children to what she does with hers. Her boys go swimming once a week and ask to go to the after school clubs and sports clubs but she says she can't afford them.

However, she smokes 20 a day, SilkCut.

I have very little sympathy for someone who is all "Wo is me, my children are suffering because I have no money...." but then SMOKES.

She spends at least £50 a week on bloody cigarettes.

Nothing to do with me what she does with her money - but she is always going on and on about not having any. It is pissing me off.

Hammy02 Fri 08-Feb-13 12:25:57

YANBU. What a selfish mum.

FlouncingMintyy Fri 08-Feb-13 11:59:32

Yanbu. How much longer can you put up with it? Really, you have to say something like "sorry I cannot listen to you moaning about lack of money when you are setting fire to £7.00 a day and inhaling the smoke into your lungs".

olgaga Thu 07-Feb-13 21:45:35

Tarka you are right. I smoked for over 30 years, and started very young. I have to say giving up was the hardest thing I ever did, and I only managed it after I had done irreparable damage to my lungs, and my breathing could no longer keep up with my normal walking pace. Oh and my teeth started to drop out.

So yes it is a terrible addiction, and I needed a lot of help to do it. But I honestly don't think I could have carried on so long if it had been a choice between forcing my own child to make sacrifices so I could continue to feed my addiction.

olgaga Thu 07-Feb-13 21:37:46

As an ex-smoker (two years on 12 Feb) I must admit I was really shocked when I noticed the price of cigarettes recently - the brand I used to smoke is now £7.25 for 20 in my local Co-op.

I think your friend's remarks about your respective financial positions are an open invitation for you to comment - why the hell shouldn't you respond?

I would ask her if she has ever thought of getting help with her addiction, since her obvious struggle to afford things for her children is making her so unhappy. What's the point in her being resentful when the solution is in her own hands?

Ask her if her children ever mention her smoking. Most primary school children are told about smoking - my DD came home one day and told me "Did you know mummy, that if you smoke you'll die?"

Ask her if she has ever thought about what it would be like to die prematurely, leaving her children without a mum.

Remind her that smokers will be walloped once again in the budget, as they are every year.

If she gets really annoyed with you, and dumps you, will you be that bothered? She sounds like a proper pain!

HollaAtMeBaby Thu 07-Feb-13 21:36:26

grin usualsuspect

usualsuspect Thu 07-Feb-13 21:34:10

She should sell her violin.

VitoCorleone Italy Thu 07-Feb-13 21:32:15

Next time she pleads poverty why dont you say to her "have you never thought of smoking rollies they're much cheaper, you'd save a fortune"

Telling a smoker to quit is absolutley pointless. Im a smoker and never in a month of sundays would i quit just because somebody else said i should.

That being said, i wouldnt spend £50 a week on fags then plead poverty.

pingu2209 Thu 07-Feb-13 21:30:39

Tarka, I know she is addicted, but surely she must know that too. To keep on and on about how she has no money for the things her boys want to do is kidding herself. She must KNOW that she is spending her money on herself and not her boys.

Don'tmindifIdo, yes my children are very lucky. They do have all those activities that other children can't. I work as a dinner lady and when I get down about the job I think about the enjoyment my children get.

TarkaTheOtter Thu 07-Feb-13 21:22:33

Smoking is VERY addictive. I smoked before conceiving my dd and I would have rather gone hungry than not had fags. It was massively detrimental to my health (i have asthma) as well as my finances - but I considered it essential expenditure. I would feel panicky if I came close to running out and didn't know when I would be able to buy more.

I don't think you are BU, but I think you are underestimating the power that nicotine has over your friend.

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Feb-13 21:21:47

to be fair OP, your children are lucky. They are lucky you spend that spare £50 a week on them one way or another, not on some other habit for yourself.

I don't see where I could find an extra £50 a week to do that without decreasing the standard of living for us all. Perhaps a lot of smokers don't think in terms of it being a choice they are making?

NonnoMum Thu 07-Feb-13 21:20:24

I thought you meant she plays the violin in a literal sense. And that the lessons might be quite expensive...

THAT would be annoying too.

But more tuneful and less smelly.

JoansRivers Thu 07-Feb-13 21:20:04

YANBU. It's selfish and unhealthy. Your friend clearly wanted you to pay for the DSs.

next time, respond thus:
"and you're so lucky, having £2500 a year to spend purely on yourself. How lovely to have that much disposable cash. Me, after the children have their clubs and little holidays, well, we're spent up. However do you manage it? Where do you make your economies?"

HilaryClinton Thu 07-Feb-13 21:13:29

There is no reasoning with smokers. Completely unreasonable when it comes to their fags. Just say "course you an't afford it when you puff it away". No sympathy for her and she'll soon find someone else to bleat on at.

NaturalBaby Thu 07-Feb-13 21:08:12

I don't go to the pub/clubbing/have sky ... should I be smoking then? Exercise is my vice - £40 a month.
Luck has nothing to do with the choices people make about what to spend their money on.

pingu2209 Thu 07-Feb-13 21:01:02

I may have over estimated. This term's Rainbows was £23.00

AllDirections Thu 07-Feb-13 20:56:49

pingu £3.50 for Rainbows shock I only pay £1.50

MammaTJ Thu 07-Feb-13 20:55:57

I would just calmly point out the difference being you don't smoke and she does, you pays your money, you takes your choice!!

montage Thu 07-Feb-13 20:50:58

I also thought the violin-playing was literal.

I was already formulating my opinions about someone who was following a creatively-fulfilling career that wasn't very lucrative, and the dimmension of her choices affecting her children or not.

Then I read the rest of the OP grin

pingu2209 Thu 07-Feb-13 20:33:39

If we spent £50 a week on smoking we would not be able to do the following for our children:

Football x 2 boys = £7.00/week
Swimming x 3 children = £8.25/week
Rugby x 2 boys= £7.00/week
Multisports x 2 boys = £7.00/week
Rainbows x 1 girl = £3.50/week

Kit for the children for those activities = £10.00

So every time my friend makes comments about how 'lucky' my children are, I think of these figures.

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Feb-13 20:09:46

Crikeyblimey - at the risk of sounding flippant, why don't you stop then?

I hadn't thought of it being £50 a week habit - thats a pair of Jimmy Choos spa weekend £500 in savings in less than 3 months... We're quite well off, but how does anyone find a spare £50 a week? Or £100 a week for a couple who smoke? How does anyone who's not really rich afford it without having to really lower their standard of living?

HollaAtMeBaby Thu 07-Feb-13 19:54:40

YANBU. People who claim poverty and let their children go short of things while setting fire to £5 a day or more are one of my pet hates. Tell her you don't want to hear it.

Bunbaker Thu 07-Feb-13 19:33:41

"She walked away and a massive huff"

Only because she knew you were right. If you keep pointing out how expensive her smoking habit is she will soon shut up about your spending. Anyway how you spend your money is none of her business.

"Smoking is an addiction. It's not easy to stop so the op is being a bit unreasonable"

But non smokers don't see it that way. They see it as money going up in smoke - literally. I don't think anyone who smokes has any right to criticise other people on how they spend their money.

This is a sore point for me as both my parents were heavy smokers and we had no TV or car or many things most of my friends had because all their spare cash went on cigarettes. Your friend's children will begin to notice and resent their mother's dirty habit.

Crikeyblimey Thu 07-Feb-13 19:29:55

I am a smoker and fully aware of what I could have it I stopped (doesn't affect what food we buy or ds's stuff) but I still carry on - cos I am stupid.

Dh gets the same "spends" (for want of a better word) as I spend on fags and he is currently in scotland on a week's winter mountaineering course. His spends have paid for this, plus travel, accommodation and one hell of amlot if kit.

I know I'm the fool but still I carry on. Who'd have thought I would be so daft.

Having said all that - I'd never complain that I was skint because I'm obviously not skint enough, or I'd make more effort to quit.

LtEveDallas Thu 07-Feb-13 19:27:52

...and me grin

One of DHs friends upset him a few weeks ago. He'd spent a week or so digging at DH for the things he was doing/affording (Both SAHDs, but I earn more than friends wife). He made a couple of sarky comments after we signed DD up to an after school activity, along the lines of "It's OK for YOU, YOU can afford it with only one kid" (he has twins) and then slated the activity as being "sissy and snobby"

DH didn't say anything but came home smarting. What pisses DH off is that not long ago friend spent over £2K on a TV, and both kids had iPads for Xmas (so they wouldn't fight over them). We don't have anything like that. We do have more money, but it's not like that is our "fault"

Maybe if he hadn't had to have the latest and best TV his kids could have done the same as DD hmm

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