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.

earlierintheweek Thu 07-Feb-13 16:53:46

Okay. Why be friends with her then? You sound awfully angry and if I were you I'd step back from the friendship.

sooperdooper Thu 07-Feb-13 16:54:44

Mention it to her then smile

KeepingCalmAndPostingNicely Thu 07-Feb-13 16:55:04

Yep - sounds like you're not having a nice time being round her. Only one way to fix that!

Trills Thu 07-Feb-13 16:55:23

I assume she has other qualities that make you choose to be friends with her?

YANBU to find that annoying, but "irate" seems a bit much.

manicbmc Thu 07-Feb-13 16:56:07

As a smoker, that would annoy the hell out of me too.

I've cut down. I smoke what I can afford. If it was a case of going out and doing stuff or smoking (and I smoke a whole lot less than your friend), the fags would have to go.

She could smoke rollies?

Lulumama Thu 07-Feb-13 16:56:12

I can see why this would frustrate you , but I think suggesting she stops smoking to save her money wold probably get you an ear bashing. She would probably argue it is her only indulgence and she deserves it etc substitute cigarettes for say, gym membership, would you feel the same?

pingu2209 Thu 07-Feb-13 16:56:27

I have stepped back, but it is difficult as there are so many other people who we are both friends with. The last straw was when I started working after being a SAHM as a dinner lady. There were 2 jobs going and she could easily have taken the other one, but she said no because she would be embarrassed doing it.

Lulumama Thu 07-Feb-13 16:57:20

then her ciggies are the least of teh problems, i'd be more pissed off she felt that taking that job ws beneath her. that's an attitude i'd hate to deal with

manicbmc Thu 07-Feb-13 16:57:44

In that case, she can fuck right off. Who would be 'embarrassed' to be a dinner lady?

pingu2209 Thu 07-Feb-13 16:58:46

At Christmas when her twin boys wanted a Nintendo DS each, I found second hand ones at £50 each. I suggested she stopped smoking for just 2 weeks and then she could buy them the DS's that they really wanted.

She said that smoking was her only vice and she didn't go out to the pub, go clubbing, have SKY etc. So she wouldn't stop smoking.

manicbmc Thu 07-Feb-13 17:09:38

She could have cut down for 4 weeks and got the presents.

HollyBerryBush Thu 07-Feb-13 17:11:40

But she's an addict. She cant stop just because you think she should. She would have to want to stop.

PrivatelyPeaceful Thu 07-Feb-13 17:11:54

I thought she literally played the violin and wondered how that was relevant grin

expatinscotland Thu 07-Feb-13 17:12:38

So don't be friends with her. But irate? If this is all you have to get irate about, consider yourself lucky.

DeepRedBetty Thu 07-Feb-13 17:15:05

yanbu to be exasperated. I still enjoy the odd rollie, but I can afford about £10 month without short changing the family.

One of my SILs is like this, the only difference is she did - eventually - knuckle down and get a dinner lady job!

She now bangs on at the drop of a hat about feckless benefit scroungers. Unfortunately thanks to being in work she can afford to get the DM. I sometimes feel I can't win...

florencepink Thu 07-Feb-13 17:20:52

Maybe she feels like this because she is comparing herself to what you have or do with your kids? Maybe try telling her what a good job she is doing or pick out something her kids do well and compliment her on it. It's just a different approach to try.

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Thu 07-Feb-13 17:23:20

PrivatelyPeaceful, yy me too. Busking?

FellatioNels0n Thu 07-Feb-13 17:27:17

What Holly said. However, YANBU and people like that annoy me too. Especially when they say there is no food in the house.

PrivatelyPeaceful Thu 07-Feb-13 17:28:31

Blonde am giggling away now

lljkk Thu 07-Feb-13 17:30:49

I think OP can't help but notice and find it grating. Exercise in diplomacy.

I have friends who tell their children they are skint so kids can't have XYZ things. Naturally those expensive things are things that the parents disapprove of, anyway.

BUT, the parents have a very expensive hobby. I fear that one day I will hear the children saying yet again "We can't have X because we don't have much money" and I may blurt something out I shouldn't.

Sashapineapple Thu 07-Feb-13 17:32:31

That sort of thing annoys me too. I know someone who smokes 20 a day (malboro lights) and then says she can only afford to give her kids tesco value fish fingers and stuff like that for tea. If she spent less on fags and more on the kids food she could feed them better quality and fruit and veg.

pingu2209 Thu 07-Feb-13 18:16:34

I thought "am I being too judgemental? Or actually do I have a point?"

I couldn't work it out for myself. It is a bit of a mixed bag.

We have booked a week's holiday in Cornwall over the Whitsun holiday and today my friend made a sarcastic comment, again, about how lovely it would be to afford a holiday. I replied by telling her that it cost £700 for the week so if she stopped smoking she could afford it in 3 months.

She walked away and a massive huff.

Why should she make comments about how 'lucky' I am to afford to do family things, but she puffs her family days into her lungs.

DontmindifIdo Thu 07-Feb-13 18:24:57

well, keep pointing it out to her every time she bitches about having no money that she could afford X if she stopped smoking for Y length of time. Either she'll make an effort not to complain at you about her finances, or she'll stop being your friend. Either way seems to work.

But someone who always goes on about how 'lucky' you are to have certain things they could easily afford if they made different choices are as annoying as the sort of people who tell you that you are 'lucky' to be thin, while they then go on to eat a pile of crap. A lot of people's 'bad luck' is actually 'bad choices' - but people don't like having their bad choices pointed out to them.

The trick is to realise what bad choices you have made/currently making and not complain about the concequences of them.

ENormaSnob Thu 07-Feb-13 18:38:23


This would irritate me too.

maddening Thu 07-Feb-13 19:02:18

Every time she moans just reply "then give up smoking" she'll soon get the message

PrivatelyPeaceful and NaturalBlondeYeahRight
Me too blush grin

DontEvenThinkAboutIt Thu 07-Feb-13 19:17:51

As she comments on your finances I think it is fair game to comment on hers. Spending £50 a week on fags then complaining you are skint is a bit confused

BMW6 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:18:10

I;m a smoker, but no way would I put my habit before my children's needs.

If she can't give up suggest she smokes rollies - at least half the cost of ready made.

mirry2 Thu 07-Feb-13 19:19:25

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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

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!!

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

pingu £3.50 for Rainbows shock I only pay £1.50

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

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

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.

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.

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?"

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

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

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.

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?

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.

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.

VitoCorleone 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.

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

She should sell her violin.

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

grin usualsuspect

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!

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.

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".

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

YANBU. What a selfish mum.

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