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To switch off when my friend now complains about being broke

(143 Posts)
speedymama Wed 01-Aug-07 13:16:04

My friend and her DH both work and have two children with one at nursery.

She complains about the large mortgage on their large 4 bed detached with double garage, the nursery fees, not being able to afford a holiday, can't afford to go out in the evening with her DH and that they can't afford to repay family members money loaned to them.

I was sympathetic, listened attentively, suggested ideas for cheap holidays like 4 nights at Haven (mistake - she prefers Center Parcs) or camping (even bigger mistake)............

They have just bought a brand new car with private number plates.

AIBU to switch off when she starts complaining in future?

Sheherazadethegoat Wed 01-Aug-07 13:17:58

yep or walk out of the room with your hands over your ears saying 'blahblahblahicant hearyou'

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 01-Aug-07 13:18:19

Why not just say, calmly, that perhaps she doesn't appreciate how lucky she is, and that relatively speaking she is a wealthy woman.

Then change the subject!

JudgeyMcJudgeson Wed 01-Aug-07 13:19:16


SOunds like a pain.

MrsSpoon Wed 01-Aug-07 13:20:28

Yes to putting fingers in ears. At the end of the day we all have choices to make and her choice has been the big house and flash car. I often find people that moan about being hard up are the ones who aren't all that hard up at all.

KTeePee Wed 01-Aug-07 13:23:12

YANBU but tbh, i would just nod politely and not get drawn into a discussion - there was a thread a bit along these lines recently and I think it is all relative - people are a lot better off now than in the past - even the poorest people in this country, being realistic, but every decade more and more things are seen as being "necessities" rather than the luxuries they were a few years previously. I felt that I made some people very angry by trying to point this out

gringottsgoblin Wed 01-Aug-07 13:24:56

depending on what your friend is like i would be tempted to say something sarcy to shut her up. obv wouldnt if she is going to be really offended but i would struggle to keep my mouth shut

Desiderata Wed 01-Aug-07 13:26:45

Well, it's a very good point KTee. Money is a touchy subject on MN .. I've had similar experiences when I've tried to state the bloody obvious

And no, speedy, YANBU. She needs a slap on the face with a wet mackerel.

Tortington Wed 01-Aug-07 13:30:18

i can't have friends likethat - they piss me off and i tend not to phone

speedymama Wed 01-Aug-07 13:36:28

I'm withdrawing slowly because tbh, I don't care anymore.

Two months ago she threw a huge birthday party for her 5yo daughter and invited 200 friends. I did say "I thought you were broke?" and she responded with well we are doing the food ourselves so only need to pay for the hall and entertainment.

MrsSpoon Wed 01-Aug-07 13:39:52

Blimey, I've thrown kids parties at home for around 25 guests and still spent £200 on food!

Tortington Wed 01-Aug-07 13:40:16

yeah her broke and your broke - or my broke are different things - living on a shit load of credit cards to keep up with the jones - she will be bankrupt come next intrest rate rise.

MrsSpoon Wed 01-Aug-07 13:40:39

Actually sorry that's a little inaccurate, just remembered that the majority of parents stayed too but still.

speedymama Wed 01-Aug-07 13:40:50

I'm still trying to work out where the 200 children came from.

MrsSpoon Wed 01-Aug-07 13:43:46

She probably hired them from somewhere.

speedymama Wed 01-Aug-07 13:44:49

Custy, I fear you are right. The house is beautiful but very expensive. I believe everyone should have aspirations but it should be affordable.

speedymama Wed 01-Aug-07 13:45:19


MadamePlatypus Wed 01-Aug-07 13:48:37

yes, she needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

Anna8888 Wed 01-Aug-07 13:48:43


It is gross and tasteless to complain about being hard up in the circumstances you describe your friend living in.

hippipotami Wed 01-Aug-07 13:50:01

200 children?? Blimey, did she put an ad in the paper or something? My dc are relatively popular at school / nursery but in no way have 200 friends. Probably 20!

Your friend sounds very well off. Perhaps she moans about being broke as she feels a bit embarrassed about what she has? Perhaps she feels that if she shows how 'easy' she has it that you will perceive it as showing off? (Not saying you will, but trying to give her the benefit of the doubt)

I went through a phase of being very envious of my friends who moved out of their little Victorian semis (which is what I live in, so suddenly I felt 'left behind', they were 'upgrading' when I was stuck in the same little house)into great big detached ones with garages / extensive gardens etc. On top of their two holidays a year and frequent weekends away. Then I realised that to have a huge mortgage around your neck and credit cards maxed out was not something to be jealous of.

Withdraw slowly, or stay friends but silently pity her - if she is moaning she is obviously not happy. Goes to show that having a big house is not the be all and end all.

CarGirl Wed 01-Aug-07 13:52:56

you could say......

"well stop living beyond your means then and downsize property"

easier said than done though...

speedymama Wed 01-Aug-07 13:58:14

I've actually said that Cargirl.

TBH, they are well off compared to a lot of people but not compared to people who can afford to buy a £500k executive house. They are both 30yo so don't understand why they running before they can walk, particularly as I know there joint income is around £50k.

Just can't understand their logic tbh so I'm withdrawing.

speedymama Wed 01-Aug-07 13:58:53

their joint income

Meglet Wed 01-Aug-07 14:00:55

YANBU she sounds like a nightmare. private number plates - oh dear.

hotcrumpets Wed 01-Aug-07 14:01:15

its just reverse bragging

she can't go about going "we've got this we've got that blah blah blah"

so she does it by moaning about how much it's all costing her etc etc

people like this are boring

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