She believes I could have handled my finances better

Dear Bunmi,

I have an old friend who meddles in my financial affairs. We’d been together  since our secondary school days and are now in our late 40s. We’re both divorced but  the similarity ends there.

My friend seems to have the best of everything; she runs a thriving business and  has a house in a nice place on Lagos Island. She has only two children while I have  four.

 

I do a bit of petty trading from time to time and some of the children chip in  financially whenever they can.

I have a claptrap car which I struggle to keep on the road. My friend has cars she  fills up with petrol all of the time. Whenever I grumble about money, she asks why I didn’t invest my money when I had a good job. Is she for real?

How can I invest in anything bringing up four children with no real help coming  from their father? Recently, she phoned up with the news that her late father’s estate  had been settled and she inherited one of his houses. I don’t begrudge her what she’s  got but I hate her having my nose rubbed in her wealth.

When she asks why I don’t make more effort with my appearance, I tell her I  have no money. She thinks I’m being mean, believing my children give me a lot of  money I have stashed somewhere. How do I make her understand I don’t like being questioned about my finances?

Opeolu,

bye-mail.

Dear Opeolu,

It’s obvious you resent your friend’s financial good fortune and that’s a shame.

Your protests imply that she’s at fault for having more cash than you do. But if your  circumstance had been a little different, your roles might have been reversed, with you  the richer one being envied. Whatever you do, don’t allow money to come between  you and your friend of several decades. Friendship is too valuable to waste.

Recognise the bitterness your friend’s prosperity sometimes evoke in you. Admit  to her that, by comparison to her you really are as poor as can be. This may hurt your pride but friendship depends on openness and honesty. Next time your friend suggests  you spruce yourself up, tell her cheekily: ok! Are you paying?