Biting your tongue in front of your partner won’t come back to bite you, but if you aren’t honest with your wealthy friends, it certainly could eat away at your wallet.
Q: Is biting your tongue around your partner sometimes the key to a healthy relationship, or best to let everything out?
Here are some clear guidelines. If the thing in your mind is troubling you or making you hurt or making you sad or making you feel weird and lonesome, say it. Tell your partner what’s on your mind. Maybe it will turn out to be nothing, or maybe it will spark a light, but at least you will have let the tension out.
Conversely, if the thing in your mind is a ball of mean, and if you have been rolling it around in your head, looking for notches where you can attach hurtful little spikes to it, and if you have been fantasizing about how when you throw it out there, it will explode and make your partner feel crumpled and small, bite your tongue.
Then later, when you are alone, apologize. Apologize to yourself. Apologize to everyone you have ever shared a thought with. Understand that you nearly shat in the pool. Be grateful that you didn’t.
Q: Our couple friends have gotten quite a bit wealthier than us, which poses a dilemma when we go out for dinner together and such. We can no longer afford to split the bills. How do we fess up that we just can’t afford their lifestyle?
Are they just rich, or are they rich and also the boss of you? Here is how you afford to split the bill on nights out together: You go to places that serve cheap food and cheap drinks.
Colloquially, they are known as “pubs” or “casual dining restaurants.” Maybe you have heard of them. When you are making plans with your rich friends, suggest places like these. Then you can go out and have wings and nachos and pitchers of Coors, and when the tab comes, you can go Dutch and everybody’s wallet survives the night.
If your friends don’t like cheap food and cheap drinks anymore, and if they can’t bear to be seen in a restaurant with fewer than two and a half stars, they are losing their taste for life itself.
Wish them every happiness with their new friends, who are also rich and have nothing to talk about but real estate and how hard it is to find a good nanny. Savour the memories of the good old days, and good riddance.
Nothing to be embarrassed about. Just tell them, “We aren’t as rich as you and we can’t afford to keep going out to these expensive restaurants. Come to our house and we’ll barbecue some burgers instead.”
This is Canada, after all, where everyone pretends we are a classless society. So if you acknowledge your lack of cash, the only possible reaction your friends can reasonably have is, “Oh, of course! No problem! We love burgers!” Anything else would be snotty.