MISS MANNERS Maintaining Friendships During Tough Economic Times 2009: Dear Manners

MISS MANNERS Maintaining friendships during tough economic times

Dear Miss Manners: My financial situation has changed recently and not for the better.
I am in a quandary about how to deal with invitations to events that I cannot afford. These aren’t invitations to extravagant balls but invitations to meet for meals at moderately priced restaurants I used to frequent with them or attend movies and concerts at venues that used to be in my price range. If I explain that finances are too tight, instead of changing plans, they offer to pay my share. While I appreciate their generosity, I don’t always want to divulge my financial difficulties, nor am I comfortable having other people pay my share all the time. When I initiate events, I do so in ways that are affordable to me and I believe they will enjoy, too, such as meeting for coffee or inviting them for a meal at my house. Do you have any advice about how I can respond to others’ invitations in a way that doesn’t require me to divulge too much personal information, be a constant charity recipient or insult them by simply refusing Gentle Reader:
With a bit of effort, you can be in the position of doing your friends a great service. Even if they are not feeling the pinch themselves these days — and few people are not — they may welcome a change from their routine.

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