Why? Well it’s quite simple really…I can’t afford it.
And no, I don’t think “Bachelorette Party” qualifies as one of those things you “have” to afford.
Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with that sentiment, so I’ve been met with some eye rolls and attitude.
Meanwhile, one of my other friends, who is halfway through nursing school and up to her eyeballs in debt IS going because she feels OBLIGATED.
Let me say this, ALL “OBLIGATIONS” ARE A CHOICE. You are the one who decides whether or not something is an obligation. Yes, there are societal, cultural, and peer expectations and pressures, but at the end of the day, the decision is yours.
And for me, the bachelorette party did not qualify.
Let me tell you what I’ll be doing with that money instead: paying my rent, paying my bills, and spending on my current priorities. That’s right, I have other personal priorities for my money left over after the bills are paid that trump my best friend’s bachelorette party.
The philosophy that every free moment and dollar I have should go to the bride-to-be is beyond absurd to me- no matter how good a friend or how close the relation.
So what is this personal priority that’s so important? A trip to Europe. My boyfriend left for Europe at the start of this year for a six month work contract. My goal is to visit in early April, around the halfway mark. Not only is this an opportunity for me to spend time with my significant other, it’s an opportunity for me to experience Europe for two weeks for relatively little money (since I’ll be able to stay in the boyfriends’ hotel for free)!
The bachelorette party is in Mid March. It is to consist of a private stretch limo ride to Atlantic City (from Northern New Jersey) for a night on the town (which as I was told, is to involve dinner and clubbing). Between what I would need to pay for my share and the bride to be’s, I would likely wind up having to spend several hundred dollars on the evening. In other words, close to a THIRD of what I would need to make my TWO WEEK trip to Europe happen.
Is it selfish of me to refuse? Maybe?
But considering that I’ll already be spending $100-200 on gifts, transportation, accommodations, etc for the wedding itself and the bridal shower, I just don’t see that. Perhaps, if I had a job where I made more money it wouldn’t seem like such a big deal?
Hold on, why should I even feel the need to justify myself? The way I spend my money is for me to decide. And even if I had the money for both the trip and the party, I don’t know that I would go. Not because I’m spiteful or a bitch, but because the principle of spending $300-500 on nothing more than food, drink, and in my opinion, terrible entertainment, (I HATE clubs), in the course of a few hours is CRAZY to me.
I hate that we’ve developed this culture of entirely unnecessary excess, but even more, I hate that there is an expectation for everyone to participate- regardless of their finances or of their previous goals and commitments.
Maybe I’ll kick myself in a few years when no one likes me any more because I’ve pissed them off with my “principles” and “priorities”. Maybe I’ll even lose a best friend. But if my friends can’t understand that they are PART of my life (a very important part, but still a part) and not ALL of my life, perhaps I need to re-evaluate those relationships.
How do you deal with peer pressure and expectation to spend? Have you had relationships strained because you were unwilling to spend money on a so-called “obligation”?