"I have a full time job now," my old friend from high school says, grinning proudly. "We've got to get you one of those!"
I die inside a little bit. I drove all the way out to Timbuktu to see him and he goes all parental on me? Not cool.
"I'm working on it..." I say. "I'm also hoping the music plan will work out..." Even though I'm talking to someone who is technically one of my best friends, I feel like I want to crawl under the table.
"But aren't you running out of money?" he says, raising an eyebrow.
Later in the conversation he's asking me how I could afford a guitar. I wanted to just stand up and say, "Look, I came over here to eat junk food, catch up with what's been going on in your life, tell you funny stories about my commune, and geek out over obscure disco songs with you. I did not come over for a financial audit and evaluation!"
Instead, I found myself trying to justify my purchase by telling him about the great deal I got and about how I earned money from doing this or that. And as I heard the words come out of my mouth, I was saddened by the fact that I live in a world where I have to constantly discuss my financial status with people who really have no right to ask. I don't go around asking people where their money is coming from, so why do people think it's appropriate to grill me on such matters? Just because I'm not working 9-5 somewhere doesn't mean I'm an illegitimate member of society.
Overall, it was good to see my old friend from high school today, if for no other reason than to quench my growing nostalgia for the good old days that aren't really that old and weren't really that good. We listened to music that no one else cares about and laughed at inside jokes that no one else would understand. I'll admit that it is really nice to still talk to someone who knew me back when I was just an awkward, geeky teenager.
I'll also admit that it was nice to go back to my place, play guitar with The Fonz and The Poet, and hear the words "Of course you have a full time job, Lauren - it just isn't paying very well right now."
I need to get that tattooed on my arm or something...