This is a movie about friendships – specifically four close friends, three with money and Jennifer Aniston, who supported herself as a maid.
My friends have money. I don’t. But it wasn’t always this way.
Long, long ago and far, far away in a land known as Tinsel town, I was flying pretty high. I wrote TV-movies – some good, some crap – but they all paid me the big bucks. Life was sweet and it seldom occurred to me that it would ever be any different. Some may call that naïve. I prefer to blame it on heavy use of hallucinogenics in the sixties, but regardless, I spent like the proverbial drunken sailor. What money I did manage to squirrel away vanished in the stock market crash of 2000 when the dot.com bubble burst like an overripe melon dropped from a highrise.
Right around this same time, a glut of new “Reality” TV shows were emerging on the scene, shows which could be made far more cheaply than my movies, and the stage was set for my early, abrupt and unexpected retirement.
Bless the Writers Guild for having more foresight than I did. Because of all the writers who’d marched on picket lines over the years so that I could enjoy good wages and benefits, I now at least had a pension and, but for one lousy consonant, I could have still been sitting pretty. Alas, in the days when my cup was running over, I bought a horse instead of a house.
Here’s a life lesson no one ever prepared me for: When your income gets smaller, your expenses must follow. By the time, I figured this out I was in as deep as those miners in Chile.
Most of my friends were a lot more financially savvy than I was. Or at least they had the good sense to marry someone with some smarts in that area.
Which brings us to now and my new role as the “Jennifer Aniston” friend. I’m not quite scrubbing other people’s toilets, but I can’t “keep up with the Joneses” anymore either. Simple things like lunches, movies – even an invitation to a potluck can stress my weekly grocery budget. Meet for a drink? Are you kidding? With the price of gas, I can’t afford to drive to the bar, much less buy a drink.
And yet my friends still love me. They’ve carried my ass more times than I can count. I just wish I could remember the last time I was able to reciprocate because that’s where the real rub is for me. It would be nice being the one picking up the check again.
With so many people facing difficult economic times these days, I really can’t complain. There are plenty who have it much harder than I do. People in really desperate circumstances. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about that… and wonder if they’d like to be friends.
Notice the addition of my movie “Big Spender” in my left sidebar. If you buy it, I get royalties. Just sayin’…