Dear E. Jean: My friends are being fake. They lavish me with compliments—all of them so phony that I can’t believe they think I’m not seeing through it. Why? Because my new boyfriend is loaded—incredibly wealthy. They ambush us at parties with “pitches” for their “projects” and pleas to invest in their dreams. One of my friends spotted us at a café and for 20 minutes nagged us to set up a “business meeting.” It’s getting to the point where I’m afraid to show up anywhere with the guy!
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All of this makes me feel lonely and kinda sad. I’ve even begun wondering: Is everybody interested in me only because of my boyfriend’s money? Am I supposed to stop making friends? Or do I simply not introduce my boyfriend to my friends? —Fake-Friend Magnet
Miss Magnet, My Kumquat: Now, now. Don’t be so hard on your friends. I remember the summer when a couple—handsome, clever, and rich, rich, rich—bought the Jumping Horse Ranch and moved into our small Montana valley. We all went completely batshit. I mean, we lost our brains! We threw them dinner party after dinner party, pitched them business proposals to start new magazines, let them win at Botticelli, squired them to the rodeo, and so on. By New Year’s we’d all simmered down and simply enjoyed them.
I suspect this is what will happen with your friends. As you love them for their excellent qualities and their sins—their humor, their kindness, their always being late, et cetera—they love you for your quirky self and the fact that you possess a spankin’ rich lover-dude.
The problem will sort itself out, trust Auntie Eeee. Your boyfriend will soon avoid the friends of yours he doesn’t like, and your “fake” friends will fade away.
This letter is from the Ask E. Jean Archive, 1993-2017. Send questions to E. Jean at E.Jean@AskEJean.com.