What’s a good friend worth to you?
To have someone in your life who will be there to create and share in the good times, and be there to support you during the bad?
Would you pay, say, eight bucks?
My 9-year old son hopped in the car after soccer practice and explained that a teammate had offered to be his best friend forever for only $8.
“No matter what I did, even if I was mean, he’d still be my best friend,” he explained.
Once again, I had to shuck a life oyster so that I could bequeath yet another pearl of wisdom to my son.
Me: “Michael, you are not paying that kid $8 to be your friend.”
Michael: “I know, I wouldn’t do that.”
Me: “Good, that’s just insane.”
Michael: “I talked him down to a dollar.”
Me: “What!?! You are NOT paying for friendship.”
Michael: “But Dad…it’s FOREVER. Isn’t forever worth a dollar?”
I wasn’t sure if I should be mad at the other kid for extortion or proud of my son for his stellar negotiation.
I went on to explain that friendship can’t be purchased, it has to be earned. You build friendships, you don’t buy them. I explained that my best friends in life never asked for anything from me outside of friendship. No money was ever exchanged even though I feel I could have charged prime rates.
I asked him if he would ever charge someone to be his friend and he said he wouldn’t. He got the message and decided against taking the offer, as generous as it was.
But, if in the off chance he does end up shelling out a few bucks, are friendship fees tax deductible?