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Goodbye, Good Friend!


A little background information about me (this may be a review for long time readers) – husband and I are originally from Texas, then moved to southern Florida (for my Masters degree), and finally out to Arizona (for my PhD). We’ve now been here (Tucson, AZ) for nearly 6 years. But one of the bad things about moving to a place specifically for grad school and then staying there is that all your friends eventually move away! They graduate and get jobs or drop out and move back home. Either way, they leave.

So although I had a lot of grad school buddies my first few years here, the further I get away from grad school (I’ve been done for nearly 2 years now), the fewer friends I have left as they all leave.

I still have a handful of more casual friends/neighbors, but I’ve got 2 really good/close friends in the area. Sadly, one of them is leaving on March 1st  (edited, for mistake): May 1st.  This is a friend I’ve mentioned several times on the blog. We get together about once a week to do a workout (walk/jog a pretty river trail in town), and she’s the friend who got married this past October.

I’ve known for awhile now (and just haven’t mentioned it here), but her new husband scored a new job that will cause them to relocate this summer. His contract doesn’t officially start until June 1st, but they’ve bought a house in their new city so they’re getting a U-Haul on May 1st, driving cross-country, and taking a few weeks to get settled in before his job begins. Hopefully I’ll see my friend again. I’m not doing a lot of “fun” travel these days so it’s unlikely I’ll fly to visit her in her new city. But we’re in the same basic field so hopefully our paths will cross at academic conferences. Also, her parents currently live in Tucson so hopefully I’ll still get to see her every once in awhile if she chooses to come visit them here.

Regardless, it will probably be quite awhile until I get to see my good friend again. So this month has been a bit more spendy than usual in terms of eating out.

First, I went out with my friend and her husband to celebrate her husband’s successful dissertation defense (they met in grad school, so he’s in the same program we had been in).

Second, she expressed interest in having a little going away party. The timing didn’t work out as she’d hoped with everything going on so, in lieu of an actual party, I told her I’d love to take her out for a “going away” lunch the day before they pick up the U-Haul.

To try to offset these expenses a bit, I’ve really tried to reign in my family’s eating out. We try to stick to a $100 monthly budget and this usually equals one time eating out as a family (as a real restaurant), a pizza night, and another cheap food night (like Mexican take-out). The budget also includes if I run through Wendy’s for a strawberry lemonade (my favorite) or if the family goes to Sonic for an after-dinner ice cream treat. You get the idea.

At any rate, I’ve gone out of my way to really make everything at home and avoid eating out at all. I think this has helped to off-set some of these other eating out costs that I’m incurring this month. But the going away lunch has yet to happen so I do have one more potentially spendy meal out. Luckily, lunch is generally not as pricey as dinner but I still wouldn’t be surprised if the single meal ends up being $50. Might not seem like a lot for a going away celebration of sorts, but it’s 50% of my entire month’s budget for eating out, so it makes me nervous about potentially going a little over in that budget category (and trying to find another category to cut-back in this late in the month is a bit of a challenge, too).

At any rate, I’ll keep you updated with how it goes. I can’t believe how quickly this month has flown by! Just as March seemed to draaaaaaaag on, this month has just disappeared! I guess its a good thing – I’m already looking toward next month and being able to make a larger car payment now that those pesky license fees are gone! Yippee!!!

What do you do to celebrate a good friend when he/she moves away?

And  – just for fun – what’s your eating out budget set at for your family (and what’s your family size)? Just curious and nosy on that one. ; )


  • Reply Joe |

    Sad when grad school friends leave! We were fortunate: we moved to another city as well, and a good number of friends ended up making the same move…
    But of course, a few years later, many are gone again after finishing up postdocs (but a few decided to stay, like us).

    At the end of the day, it still ends up being a small(er) world these days with all different ways of keeping in touch. And if you end up in academia again, yes it will feel even smaller!

    • Reply Ashley |

      It’s true! It’s funny, aside from my sister (who is my #1 best friend), I’d say my best friend is a girl I met when I was in 5th grade, 10 years old. We haven’t lived in the same place in nearly a decade but somehow have always maintained close contact. Technology certainly helps! Though it never feels the same as the friend “down the street” that you can call up and have pop over for dinner that same night, or drop by and chat while the kids play out back, etc. There’s something to be said for good friends in the same area code ; )

  • Reply Jackie |

    Well for us we just go out to lunch when someone moves away. I was a Navy wife so people came and went all the time. Honestly you just didn’t get that attached because you knew what would happen. We’d just do a lunch together or something small. Nobody had the time to do much more than that.

    • Reply Ashley |

      That totally makes sense as part of the military community! That’s a tough life to live and I admire those in the military (and their supporting families, too!) Thanks for your husband’s service and to you for all you undoubtedly did to support the troops and allow them to focus on their mission at hand! Lots of respect from me!

      • Reply Jackie |

        I have to honestly say I won’t do that route again. I learned a lot but it is often a tough lonely way to go. I was only 19 at the time too. He was gone 10 months out of the year. I’m glad my current husband is a small town guy. We fit a lot better.

  • Reply Sue |

    Our eating out “BUDGET” is $100 a month – we very, very, rarely stick to that though! We have a real issue with eating out – I hate, hate, HATE to cook and make any excuse in the book to no have to. Thankfully we don’t drink, smoke, do drugs, gamble, or other vices that cost a lot of money because we seem to be stuck with this one 🙂

    • Reply Ashley |

      This is a hard area for me, too! When I first started blogging I’d set the budget at $75/month but consistently went over every single month. I upped it to $100 and now its hit-or-miss. Sometimes (if I make a very conscious and concerted effort), we meet the goal. But we’re very much the same (no smoking, drugs, gambling, and very seldom drink), so eating out is one of our big vices. I say “our” but I really mean “MY” vice. lol.

  • Reply Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore |

    I think going over your budget while saying goodbye to a dear friend is an A-Okay thing. Sometimes things like this come up and you can’t miss everything in life all the time due to budget. My entertainment and eating out budget (all one line) is $50 (I’m single). But I almost never make it. Ugh!

So, what do you think ?