For my friends in US, they could think of working less for less pay. But if you were in Japan like me, working more is not out of choice, its out of compulsion. For a Japanese, work is worship, work is in their culture. Unless and until you finish your work, you can't leave office. Pay is secondary.
Well, I feel, sometimes you just don't end up getting close to anyone after a certain age because you choose to remain with your old friends. Its all a matter of making choices. Also, after a certain age we form fixed notions about certain issues and find it difficult to change our opinion or consider other persons opinion, hence we feel we can't get close to anyone.
There have been instances where I've met old school friends after a long time and I just didn't get along with them primarily because we have grown apart.
I'd rather buy 1 cake for each of the boys and let everyone be happy. I have the money, so I don't waste my time and energy for such futile things. I have other important things to do (like make more money).