Wednesday, 26 March 2014

On money, again

The other day I wrote a post on the money's code of silence. Since then, I couldn't stop thinking about it.

I will not aspire to something so ambitious as cracking this code because (1) I don't know how to, and (2) I don't really want to speculate, you know, for various undisclosed reasons that are primarily directed at my desire to avoid misunderstanding. There has been a few times whereby I was incapable of writing in a way that is understood in the way that I intend it to be. I would love to say that other people have an uncanny ability of taking what I said a little bit too literally during the most unfortunate moments. But it is mostly attributed to me not being bothered enough to explain myself, let alone my meanings. I feel so grown up; ten years ago, that sentence would never have crossed my mind.

Money is a fascinating medium: it can be so much more than its purchasing power alone. Money can change the dynamics of your relationships with people, money changes how people look at you, treat you, befriend you, money makes people behave differently, choose differently, live differently. People may even love you for your money, or stop loving you for your lack of money. It is a sad, harsh reality of life. I am tempted to run a social experiment whereby I declare myself a lottery winner and see how many people 'suddenly' want to catch up with me. I have not won the lottery yet, and given that I have written about this experiment here, chance of me running it is like pretty much zero.

It is not about my refusal to spend my money or even share it; it is about how others simply expect me to spend my money on them. This is something I find incredibly annoying: what makes you feel so entitled to other people's money. If I have to pay for the pleasure of your company, that is a fact that I prefer to know upfront, thankyouverymuch. Even when I had the desire to spend money on these people, their sense of entitlement usually puts me off. Seriously. Have we forgotten what it is to be courteous, or not even that, how about just being... socially acceptable?
Thankfully, these days I am no longer fronted by this issue on a regular basis. People I call my friends are those people who have been raised well and they would never, under any circumstance, demand that I spend my money on them. And if I do spend my money on them, because I am nice like that, they have the courtesy to accept and then return the favour. The last bit is something they don't have to do, but they always do, and this is something that is independent of how much money they make (or at least my estimates). 

Because of what I see in my friends, I like to go on living life, and observing other people's lives and coming to the conclusion that who we are (and more importantly, who we are not) has nothing to do with the size of our bank balances, savings account and investments. The older I get, the more I realise that, whether that is true or not, I am not so sure anymore.

I get judged on my monetary decisions on a very regular basis, by friends and strangers alike (case in point: buying lunch). If I were to be completely honest with you, I have also been on the other end of this judgment stick: I am guilty of judging people's spending habit. And when I say people, what I really mean is my friends, not so much some random stranger. (Although there was this one time whereby I got a compliment on the necklace I was wearing, which was like some random necklace I bought at a flea market, which was unlikely to be vintage, only to hear the same person calling me fake because in her opinion, those stones are not real turquoise. Bitch, seriously? After being affronted by something so unexpected, I cannot not judge.)

Because I don't care about what some random strangers are buying - it is their prerogative. However, if you are my friend and you have gone shopping with me, chance is that I have judged you based on what you buy. Lest you think that this is a bad thing, let me kindly remind you that I am not the sort of person who would let you make a bad choice. Seriously. If something makes your bum looks big, and I love you enough, I will tell you. I may even choose something more flattering for you. You're welcome.

Okay, yes, we can go shopping together! You can contact me via Twitter, @drbelles. You've worked out what Twitter is by now, yes? You can find a more superficial side of me in my other blog, and snippets of my life on instagram. You may even get a glimpse of the fake turquoise necklace!   

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