Thursday, 11 June 2009

The Joneses & Every Other Aristocratic Asshole

I lead a relatively simple life. I wear beautiful, cheap clothes and pretty cheap shoes and I drive a nice simple car that was bought with cash because I don’t relish the idea of monthly installments…the emphasis here is on CHEAP and SIMPLE. I don’t subscribe to the cult of the “Brand” and I don’t begrudge those who do. The only real debt I have is MBA related and that’s the way I’d like to keep it.

When I’m at work, I hardly ever buy lunch and rely on my own culinary skills late in the evenings to ensure that I eat during my workdays. Again, I don’t begrudge those who do buy their lunch on a daily basis, it’s their prerogative. To each his own, whatever floats your boat, whatever tickles your fanny…we’re all entitled to our preferences right?

So, I have an issue with people who have an issue with me and my money. Let me start from the beginning.

I was having one of my hectic weeks, running around like a headless chicken. Things were not only chaotic at work, but at home and at Varsity too. On one particular day, I didn’t have time to make my lunch as usual and decided to skip lunch. On that morning, I didn’t have time to have breakfast either, so by lunch time I was starving to the point of becoming homicidal. I then decided that I would buy a quarter chicken from Nandos and have it delivered to my office since I didn’t have the time to go out and actually get it myself. And of course, delivery fees were almost as much at the meal itself…but I didn’t mind, I was that hungry.

About 15 minutes later, my chicken arrives at reception, all hot and scrumptious with a delicious aroma trailing from my office. Naturally, the scent of gastronomic bliss enticed all, and they soon came crawling out of their offices like voracious predatory mammals on the hunt to locate the source of their avaricious and covetous desires. I wasn’t deterred, because I know how some of these animals are. The real offense took place after my meal.

I continued to go about my work, when Amy stepped into my office for a quick chat. She noticed the cash slip for the Nandos meal on my table and saw the amount I had paid for the chicken magnified by the delivery fee. She then proceeded to tell me, in her nonchalant and “please feel sorry for me” tone how some of them can’t afford to buy Nandos let alone pay that much for delivery fees.

This was where I drew the line. I was PISSED. Let me tell you why.

Amy’s monthly installments on her car is R6 000.00 plus insurance. But the problem is that she only works for her car because her entire salary goes into paying for it and the mandatory insurance. On top of that, she buys lunch with the extra money she earns from selling Honey jewelry, and also manages go shopping quite frequently. She's usually out and about on most weekends too. She complains rather frequently about the financial state she’s in, but refuses to change the lifestyle she's become accustomed to, or sell her car because she doesn’t want to lose face in society. She doesn’t want to look like a loser; keeping up with the Joneses and shit. She wants to seem like this important person because her self-worth is derived from the attention she receives in her car.

Now I don’t resent or envy her, again that’s her prerogative. I’m not all up in her face about the car she can’t afford. I’m not there when she’s vreeting her KFC or McDonalds. I’m not there when she’s having a blast at the movies or on a night out on the town. I’m not there when she goes shopping for all her expensive clothes and shit. So needless to say, I got really PISSED OFF when she told me that shit, which implies that I’m not entitled to buy a Nando’s meal because she squanders her money on frivolous things and activities and couldn’t at that point in time accumulate enough cash to compete in a lunch war with me.

I exploded and gave her a solid piece of my mind. And like I always say, the truth hurts…that’s why she’s still not speaking to me. If people want to live beyond their means, that’s their fucking problem and they shouldn’t be making their problems mine.


  1. As one of my friends says ... 'may your problems always be so small';p

  2. DD, Here's to wishing for small problems. At the moment, I'm facing very very large problems that include massive lawsuits and lenghty litigation, the results of which could deter the course of my life. Unfortunately, I cannot divulge any more details, especially on a blog. So don't mind me if I keep myself amused by focusing on other, more insipid topics of conversation and pieces of irrelavent information :)

  3. Ugh I really don't like it when people plead poverty, yet want to go and do daft things with their money and then still run comments about how you want to spend your cash that you've worked hard for.


    I know someone who wants to extend his garage (For 3 cars), complains about the lack of cash and the irony of it is that he only has one car!

    Brilliant, don't you think?

  4. "When of thy earthly goods thou art bereft.
    And from thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,
    Sell one, and with the dole,
    Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul."

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  6. What car does she drive coz she is paying alot on installments.... lol

  7. Scary Azra :-D Is your trip still on? You eat as much bleeding nandos as you like sugar and get it delivered everytime you like too- amy can sod it.

  8. Your posts give me inspiration! I want to stand up for myself like that! I enjoyed this - thanks for sharing.

  9. You know how I love this juicy stuff

    I couldnt agree with you more.

    I have a problem with certain friends that always go out and get upset if I dont join them.My reason is I have bills to pay and dont earn as much as they do.

    When I speak my mind like you they get upset for a peroid but finally see the sense in it all

  10. Azra, that's just despicable!

    If you want to buy something, be it what ever you should cos you can...

    Problem is people wnat to live beyond their means!

  11. Fatima - I take it as a personal offense when people do that. It's pure greed.

    LL - :D

    Edge - She drives a Mercedes...don't ask me which one. I just know its brand new :)

    Zahera - Mine's still on, yours?

    Dew - You can and will stand up for yourself when the time is right and its necessary :D

    Mini - It's all about respect. Some have it and some dont.

    Princess - Yeah they live beyond their means and then they try to make you feel guilty for what you've got. I guess I'll just never understand some people :P