Zaynub is more of an acquaintance than a friend. She married Bilal almost 8 years ago in a lavish ceremony attended by over 600 guests. But long before they got married, Bilal informed her that he doesn’t earn much and that he has a financial responsibility to his ailing geriatric mother because he’s the eldest and the only son. But he promised Zaynub that he’d take care of her needs and she was so in love, shitting hearts and rainbows, that she agreed to the arrangement and even supported it. For the first few months, she didn’t expect anything from him but things came to boiling point when, in the 6th month of their marriage, she felt entitled to a monthly allowance for shoes and clothing.
To keep the peace, Bilal took on extra hours at his job and tightened his already tight budget to acquiesce to her request. But over time, designer clothes became more expensive and when her allowance didn’t cover all her expenses, she demanded more money. Over-worked and suffering from exhaustion, he refused telling her that she did not “need” a R5000 dress. In the meantime, Zaynub was pissed and resented the fact that Bilal refused to pay for her medical bills because according to him “there is nothing in the Shariah” (Islamic Law) to state that he has to pay for her medical bills. To make matters worse, he felt it necessary to not only take care of his mother financially, but two of his sisters too because their mufti husbands did not think it necessary or Shariah compliant to support them either.
So the question is who is in more need of a solid kick up the ass? My answer is both of them. She deserves it because she has to stop WANTING and being a materialistic bitch and realise that his obligation to her is to see to her NEEDS and not her WANTS, and she doesn’t need a R5000 dress to impress the Joneses when a R50 one that covers her ass and keeps her warm will do. He needs it because he can’t go around making fucked up decisions, using the Shariah as an excuse for not wanting to support his wife’s necessities because he’s too afraid to stand up and be the man especially when he’s too busy playing Santa with his over-indulged sisters.
I’m not going to mince words here or beat around the bush. Here’s the deal. We all like nice things right? We all love the idea of living in luxury… or at the very least the idea of being able to afford to live in luxury… even if that luxury is monotone and minimalistic and simplistic at its very core. I mean, who doesn’t want to drive a nice car? And who doesn’t want to be able to jump on plane and fly off into the Bahamian sunset without giving a second thought to pesky issues like unpaid bills and next months rent? But unless you live in a palace in Brunei, it’s a given that not every single person is going to be rolling in the green… or in South African terms… with the Buffalos and Leopards.
BUT… when you’re in a relationship, where do you draw the line with your spouse? How much is enough? I can tell you this much, amongst MOST of the SA Indians/Asians (most South African's in general, but SPECIFICALLY the Indians here), money forms the foundation of their relationships. Most of the men love their women and children with money and the women aren’t any different… the “I-love-you-so-much-you-need-to-drive-around-in-a-flashy-car-s” is not uncommon… because let’s face it, most of them are devoid or incapable of expressing any real human emotion aside from being bitchy (yes that’s the men going on like women for you) and aside from the snot and tears churned from the standard melodramatic Bollywood flick. So much of their identities are formed around what they own, that they don’t know who they are without their possessions.
I have to wonder, if it’s a genetic predisposition to want to not only acquire but flaunt so much wealth; wealth that’s automatically attached to a false sense of status and authority; all in a desperate attempt to escape the squalor that most of their ancestors came from. Lets just imagine for a moment, that you come from shit and you had jack shit… now you have to prove yourself to the world… make a statement that you’re not shit and that you’re actually worth something in monetary terms (because you can’t flash your character see and personality doesn’t buy status so it becomes redundant). And so money becomes part of their identities and forms the basis of how they value themselves. And the more they have, the more they want. And the more they want, the more they acquire; and the more they acquire, the more they waste. It’s a fucked-up-never-ending-cycle I tell ya… and most of these people are the ones who will preach about Islam, conveniently forgetting those laws against excess and extravagance.
I’ve blogged about this before. Now I love money as much as most people do, and for over a decade I’ve said that money will NEVER make you happy but a lack thereof will DEFINITELY make you miserable. But it does not define who I am. It doesn’t make me any more or any less of who I already am. It just allows me to enjoy certain aspects of life that are only attainable when you have money. Nutella does not grow on trees. And the fuel on every Boeing 747 going to Greece does not come from rainwater (although we wish it did). Most things come at a monetary price and yes we need money, but it's not everything. There is a huge distinction people often fail to make... the distinction between what we NEED and what we WANT.
But the real question that everyone needs to ask themselves… IS THAT HOW YOU DEFINE YOURSELF? Does having money, or the lack thereof, determine WHO YOU ARE in society? Does it dictate the estimates of your self-worth? If it does, then there’s no point in going on and you should just do the world a favour and kill yourself. Please. Right now. Seriously. I can loan you my Dad’s semi-automatic, but I want it back when you’re dead. Mother Earth does not need people like you. Mass consumerism has already wreaked havoc and ruined her endocrine system, almost irreversibly. Thing is, all the money in the world won’t buy you Class, or Respect, or Manners... or most importantly, some real estate in the land of Contentment. Chew on that.