Someone once asked Madonna to name one cringe-worthy moment or regret looking back on her career spanning over three decades and she replied by saying “Material Girl… definitely… I don’t know what was I thinking!”.
I was chatting to a good friend of mine last week and he had me in stitches with tales of his exploits in the wife-hunting field. On one of them expeditions, he encountered a 23 year old girl and following a recommendation from her aunt whom he happened to know quite well, he decided to pay her a visit… as is customary when wife-hunting amongst the SA Asian Muslim crowd. The aunt decided to join him, happy and excited that she may just have been the catalyst in what could be a beautiful life-long romance.
When they arrived at the house, they received a warm welcome and he was introduced to both her parents as they were seated in the lounge. He said that they seemed nice enough and that it wasn’t long before tea was being served with a variety of little snacks but there was still no sign of the girl. After exchanging pleasantries, the mother excused herself, left the room and came back 5 minutes later with the girl in tow.
He stood up on instinct as he greeted her and she replied with a small smile as they both sat down again on opposite ends of the room. More small talk followed and the girl was silent until they got down to “business”. And before he could say anything, she said “I hope you don’t earn less than R30K a month…”. Stunned into silence, he just sat there while she continued, “…because I only wear Guess clothes”.
“Oh, that’s nice”, was all he could say.
“Oh, that’s nice”, was all he could say.
“’Oh, that’s nice’? Was that all you could say?” I asked him, as I roared with laughter… looking at the expression on his face made me laugh so much my stomach hurt. Needless to say, there was no Happily Ever After in sight for the two of them and he exited the home as swiftly as he could. Her aunt apologised to him profusely on the way back saying that she had no idea that her niece was so materialistic and being the gentleman he is, he said that it was ok and that he didn’t expect her to know.
This isn’t the first report of the overwhelming materialism that has gripped our society. One of our family Doctor's is in his early thirties, very successful and quite handsome too. Yet he is so wary of, and jaded by, the opposite sex because of his experiences with them. He told Mother that it seems that every woman he meets is just after his money. They see his home and his car and his lifestyle and they become infatuated and hypnotized… but not with him… with what he could give them. He wonders if he would ever meet a woman who would see and appreciate the real him.
I’ve heard a similar story from one of Mother’s cousins, who wanted to set me up with one of her guy friends early last year. “The problem with him…”, she explained, “…is that he’s absolutely loaded but when he goes out to meet girls, he likes to pretend that he’s poor. So he takes out this jalopy… an ancient VW Volla (Beetle)… an absolute piece of shit that he keeps for these occasions and he dresses down so that he can scrutinize them. He works by process of elimination. The problem with that is every girl he meets must wonder how on earth does he intend to take care of her when its apparent that he can’t take care of himself or his car. So I told him to clean up a bit, get rid of the Volla and get a Toyota Tazz or something a little more respectable like that, then maybe he’d meet someone who values simplicity… someone who’d give him the time of day”.
Most of the stories I hear are hilarious, a source of real entertainment for me. And I really feel bad for these guys who are good people and don't deserved to be judged on what they own or how much they own. But I can’t help wondering… where did we go wrong? When did we decide that money trumped character? When did we become so materialistic that we’re blind to what’s real and in front of us? I get the feeling that I’ll spend the better part of my life wondering…