Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Material Girl

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 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…


  1. yeh, i will also spend the better part of my life wondering...

    how is it that things like salary and profession trump values and morals?!

    but anyway thanks for the "hilarious" anecdotes! But really, peop

  2. yeh, i will also spend the better part of my life wondering...

    how is it that things like salary and profession trump values and morals?!

    but anyway thanks for the "hilarious" anecdotes!

  3. OMW - these antics are funny.

    I too wonder how money and materialism have overtaken good old-fashioned morals. It is shocking.

    And it's not only the girls who have become like this - there are some guys too (or maybe just one pinhead that i know off) who seem to think that, that material gain is the ultimate form of success.....

    Sad but true.

    Hope you well :)

  4. Prixie - It's deplorable, and unfortunately, this is the new face of our reality.

    Blue - I'm great hun, just very very VERY tired! Hope things are great on your end too.
    True, it's not only the girls, the guys are just as guilty. It's become a sickening perpetual cycle and the most ludicrous of all is that people actually attribute moral qualities to the accumulation of wealth. It's end of days I tell ya!

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  6. I despair. Yesterday morning on the way to work, there was a segment on the radio about why people stay in relationships that are going nowhere. A whole load of listeners text and rang in, and overwhelmingly the main answer was for presents. Once girl went on to say she stayed with her boyfriend who adored her as she knew she would be getting something really good for Christmas, and then the presenter asked if she broke up with him after that?
    No, she replied, because my birthday would be in February, as well as Valentine's day. She said she finished with him a week after the last occasion had been celebrated.
    I was cringing just listening to it, and the girl thought it was absolutely hilarious.

  7. financial security has many complex meanings to different people.
    'he must be financially secure'...are one of many, of the girls' requirements I've heard.
    Heck even I'd like that in my future spouse. But not to live beyond necessity bordering over the edges of luxury.

  8. Materialism is pathetic. It's really sad that a person is deemed marriage-worthy by their bank balance instead of their personality.

    Btw,It really gets to me that women are usually depicted in this "gold-digging" light. This idea of needing someone to take care of you pisses me off. You wanna blow 30K on clothes, fracking pay for it yourself!

    Also, how different is this really from people who judge others on their physical attributes?

  9. HW - Sounds like that girl is as shallow as a puddle of mud. It makes me sick because girls like those discredit the rest of us and I find that men have come to expect all women to be like them.

    fathima - Financial security is important because he has to be able to see to the foundation of the home aka the "needs". I find that most girls today however equate their "needs" to their "wants". For eg. demanding a R 80K ring is more of a *want* then a *need* and it seems that most people (in the SA Muslim dynamic specifically) are awfully materialistic. I guess Greed & Gluttony is the new Black.

    Sady - Cannot agree more... we should be financing our own "wants". I do believe however, that a man should see to his families needs because Feminism has made Man f@#king lazy as shit and you'll get assholes walking around, expecting women to work for them (AND come home to do the cleaning/laundry/cooking) while they sit on their asses citing "equality" and Feminist concepts as excuses not to get jobs.

    And yes, judging people on their looks is no different. It's all stems from the same shallow puddle of mud ;)