How many times have you heard someone say “It’s just money,” as if money is no more than a way to pay for “stuff” and has no other value to us. We all know it isn’t “just money.” It’s much more than that.
For all the horrible details of the latest disaster, please see SCAMMED AGAIN.
A long time ago — back in 1972 — I had a friend who was earning almost nothing. Everything cost much less back then, but poverty is poverty, whatever the decade. I remember him saying “Self-respect begins at $150 a week.” Self-respect costs much more in 2017. As for us, what we have is what we get from social security plus a minuscule pension. There won’t be more. Never. No raises. Ever. We are poor and we will get poorer.
I have learned to cope with poverty. I count pennies. I buy the least expensive thing I can that might accomplish my purpose — which, I might add, is exactly how I wound up in this current mess. I try not to think what our income will look like in another ten years. It barely covers life now. I shudder to imagine what life will be like in 2027.
Maybe I won’t be here. Right now, that doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.
So, in addition to my anger at being scammed, there is shame and pain. The embarrassment of realizing that — again — I am a moron. To say I feel like a fool doesn’t begin to cover it. To put this in perspective, most people will happily give you full details of their sex life before they will tell you how much money is in their paycheck.
Sex is personal. Money is more personal.
Money is intimate. It gives us status in society. It sets our “cultural” level. Money is rank. Money gives us power to make choices. It lets us make mistakes, but shake them off. If I had “real” money, I could shake this off and move on. I’d be wiser than before and more careful, but it would be just a bump in the road without being a tragedy.
When you have enough money, you really can say “it’s just money.” Instead, I’m left with a hole where money used to be … and a door I will still have to replace. There’s no way around it. No amount of wriggling is going to change the story.
The next time something financially egregious happens to someone you know, before you pat them on the shoulder and say “Hey, its ONLY money,” remember there’s a lot more going on. Ego, self-respect, social acceptance, power, pride, and self-worth. We are all tied to money in highly personal ways. It’s why people who are literally going broke and declaring bankruptcy will often disappear from your life. Without telling you what happened. They are too ashamed to talk about it. They would rather leave town and hide than admit they lost their money.
It’s not just money. Ever.