Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Curse of Money

Seven years ago I used to laugh at a colleague's story about a college friend who earned six figures at a bank. I, or rather, WE found it amusing that she could never lead a normal relationship.

The reasoning of this said person was that if you earned as much as she did, you can't look at a person in the eye and NOT think that they are after your money, which unfortunately is ALWAYS the case. My country has a large majority living below the poverty line. If the number of opportunists aren't overwhelming in that spectrum of the economic class then the ones who are above it is just astounding!

Fast forward to today. (No, I do NOT yet earn a six figure salary!) Being the butt of that very joke is no longer as amusing as it once was. A 40-year old woman not getting laid is funny. A 30 something man not getting laid for free is an entirely different story. A different city & a higher salary has made some considerable changes and experiences for me. People back home actually listen to you when you earn a considerable amount of money. That's why this certain evangelist/wealth advisor has all ears glued to him. Even though every word in his books are vague, unoriginal and full of self-serving worship, he melds money and god in the same discussion. But, you know what? People eat his shit without realizing they just ate shit. They even willfully paid for it too!

I look at myself in disgust that I have become at the very least more attractive due to my income. And attractive I am. One date and one mention of how much I earn and suddenly a date turns to a single-sided economic disaster. It's been a long time since I've actually spent time with a woman who actually foots the bill. It's not even that bad because I could only imagine the likes of Manny Pacquiao or other wealthy individuals especially celebrities here and their lifestyle could be their burden to bear. They're surrounded by people they calls "friends" and worshipped by fans who wouldn't give them a second look on the street if his face was splattered on every commercial and TV show. Oh, and they notice because of that fat bank account.

When you earn a lot, everything has a perceived but implied overcharge. Not because prices of commodities have been bloated for you but because everyone starts to notice what's behind these pockets. The Pacman doesn't buy properties at bargain prices. He gets ripped off by greedy bastards managing his funds. A certain property in Cebu now has a pending case against the owner because the local gov't got wind that the boxing icon has an interest in the property. They want in and the owner OUT. It doesn't end there. The realtors hunting the properties for Manny actually bloated the price to ungodly levels. It's so high you'd wish there was a law against it. They literally make more than the property owner himself! I feel sorry for him as much as I feel sorry for myself. That fat bank account has undeserving people snapping at it and you had to think what or why the hell they are there in the first place. (Note: These are rumors circulating in the legal fields but for illustrating my point I am mentioning it here.)

So what does all this mean? When you have enough money in your bank and pockets to catch the world's attention you realize you really don't have that many friends. Nobody really gives you bargains, offers of spending (veiled as "investments") come pouring in. Why? Because everyone automatically assumes "you can afford it". Because they want to take YOUR money and assume you wouldn't miss it.

In the end, money indeed doesn't buy happiness but it does offer you an unknown amount of misery. People want you and all for the wrong reasons.

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