emotional economics

Posted by anya on June 27th, 2008 filed in i feel it all, money

armed with tea and bagels and brownies, and just talked and talked and talked (even though I had come there to work on my Chinese and she to read.) We touched on relationships, and she said that perhaps our ‘tangibles’ are actually quite important when picking who we will be with for the long haul. She mentioned a twenty-something friend whose boyfriend, upon hearing that she had fully paid off her Mini Cooper, said: “that is exactly why I am with you.” I was totally caught off guard. The idea that someone is with me because I can afford certain things, or have had the sense to make wise financial decisions, was a little shocking. But then I started to wonder… is it really that irrational that the things we love about people are reflected in the ‘tangibles’. Obviously, it was important for the girl’s boyfriend that she be financially smart, dependable, responsible, etc. But then again, I’m not sure where the link is. Whether correlation, here, is causation. Whether it’s ever a smart decision to be with someone because of things that could just one day… disappear. I realize that I am incredibly lucky, and that I did not start of with a ‘clean slate.’ I was never set up to fail like many others in the world are. My accomplishments are in large part a product of my environment.

Perhaps it’s just more convenient for me not to think in terms of tangibles because mine don’t stack up so high. I don’t even want to own property. I look at friends who invest, who have mortgages, who have fully paid for their own cars, and I’m a little jealous that they have the edge in terms of these ‘tangibles’. And then I think about it some more and realize that I don’t even want a lot of these things. I can’t imagine buying an apartment in Vancouver. I don’t do much beyond making RRSP contributions. I pay my Visa bills, but I don’t have an automatic mechanism that teaches me to use the credit card over debit. I remember a friend saying: “why don’t you use credit? it’s just the principle. The bank is giving you a loan that you can pay later. Why not use credit?” And I hadn’t even thought of credit in that way. Anyways, I got a little pensive last night thinking about what kind of “tangibles” I don’t have. Is this enough to make someone love me less? Is it silly of me to think that it would be my loss and not theirs?

+: this entry is incomplete, and I still have more thoughts about this tucked away somewhere. for a later time.

+: it’s been a few days since I had this conversation with my friend, and her and I have both milled things over since. and… I’m proud of this girl for taking a chance, tangibles or no tangibles. next week, sometime when I am at my desk, she will be somewhere downtown, and feeling. i envy that.

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