My dear Jack,
I do sincerely empathise knowing that there’s so much pressure on the average young man today. There’s financial pressure, familial pressure, societal pressure…
You must be discriminatory with your finances. If not, you’ll wonder where the money goes. But scouting ahead for danger, you must be wary of certain kinds of women – mice who drill holes in young men’s pockets. Well, you never see her when you’re nothing; but as soon as you get promoted she shows up, as if by magic!
The first is the Magical Appearer. Who’s a magical appearer you ask? She’s well practiced in the art of ingratiation. If you’re foolish you’ll abandon your girlfriend for her. And if you have low self esteem, you’ll feel proud you can now date a “babe!” Fits your new profile. But she has ideas for your money. She’s looking for financing – lifestyle subsidy and amnesty for her debts. With subtlety and wiles she’ll drain you. (Her burn rate is high; maintenance cost even higher). If you suffer misfortune (as you sure would considering the money burn rate), the relationship is over. As if by magic! That’s when you realise it wasn’t for love. Next fool please!
The second mouse is the Social Securitist. She has no job but claims to be a professional, or business woman. You know something is not right but you can’t quite put your finger on it. Her claims of travel may not match her cultural exposure for instance. If she suspects you’re catching up on the ruse she’ll invent another ruse, like study leave, or sabbatical. It’s a whole lie construct – a witty invention full of characters, half truths, half lies and elements of conviction. Be careful. She’s looking to ensnare you and proclaim a pregnancy from your liaison. You think you met providentially but you were set up. She did research on you. Has copious information on you. She lives on privately funded social security benefits. There was a man like you. He’s still paying a heavy price courtesy of a child she had for him. That’s the hook. Don’t entertain her. She’s a con artist. There’s always a story.
Then there’s Posh Mama. She likes the good life, and the good things of life, but considers work for fools. She gathers money on a needs basis. There is no schedule; just the schedule of her lust. Your contribution goes towards the purchase of yet another fashion accessory of the extravagant variety. Solomon says, “Don’t be taken in by her bedroom eyes…She’ll eat you alive!” Don’t listen to the logic of your lusts. If you date a woman you can’t afford on many levels, you’ll spend your all only to discover you haven’t even started! They say cut your coat according to your size. I say don’t move near some tailors, or go near some markets! She’ll downsize you. And you’ll still lose her – to better resourced big boys. Don’t be a fool.
But there is yet another misery I have seen under the sun. And that is a young man pretending to be bigger than he is to his girlfriend. As acting big man he makes promises he can’t keep, to her and her family. Then he goes a-borrowing to fulfill those promises! I don’t understand!
There’s also the wedding angle to finance. Wedding expenses are distinct from marriage expenses as you well know. Don’t do what you can’t afford! Societal expectation is one thing, wisdom is another.
May your fiancé be blessed with uncommon wisdom. She ought to shield you from excessive and conjugate cultural demands. You’re a young man not a potential bank robber. Do your best to show appreciation for the unquantifiable value of your bride; honour and respect her family. But know your limits. Beyond a certain point, you prime yourself up for crookedness or debilitating debt.
All that said however, I’ll encourage you to be generous towards God. To help those in need. To be kind to the unfortunate.
I wish you the best as always.
Your mentor, LA.
©Leke Alder 2013