“The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited breath.”
(W. C. Fields)
The other day at 6:00 I was woken up by some commotion outside on the other side of the street. I heard car doors slamming, things being thrown on the ground and of course voices. I raised myself up and look through the slits of the white wooden Venetian blinds and saw the neighbour couple shouting at each other while hurling keys and personal belongings at one another, I thought: “so early???”
I always find them strange (God knows what they think of me) When we first moved in, their house was (and still is) the most untended among the neighbourhood. Weeds are growing between the pavements in the front garden, and under their window sills. There is a pile of junk in their driveway and on the balcony outside their bedroom on the second floor. The big heap includes an antique claw foot bath which I’m dying to put in my garden to use as a flower bed.
Few weeks after we moved in and begun to renovate our place, they have started also their own personal version of beautification themselves. They even went so far as copying our interior deco right up to the colour of every little thing that is visible from our front window, but taste you cannot buy.
Just recently, they installed a new swimming pool and a sauna in their backyard and again I thought: “if they only set their minds on cleaning first before anything else.” Besides, I don’t believe in wallowing myself in some stagnant water full of chlorine. But, to each his own; right?
I don’t like them from the very beginning. Not so much because they are not saying hello whenever we see each other, or if we encounter them on the road they will drive passed us so they can be the first on the door and slam it right on our faces.
No, my dislike is originated from the fact that these people are loud, and I mean loud. They cannot talk like normal people do and why they per se have to do it at 4:00 in the morning or late at night?
But oh la la if you are the one who dares to use electric lawnmower or jackhammer during the weekend… you will find the police knocking at your door.
Yesterday the elderly couple living next to us caught me trying to dodge them on my way to the front door and the result is I had to talk to them for hours! holding my purchases from the supermarket.
But at least I learned that the noisy neighbours split, that she threw him out with nothing but the clothes on his back. That they are not married and no legal contract or whatsoever, that it’s her house and he has no right even though he spent 9 years of his time and all his wages plus personal savings renovating the place. That the kids I thought theirs are only hers and the reason for the split is he started to wake up and begin questioning his rights. That the woman yelled at him something like: if that exotic foreigner who just moved in can find someone like that young engineer… well, she thought she can do better.
I was genuinely shocked and I said that too to the elderly couple and they told me:
“Oh child, it’s nothing compared to our neighbour few houses further. She bought a shack/hovel of a place and begun having an affair with a contractor, then a plumber, a mason, an electrician, a house painter and so on. When her house is finished, she threw all of them out one by one and now having an affair with an officer in the army and when that man is away, she gets cosy with the owner of a menagerie and she’s now riding a horse for free as a hobby.”
I think to myself: “Clever women.”
Today, I heard clever woman talking to someone from across the street; she said: the ex-partner she vanished? Is a very lucky man! Why? Because he lived 9 years in her house rent free with occasional warm meals clean clothes and willing bed partner and if he’s going to pay for all of that favour somewhere else? Then his entire wages is not even sufficient and how dare him to demand co-ownership of her house! If one is working for a company one don’t demand share profit! If one is renting a place, one is expected to take care of the property and do some occasional repairs but nobody assumes that after a while one can own the half of it? blah blah blah. But it’s the kind of blahs which there is some truth in it…
My personal take on these? Well…
Let’s say I’m indeed a woman and in a very strong position socially and economically; equipped with all the capabilities to succeed in life both career and personal wise and I don’t want to be alone, I will still look for a partner who either in my level or higher than mine. Why? Because I was not born yesterday.
No woman can honestly say that she is looking for a man who earns a lot less than herself? (But of course, in every rule there is an exception)
It is not about if a woman is capable (or not) of supporting herself, and can stand on her two feet; because everyone is capable if one really wants and when it really comes to it. The point is, it’s about the man if he is capable of supporting his woman in case___.
If he is willing to give her security even before the marriage (like transferring half if not all of his financial assets to her personal account as a form of an engagement present instead of that oh so familiar ring, joking of course but then again not because it happens once in a while you know- or signing one of those unheard of crazy pre-nups which make the heads of ordinary mortals spin, name it) and what if the relationship failed and he cheated and she is left broken hearted and there are children involve and all that jazz. I, for one, will not want to be left empty-handed. In this world of zillion easy choices and countless replacements and alternatives; the best motto is: better play safe than sorry.
We all want security. Either from ourselves or from somebody else. We all want to be sure that if we invested a lot in a relationship, whatever might happen next, we are going to have something valuable out of it. Love and life experiences are good but as someone said: It is something you cannot spend. And when all the hope (read: love) flew out the window, money is always a very good alternative…
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