It's such a profane thing but it tends to have a big role in everyday life. And I utterly hate it. I have been a student for the last years and we have always been on a shoestring. We have to look out for the prices when buying food or clothes, have lived in a rather cramped flat and haven't been on vacation for ten years straight. It all came down to the green, but both Sward and I felt that this wasn't the end of the world. We knew that things would change later.
Due to this situation I developed an if-needs-must-mentality. Wearing faded clothes or some older ones that were too tight because I gained some kilos over the last ten years. But who cares, you don't have to look spectacular when you are sitting next to old dusty books, reading about the old Greeks or the way a town was build in the middle ages
I was more content with money that resided on our savings account if push came to shove and we got a broken car that needs to be fixed or a dishwasher that needs to be replaced.
But people are different. Lin got a different view in this matter. He loves to make presents, always spent some of his money on gifts for his girlfriends and he wanted to do so as well now. In my eyes this is senseless spending. I may need some new clothes and yes I know that it's a practical thing and reasonable to buy, but he needs them as well. He needs the money for his doctor's bill and is (at least in my humble opinion) not able to fork out money for me at the moment.
I tried to explain this to him. That I wouldn't be pleased with such a gift if I got the feeling that the money was spent needlessly and could have been put to better use otherwise. He called this mentality stupid, that life wouldn't be worth living if you don't do something for yourself sometimes. To make you feel good. And that it doesn't matter if he has to overdraw his account for it, if he would be able to clear it during the next month. I should add that this wasn't about big sums, just nice little gestures.
Well, what can I say, he hit a nerve there. I myself didn't know that it was such a sensitive one. I started crying when he said “What kind of life is that?!” because of Sward. He had to put up with it for years now. I know that he would love to go on holiday with me. It was one of the boundaries we agreed on for later on. The first possible vacation would be for me and him. But in that moment I felt guilty for making him go through this. It looked more like an ordeal during that discussion than it really is, but I was hurt and the argument was quite heated. Of course we aren't doing this badly, we are able to go out or buy some things alongside, but we always have to keep this situation in mind.
When all was said and done (Sward explained to Lin that I work this way and that he shouldn't mind it that much, but bear it in mind for later and he told me that I shouldn't be such a worrier from time to time and just accept Lin's point of view as well) we agreed that I was right, that it wouldn't be witty to sped money we don't have at the moment, that it would be OK to buy little gifts on the other hand if the money was there and that I shouldn't always nag about the waste of money.
Nearly an hour later, Sward gave me a bouquet that he designed himself. Composed of yellow roses that turned orange/dark red at the brink of the petals and some caret red flowers that looked like chrysanthemum. Both looked at me full of expectation and I laughed and said thanks. Yes, too much money spent on something that will wither within some days, but lesson learned I think. And tomorrow is the day Lin will arrive for a three-week visit *sigh* All well that ends well.