Last weekend, Brooke and I got into a hefty conversation about how awful, how deeply hideous, cheap people are.
Everybody has known someone so cheap that it makes everybody else uncomfortable, so uncomfortable that the appalling-ness of the behavior is unspeakable, shocking the onlooker to a stunned, silent horror. As Brooke put it,
“How could I ever have brought this horrible person around the people I love?!”
I knew what she meant; but what I was left wondering was what makes someone so rotten.
I am not confusing cheapness with frugality, mind you; I am always impressed with a frugal person. These two behaviors may walk a fine line together but are each of a wholly different nature (even though I bet some of the fattest tightwads would like to think they are just being frugal. I call that self-deceit.)
Cheapness with money, and what it buys, is always visible on the outside of a person; what is revealed behind it is always a withholding of something else, some part of the person’s character, such as affection or kindness.
Is cheapness a massive, stinginess of person, a whole failure of a soul, like an emotional cancer?
I’ve only known a few incredibly cheap people in my life and for that I count my blessings. I’ve learned to steer well clear of the people who make the hair on my neck stand up because of their tunnel-vision obsession with the cost of things. Life is too short to be brought down by people who live so small, people who have traded simple living & giving for conversations about money, conversations that hide how broken they are inside.
I had a cheap boyfriend once, who was really tall: 6′ 7.” I’ll admit I was curious about that height; I’d never had to look up at any guy’s face before, never had to stand on my tip-toes, my being 5′ 10.” He was huge, with nice hair and a great nose, and a strong face behind which lay a peculiar weakness. He was also slightly pear shaped; odd, because he was not overweight at all. He just had a long narrow back that sat on hips. I decided that, since I was certainly no hourglass, and was maybe even a banana shape, I was in no position to judge a pear. I thought myself rather generous to overlook this flaw, in the same way one could pat oneself on the back for loving a person with really short arms or eyes too close, or too far apart, things that are universally unattractive; things that universally repel in the boudoir.
I soon found out that the tall pear was not worthy of my generous oversight or curiosity. He was unbearably cheap and, each day in our short relationship, his cheapness pealed itself back to reveal a soul so twisted that it stole the show from his unusual shape and height.
One night we had somehow ended up in some low-end, semi-fancy French restaurant, in a weird annex of Philadelphia by name of Conshohocken. After we ate and the bill arrived, to my surprise, he took it. I was so used to his spiltzy, even steven, Dutch attitude that I smiled, thinking maybe he was starting to feel more secure and intimate with me. With 12 little words, he wiped that smile off my face.
“I will get this, but it will be your birthday dinner. Ok?”
My birthday is in May. This crappy meal was happening in February! I slowly shook my head
“Do you really think, with moves like that, you’ll be putting your penis inside me in an hour?”
It was over, I couldn’t get back to my truck fast enough, to get away from someone who was so unbelievably neurotic in their cheapness.
I should have known really. All the signs were there. The first time I slept at his house, his cat jumped on my head in the middle of the night. When I woke him and asked him to get his cat’s ass out of my face he replied in a grumpy, half-asleep mumble,
“Leave her alone. She’ll be here long after you’re gone.”
I left that brief relationship wondering if this was a case of the chicken versus the egg; was he a failure because he was cheap, or was he cheap because he was a failure?
© Mad Question Asking – 2013 All Rights Reserved