Welcome to my Monday Musing. If you are new here this is where I write hilarious and meaningful things to help you feel “less heavy, more happy” because gosh darn it I can’t stop loving you. This week for no reason at all I present you with the following flow chart.
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I am saturated with the “c” word and would like to hear about a completely different topic —> CONTINUE READING
Such a thrill.
What better time than NOW, on this fine Monday of March 2020, in the middle of just an average ho hum afternoon where nothing significant is “going on” in the world to talk about the controversial subject of COLD HARD CASH ? Now, when our priorities are definitely just everyday ordinary priorities. Tra la la, ho de doh. Wink wink nudge nudge. Ya, so, cutting to brass tax: What is money and how does it affect our relationships? Does money buy you love? Should you have a prenup? Is it smart, or uncool, or rude? Should the monied only date the monied? Does money make you cheap, plastic, superior? Does it matter HOW you got your money? Is some money holy? Is it only meaningful if you made it yourself? Should it be old or new? Does it make a man out of him or a woman out of her? Should you support her? Should you support him? What even is gold digging? What if you had some and don’t anymore? What if you lost some to that awful jerk the first, second or third time around the merry go around? Should you go dutch or is that unsexy? Why do women want you to pay? Is it entitlement? How not to be a ‘nurse and a purse’? Should you save or spend? And finally, if your true love imagines Suzie Orman while you are making love, is that bad, or good?
Well I am going to lift the veil on money and what it has to say about you and your relationships, TODAY, for you friends, and then when I am done I am going to clean out the junk drawer, just because, that is what I always do after working hard all day. I clean something. Because I looove to clean weird obscure areas. In my home. Alone. In my lounge wear. While drinking wine from a sippy cup #manicmonday.
I begin my chat about money by reminding you beloved friends of a favourite truth of mine, and yes here I go, quoting myself while I polish my fingernails and cut my own bangs, for no reason at all doesn’t everyone cut their own hair because that is just a normal thing to do? Anyhoo, back to my quotable quote, that ANYTHING CAN SERVE LOVE AND ANYTHING CAN SERVE FEAR. Or better phrased :
“Anything can serve love, and anything can serve fear”, Erin Butler, shit fixer, and own bang trimmer (for no reason because things are normal and I am engaging in normative social behaviour, except that it’s not really social behaviour per se).
Money is nothing.
I know, I know. You think I mean that money is nothing now, because sidebar in the past few weeks it has lost eighty percent of its value. But that is not what I am talking about.
Shockingly, money is actually nothing even when it’s not worth only a fraction of what it was worth last week. Or this morning. Or since I typed the intro to this musing.
Money is actually, dot dot dot, a symbol of a symbol of a symbol. It doesn’t have inherent value. At all. Unless you are in the middle of an international situation, like you know, I dunno, you think of something that would affect everyone all over the world because I am fresh out of ideas!!! But let’s say you did have an international or global situation and it caused you to, like, run out of I don’t know, maybe toilet paper (so random!) Well, then money would have inherent value because you could like, wipe your butt with it #whatwouldmacgiverdo OR, let’s say you were in the middle of an international situation that caused widespread fear and feelings of despair or ruin, AND you were like Canadian. Well then you could load your pockets with it and swim into the cold river, because our money is heavy. So again, in this case, money would have inherent value #darkeconomics.
But generally, it doesn’t.
I know, speak for yourself you say. Fine.
Are you ancient like me? Do you remember the Howells from Gilligan’s Island, running around trying to bribe dangerous indigenous islanders (no racial stereotyping there at all) with stacks of money? Or all of the schemes to buy their way out of cast-off living? Remember how funny that was? #funnynotsofunny
My point is that MONEY, can play the villain in our lives and it can play the hero.
It can be sexy as frigg, eff, f@#K, okay FUCK. This is no time for senseless censorship. Monday. Monday is not the time for it. Nope it’s a good day for swearing, because of the great tradition of the Mons. And also because Money Day shortened is Monday, get what I did there? (Hang on I just need to refill my sippy). Money can be a sexy beast, and it can be Mama Theresa. And it can be a Horrible Boss patting the chair next to you with a salacious grin.
It gets a nasty rap. Like the bad boy that women lust after but know will drag their heart around. We want it, we’ll do anything for it shhhh— we don’t want our friends to find out.
But thunder only happens when it’s raining and money isn’t a player unless we’re playing. I’m taking some liberties, but you’re picking up what I am tossing into the change jar.
I mean let’s just cut to the Quaaludes scene from Wolf of Wallstreet. That is what we are taught, isn’t it? That if we get into bed with money we’re going to end up driving over a the family hamster in our Lamborghini and blaming it on the babysitter. And yet there is part of us that’s like, surely there is a way to like have all of the sexy sexy money and not be as asshole, go to jail, or ruin lives, because those pool parties!
Being better at money means something, but having money doesn’t mean you are better at money.
But if you are good at money, and you have worked hard or played savvy to get yours, there is this whole confusing stigma that goes with it, and makes you feel that you have to defend yourself for having as much as you do, for spending any of it, for how you spend it, for having good taste, for which charities you donate to, for not solving world hunger and finding the cure for cancer, and from association with those ostentatious elitists who wear their money like a gold sequinned suit #myhamsterisdressedfancierthanyourhamster.
AND THEN THROW LOVE INTO THE MIX!
Here’s the deal. If money is getting in your way, then it is serving fear.
If you are expecting yourself to have lots of money, make money, be money savvy, not care about or even notice that money is a thang, not identify with the money you have made, and also be somewhere between generous and selfless with money, well that is a tall order for a small chocolate shake, hold the chocolate.
In a perfect world we would all have lots to throw around, and economics systems would not require haves and have nots to rise and fall and repeat.
There is no arbitrary perfect relationship with money. You do not get a Golden Brick Award for having lots but not caring about it, for Mother Theresa-ing the shit out of your money, but with just the right amount invested in your personal style and beauty so as not to make anyone else uncomfortable.
And if you don’t have as much as you need or want, that also, does not make you a loser, or a less than. And your experience of lack isn’t purified by vilifying money and dressing in recycled ethically farmed burlap.
I met a lovely young gentleman in my travels of late, after which I am enjoying a strict policy of no contact with other humans because I just thought of that myself from my own personal creative genius. Really it’s for mysterious spiritual reasons. If you want to study with me it will cost you one gazillion dollars and one cent and we’ll have to do it by Skype. Anyhow, back to my homey in my home away from home. He was a poet, well I guess he still is one, even if his poet-ness was in my recent past, so let’s just say he IS a poet and nothing dramatic has changed in the world that would suddenly make him something else. While we were chatting about creativity and writing he abruptly interjected that he does not care about money. It went like this “Oh you work at such and such, do you write?” “Yes I write” “Cool what do you write bro?” “I write poetry” “Oh cool poetry I dig it bro” “Ya.” “I wrote some poetry way way back and also some other creative writing solidarity bro” “Oh ya that’s also cool by the way, I DON’T CARE ABOUT MONEY”. BAM! There it was.
I mean is it possible that I exuded some kind of “I am looking for a thirty three year old tech billionaire to sweep me off my feet and upgrade my Kirkland to Charmin so soft that a thousand Persian kittens leap whenever I wipe and the ply is so robust that I need wider pipes to flush it down” vibe? I guess. But to me it is unlikely. I mean yes I may be on the prowl for stimulating conversation, especially when I am in isolation, which I got a solid one month head start on friends, prior to my post travel sit-in. But I was not giving this kind young fellow the side eye. Maybe I did exude a sentiment more like “I remember the romantic days when poetry was the toilet paper, aka currency”. I mean I hope I wasn’t leaking an anti starving artist pheromone. Or portraying that instant of silence when your parent holds the worst poker face of all time while preparing to say something that masks their judgment and disappointment in you in encouragement. In any case, he blurted. I just kept talking about the subject at hand. And then when I came in to buy the book, which he suggested that I do, he chimed in again with a tortured grimace what a shame it was that art should be made into a commercial enterprise.
AKA, I am a dirty whore for selling you my art.
Would it have been sacred somehow if he simply fumbled gently for his journal mid-chat and whispered me a verse? Maybe. Maybe not. We write to be read, because we have something to share, and cold hard cash is a means of accomplishing the exchange.
The problem for Mr. Poet, can be discovered in the maxim “I couldn’t care less”, which ironically, people often misstate as “I could care less”. Funny because when we are announcing that we could not care any less, as an expression of our disinterest in a person or situation, we usually DO care. We are angry. Or hurt. We wish we didn’t care. What we are really saying is “This hurts me.” OR “This offends me”. “I don’t wish to be associated with this.” “I wish this didn’t hurt”. “I am irritated by your assumption of your importance to me”. But truth is, if we didn’t care, we wouldn’t say we didn’t. We’d be off thinking about other things. People, hey? Gotta love us. Mr. Poet definitely cared about money. He found it at least distasteful. Money was a villain for him; perhaps a sleazy friend who made him look or feel bad or weak. It’s not for me to say.
Here is the thing. There might be room for improvement in YOUR relationship with money.
And by association, your relationship with your partner’s (current, future, ex, imagined, or avoided) relationship with money.
Maybe it’s time to forgive yourself for having some money and putting rules and limitations on the hows and wherefores of using it to create meaning and joy for you and yours.
Or for the fact that the toilet paper, the shitty kind and the velvet kind, are traded for money and we all need toilet paper. It’s OKAY that we need toilet paper. And fear and shame over it just leads to some poor lonesome granny getting taken down in isle 3 on a Monday, no less.
Money doesn’t buy love, but lack and love are hard to reconcile. It’s hard to kiss over a noodle if you’re so hungry that you find yourself strategizing ways to suck it from your lover’s face #ladyandthetrampouttakes.
There is no perfect way to ‘money’. Yep, I’m making it a verb now, because you know what, that’s what you do on an average Monday. You throw away the old limitations and you get brave and make up new rules. Laws of fear aren’t going to get us out of “just an average non-crisis ridden Monday”, are they?
There is, as it turns out, a way that is best for YOU A gold brick road that will lead YOU back home and it is paved with love and forgiveness. It’s not poetry. But it’s true.
I’ll be back next week with more on making money your bitch (JK friend) in dating and relationships. But in the mean while, and it’s getting a little heavy on the mean, if you’re sick of cleaning cupboards or you’ve thought more than once about practicing bang trimming on the family hamster, you might wanna run a scan on your own relationship with money and search for viruses. Spend some of your crazy on forgiveness. I hear there’s lots to go around.
— Love Erin
P.S. If this crisis is extra emotionally hard on you right now and you need support I will bend to help and accommodate your needs. Drop me a line.
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