In an embarrassingly public row between a husband and a wife (what’s new?) I overheard the man – obviously battle-scarred and shell-shocked from years of hen-pecking – say (or was it plead?), “It’s not that I have no control over my money; it’s the unexpected things that come up and take it all away that I have no control over!”
Whoa! This guy probably summed-up my life’s story in one mad-scramble-for-the-life-raft of a sentence. My heart bled for him.
With high-energy death rays pouring out of her eyes, she shot out a gavel-pounding, “Then you should have been smart enough to plan for the unexpected!”
Hmmm! But how exactly does one plan for the unexpected? Isn’t the unexpected something we never anticipated, and therefore, never had the chance to plan for in the first place? I guess it’s easy, in retrospect, to say you should have thought of this or you should have thought of that; things are always clearer with the benefit of hindsight. But before-the-fact, just how much foresight can one be reasonably be expected to have? Come on! We all know crystal balls don’t work.
What’s worse, the money we have at our disposal at any given time is finite. Unfortunately, the number of things that can go wrong isn’t! Sometimes the cost of the unexpected is within the limits of the budget item we term ‘contingencies’. Sometimes they are not. After all, life is not obliged to comply with the plans we have made – no matter how painstakingly these plans have been formulated.
Then it grabbed me by the short and curlies. The poor sod that was having the embarrassing public row with his wife was NOT being carpet-bombed, napalmed and then bayoneted for his lack of planning ability. Think about it: no one can be reasonably expected to be able to plan for every contingency. Instead, the assault was as a result of his inability to earn enough money. It is as simple as this.
As she grabbed him by the ear and led him to their car for failing in one of his husbandly duties, I wondered if she – in her sanctimonious righteousness – has never failed in her duties as a wife. Life must be wonderful for her. I mean, isn’t it great to have someone to blame – someone who morphs into a punching bag – for when things go wrong?
Really? Did she lead him off into the sunset by his ear? Not really. That was what I imagined she would do if she thought there were no policemen around.
Note to men: Money is a great equaliser i.e. the mother of all ‘shut-up’ tools. Unfortunately, for some, it is not so easy to come by.