Chart-topping songs have been written about it. Hit movie scripts have revolved around it. Lives have been lost, love has been traded, and souls and scruples have been bartered for it. You can never have too much and most believe they have too little. It’s wanted, needed and desired by all.
We are talking about “Money”. The only universally-acknowledged word that requires no interpreters and no translation. It may come in different colours, forms and denominations, but the reaction it garners is almost always the same. Love it [who doesn’t?], hate it [who does?], but you can’t be indifferent to it.
Money has curative powers, which have been eclipsed by the rather bad press it frequently receives. But women, the smart beings that they are, seem to not only know of the curative powers but have been putting them to good too.
I’m sure there are many who will vouch for the foolproof cure to anything that ails, a cure fondly referred to as “retail therapy”. Depressed? Anxious? Life not treating you right? Just pop over to your favourite shops and walk out hours later, bulging bags loading your arms [we won’t mention the rather lighter bank account] and a big smile embellishing your face. People who righteously believe that money can’t buy you happiness just don’t know where to shop.
Besides having curative properties, money also seems to have mysterious aesthetic abilities. A person could be a midget or a giant, have too much hair or be totally bereft of all of it. A person could have halitosis that can be smelt from a neighbouring country and dandruff that falls thicker and faster than snowflakes in Mount Baker, but having money automatically renders in other people a very convenient amnesia/hearing, smelling or sight problem and installs them with a permanent smiling and nodding countenance towards the moneyed. You could also be toothless, geriatric and diabetic but money can get you the candy of choice, and I mean arm candy here. After all, there has to be a reason money rhymes with honey.
People are often confused about their view of money, and the people who have it. Now, the cause of this confusion could be the conflicting values and images we had about money and the moneyed while growing up. On one hand, as kids, we grew up reading about “Richie Rich”, the richest boy in the world who had everything he wanted. And then there was Archie’s girlfriend, Veronica Lodge, whose chic clothes, cars and never-ending stream of Daddy’s wealth were on every girl’s wish list.
The staple diet of Barbara Cartland and Mills and Boon is what most teenage girls grew up on. You’d almost thought it was for the hunks and the syrupy love? Wrong! The real attractions were the counts, lords and millionaires, or rather their vast estates and ceaseless wealth. And almost every girl sighed over and dreamed of such a Prince Prosperous oops..Charming to ride away into the sunset with.
And even as we grew up fantasising about an impossibly affluent future, the oft-repeated belief “money is the root of all evil” was being so deeply etched into our conscience by our elders that we sometimes naively believed it. Is it any wonder that we still speculate if money is a good or bad thing and spit out the word “rich” like a dirty four-letter word?
As for my personal views on money, I concur with Mignon McLaughlin, American journalist and author, when she says “There are a handful of people whom money won’t spoil, and we count ourselves among them.”