Money Matters 3/3

By Drum Digital
01 November 2013

Why do we always measure our happiness by the size of our bank balance?

People used to say money doesn’t buy happiness. These days people say I’d rather be miserable with money than without it. Money consumes us. But hardly any of us had money in those days and we were much happier. What got me thinking about money right now was coming into my office. I gasped at the size of the bouquet of flowers sitting on my secretary’s desk. They must have cost a small fortune and could have fed a family of four for a week.

“Look what my Elias sent me,” the tears were running down my secretary’s face.

I was taken back.

“Is it your birthday, Daisy?” I asked hoping I hadn’t forgotten. I was usually good with dates, anything to do with numbers really.

“Oh no,” she shook her head. “He just decided to send me flowers. Aren’t they lovely?” From what I’ve heard people only send you flowers when they are trying to hide something from you but I wasn’t going to say anything about that right now.

“Yes,” I gushed over her flowers, saying all the right things, and then disappeared inside my office, firmly closing the door behind me. That was a sign that I was not to be disturbed.

My mom had always loved flowers but she’d never received a bouquet. She’d loved everything bright and beautiful as the song goes.

I remembered clearly the first time I’d collected a bunch of wild flowers for her.

She’d had a particularly hard week at work and I could see that she was bone weary.

I had made the dinner and tidied up our small home. I’d been wandering around some time before and on impulse had picked some bougainvilleas, sunflowers and daisies. I had brought them home and put them in a jam jar in the middle of the kitchen table.

“They’re beautiful!” Mom’s face had creased into a smile as soon as she saw them. “Thank you, Jabulile.” Mom lifted the jar and inhaled the scent.

“One day I’m going to make heaps of money and buy you lots of flowers,” I said, hugging her hard.

“I don’t want flowers from a flower shop, darling.” Mom hugged me back.

“I think this is the nicest present anybody has ever given me. Thank you, Jabulile.”

When I arrived home that night the house was quiet.

“Where are the girls?” I kissed Lungile, my husband, on the lips. We had 15-yearold twin girls and two older boys who were away at university.

“They went to the mall and then to the movies. They’re going for pizzas after that.”

I nodded my head. After all, it was Friday night, the only night they were allowed out.

“We have the house to ourselves tonight, darling. What do you want to do?”

“Mmmm,” I murmured as I poured a glass of wine and started the process of unwinding my body.

Lungile came up behind me and began massaging my neck. He was a good husband. We’d been happily married for 22 years.

“You never buy me flowers,” I suddenly blurted out.

He looked at me in amazement. “You hate bought flowers. You always say wild ones are so much better.”

“Do I? I’m getting more like my mom every day.”

“You say that as if it’s a bad thing. Your mom is great.”

“She is, isn’t she?”

“Remember, we’re going to see her tomorrow. But we have tonight all to ourselves.”

“Mmmm,” I kissed him hard on the mouth and he responded eagerly.

Somehow or other we got it right.

They say money doesn’t buy happiness but we’d made plenty of it together.

And we were happy. We may have been married for 22 years but we behaved just like teenagers that night.

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