As my thoughts turn to the holiday season in the US and I contemplate the vast gulf across the Atlantic ocean from where I grew up to where I now live I start wistfully thinking of home, and then reality has a way of bringing me back down to Earth.
I’ve always had a family that has always been very open about discussing money, mostly because we never had any for the longest time and also because the first question many of them always ask is “how much you got on you?” which is a lead-in to a life crisis story from them.
Picture a scene of a traditional, large family, holiday gathering straight out of a Saturday Evening Post Normal Rockwell painting but several people are commenting about the food on your plate because they are secretly sizing up how much leftover food they can abscond with if they discourage you from eating.
Me: “No. No more financial emergencies. No more cash outlay. No more ‘I do not have insurance and it caught fire’ problems. No more ‘I just gotta have this and it is on sale.’ Everyone has tapped in to Lloyd’s bank this year, and the bank is now having cash flow issues, we are closed for business for the foreseeable future.”
The umpteenth family member/cousin/distant relation at the family gathering, half-jokingly saying: “I guess I will take my business elsewhere!”
Me (under my breath): “Oh noes, what ever will I do giving unsecured, interest free loans to people who have no intention of ever repaying me.”
And so, in this season, I give thanks to the family that shaped me into the adult I am, and those small inconveniences that we colloquially refer to as “the pond” (AKA the Atlantic Ocean for those who aren’t from the UK) and the fact that +8 GMT makes it really hard to reach out and call someone “to just catch up, see how you’re doing, and let me tell you about my broken down car that hardly runs” when it costs a dollar a minute to do so.
I’m only half-joking 😉