It’s been a bit since I had a good moan and today I am going to let rip on another kind of somebody I really struggle with. I specialists and psycho single mothers have come in for a bit of stick, but now I want to bitch about ‘people who have short fingers and long pockets’.
Apparently, people from Slaap Stad have a bit of a reputation for ‘shnoepness’, and it’s one of the times I get really proud of coming from Jozi. It’s the one quality that can really put me off someone. Don’t get me wrong; I have been in the theatre world for far too long to be unaware of how poor people can be, and how tough times can get. I too have stood at opening night parties and thanked my lucky stars I had been invited, just for the free meal and wine.
Generosity is a frame of mind, it is a spirit, it is a way of being. It’s my cheap philosophy that abundant thinking often creates abundance and generous behaviour to others means that you will get back. But try tell that to the guy who offers to buy the next round only to pat himself down and show how he’s ‘left his wallet behind.’ Or the person who decides to ‘split the bill’ when you had a coke and salad and he had the crayfish SQ and two bottles of Pinot Noir.
One of my all time worst things is the guy who rocks up to your house for a party or get together with something just big enough for him (like a mini bottle or a small packet of chips), keeps his half-jack in his pocket but uses your mixes, helps himself to your snacks and food, and then leaves taking what’s left of his stuff (which is usually a lot) with him.
I love a bargain, sale or special offer. I often compare prices and if I’m not brand loyal I’ll usually buy the cheapest thing. Sometimes, I’ll pay in petrol the difference for a cheap thing from Makro when Game offer the same thing for slightly more. Go figure. It irritates Big Friendly, who has usually already done the maths. But proper stinginess is just ‘sif’. And it’s one of the things that is always noticed, and spoken about behind a person’s back.
I hate it when people are stingy about food. I hate it when people manipulate others to pay for them; it’s embarrassing. I hate watching someone pretend that they didn’t see or hear when the bill came. I hate the ‘next time it’s on me’ for the sixth time in a row. Ok, I’m useless at doing deals, talking about money and even negotiating things like salaries; but what I’m talking about is the thing where people deliberately wangle to get out of paying for something, usually at someone else’s expense.
But this thing is my problem too because I don’t often call the short fingered person on it. Once or twice I have, either lightheartedly mentioned that I’ve noticed a bit of a shnoep thing going on, or had a heart to heart with a friend, and it definitely makes a difference, certainly in their behaviour when I’m around. But mostly I’m too skaam. And I leave it. And then bitch to Big Friendly about it later.