Maeve Higgins’s ideal . . . way to spend money
I was in my room the other day, trying to figure out who my spirit animal truly is. I thought carefully about my relationship with various animals – when I’m out for dinner, I tend to go for lamb. I am nervous around fish and my hair is almost exactly the same texture as a Highland bullock. There was no obvious answer, and I can’t bear that, so I decided instead to imagine the ideal way to spend my money.
As a teenager (going back six or seven years now), I would often visit my grandmother in her old folks’ home. My gang members would gather around, jeering at me, saying quite perceptive things like “Maeve spends Friday nights eating an old woman’s biscuits” but I’d ignore them, throw down my board and skate right on to Grandma’s magnolia cell. Her last remaining friend lived there too, and they were quite mean to each other. Grandma would mock Shirley’s inability to walk unaided and Shirley would slag off Grandma’s oversized dentures.
They were classic friend/enemies, what I call “eneends”. Anyway, Shirley would always ask if I had a boyfriend and I would always reply, with considerable venom, “No”. Then she’d throw her fluffy head back and clap her soft, veiny hands together saying “Ha – you don’t even have a fiver.” And so, boyfriends and money have always been linked in my head.
I treat my guys real nice. When we go out for dinner I order for us both, I tell funny stories about myself. They look at me shyly and giggle, and I pick up the bill. I surprise them with pretty flowers, sparkly jewellery or just some cash on the bedside locker, so they can go shopping while I’m at work, struggling to earn enough to support us both. They love to shop, so if you look at it that way, money can buy me love.
As Neil “Blood” Diamond always says: money talks, but it don’t sing, dance or walk. That’s almost completely accurate, apart from the part about money being able to talk, and the way he uses “don’t” instead of “doesn’t”.*
Money can’t do lots of things, but it can get you all plenty of bits and bobs to distract you from your aloneness. No time to pine for meaning when you’ve got a brand new ostrich farm in Kildare to worry about!
There, I’ve said it – money helps. I’m not afraid to speak my mind because the one thing people love about me is how uncompromising I am. Well, that and the tattoo of panther claws on my décolletage (or, in summer, my fréckletage).
The ideal way to spend my money is on things I need, like somewhere to live and vegetables. If I have some left after that, I’ll spend it on things I don’t need and see if that works. It doesn’t, so I’ll pass it on.
* If you tend to get worked up about grammatical errors, calm yourself by remembering: this to shall pass.