Pam and John: Money Talks | by William Ifeanyi Moore

John wasn’t quite sure why Pam agreed to another date with him. In fact he was rather flabbergasted that she even took his call after the nightmare that was the end to their last date. He made a mental note to either completely avoid any subject relating to feminism or agree with her regardless of what his honest opinion was. The last thing he wanted was a repeat of the last event.

‘Thanks for coming. Quite frankly I didn’t even think you would pick my call.’ said John.

‘Do I really come across as that much of a drama queen? It was just a difference in opinion. No woman wants a man that agrees with her all the time anyways. A yes-man is boring. Plus I’d rather you were honest. So many guys pretend to be something else just because they think it’ll get them laid.’ she said.

‘Great, I’ll keep that in mind. And are you saying if I pretended to be feminist enough I would have a higher chance of getting laid?’ He raised a suggestive eyebrow and flashed a mischievous smile.

‘Don’t push it John. You’re still on probation.’ she grabbed the drinks menu and began to scan it.

‘I’ll have a glass of the house wine, thank you.’ He said to the waiter.

‘I’ll have the Muscato.’ She pointed at her choice. She didn’t want to risk struggling with the French name.

‘I wonder who he is going to hand the bill to this time.’ He said.

They shared a light laugh over his remark. Humour was always a good way to deal with a gaffe. While they waited for their drinks they talked about everything from the breezy weather to the situation in Ukraine and how the economic wars in the West was devaluing African currencies. From time to time he would just watch her talk, almost not listening as he admired how unapologetic she was for being herself and holding her opinions. Her independence was a sweet aphrodisiac but the sting from their last encounter reminded him to tread carefully.

Three glasses in, he was beginning to loosen up against his better judgement. But maybe it was a good thing. He couldn’t stay guarded forever.

‘We should get the bill now. If I have any more I might start speaking stupid.’ He suggested.

‘I would like to see you drunk. I have noticed you have been too agreeable today. It’s not fun.’ She flashed him an unexpected wink.

‘You’re asking for a fight. I hope you have your gloves on. I won’t go easy on you.’ He said.

‘You can try.’ She finished what was left of her glass. ‘I’m getting this one. No arguments.’ She reached for her purse.

He contemplated if it was a good idea to ask the question on the tip of his tongue but before he could enforce any sense of censorship the alcohol in his system got the better of him.

‘What do you think about the place of money in relationships? Like will you support a joint account system, obviously with some percentage set out for private spending…or would you say you keep your money and he keeps his, then maybe have a joint account for contributions?’ As soon as the words left his mouth he wished them back but it was too late.

‘I keep my money, he keeps his. If we have something we need to contribute towards, we can transfer into a joint account.’ She said.

From how quickly she fired her reply, he could tell this was a decision she had made a long time ago. He nodded in silent deliberation.

‘Ermm…you aren’t going to tell me what you think?’ she asked. ‘I know you disagree. I just want to know why. My money is my money, his money is his money. Sounds fair to me.’

Fairness, being right, and under such concepts of balance had made the world a better place in a lot of ways, but like most ideas these concepts weren’t always the most functional for the greater good.

‘Well, I think both should donate to a single pot and then take a percentage for personal financing. Kinda like a personal allowance.’ He could see the discomfort on her face. ‘I feel like these days we go into relationships, and I mean marriages, with a very strong sense of individuality. A sense so strong it actually negates the entire concept of marriage which to me is supposed to be a lifetime partnership. Business partners put money together but marriage partners can’t. Don’t you think that says something about what has become of marriage? I mean if we can’t trust each other with our money, why are we even married in the first place?’

She paused for thought. He had a point. She had never quite thought of it like that before. It really made her question the amount of trust she was willing to invest in a marriage. Theoretically, she knew there was no point going into a marriage without absolute trust, but practically this wasn’t exactly the easiest thing to do. In a society where divorce lawyers were guaranteed employment, it was hard to muster the courage required for blind trust. It was indeed a paradox in itself. Trust was necessary for any relationship to work, but trust also exposed one to heartaches.

‘Hmmm…it’s really messed up that the state of marriages has been degraded so much that a lot of us enter with the idea that it will turn sour eventually. It almost ruins the whole point of it.’ She said.

‘Well, just something to think about. And if it makes you feel better, a joint account will let you know if he is spending on his sexy secretary.’ He joked.

‘Ohh, I’ll have his balls for that. Don’t you worry.’ She mimicked the chop of a scissor with her index and middle finger.

‘I think I like you because you manage to make me attracted to you and scared of you all at once.’ He said.

‘Well, you better be afraid of this girl. All five foot six and sixty kilos.’

They both laughed. He couldn’t be happier about how this had panned out. Maybe his idea of the militant feminist immune to reason was flawed. He was starting to like this.

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