Money is a sensitive issue. Money can and does cause a rift between siblings, friends, spouses, lovers… Last week, I was reading Biko’s Saturday Magazine article about people (especially women) who borrow money and never return, and they make it so hard for the lender to ask back for their own money without being embarrassed. Even if it’s 200/- or 200,000 shillings, do pay back without being asked. It’s the honorable thing to do.
Anyway, today it’s about the men.
Disclaimer: the following story may or may not be fictitious.
I met a man once. At a car wash, and you know they don’t have magazines for you to read while your car is being washed, all they can offer for a waiting lounge is plastic chairs in the open. I checked my phone and my battery was running low so the only source of entertainment turned out to be the guy who was also waiting for his car to be washed.
“Ulikuwa umeenda ushago?” he asked. (Had you gone upcountry?)
“Why?” I wondered how he got to the conclusion.
“Nimeona matope kwa gari yako” Your car is muddy.
Ok I admit, Bella is not the cleanest car in town. I hadn’t washed it in over a month, mostly because it had spent a number of days in the garage sorting some acceleration issue. Finally, when I thought I might develop a cold from all the dust, I took it to the car wash and that was when I met the guy.
From the beginning, he came on strong. Sharing personal stories at that first meeting, instead of sticking to safe topics like the weather, politics, Raila, explosions, (in)security, Anglo leasing, scandals, Manchester United, the world cup, what’s your favorite colour (mine is blue), music (the proper way to watch Sauti Sol’s video is on mute)…
Red flag #1: Eager to share personal experiences/details too soon, to create a false sense of intimacy and imply their total trust in you. And you also start to think you can trust them since they trust you so much.
In fact, from the first meeting I knew where he worked, his family history, his relationship status, and how much money he was making/spending etc information I didn’t particularly want to know. But he let it slip, no I mean, he let it be clearly known, that he is a rich man.
Red flag #2: Implying their wealth when you have not asked for it. No one volunteers information about their financial status.
Thereafter we exchanged numbers and went our separate ways. As he started his car, it made some funny noises (this will be relevant later) and he left. I got into Bella, wet floor mats dripping in the boot, and took them home to dry.
The first coffee date went well. He paid the bill and a date was set for the second one some 3 days later.
So after we had ordered for drinks, he said he didn’t have his wallet, he must have left it home. I didn’t think it was a big deal, I mean it is possible to forget one’s wallet home. It happens. So I said fine, don’t worry I’ll pay the bill. I have blogged about men and paying bills before. But this guy said that he would refund the cash the following day, and in fact he also needed to fuel and *cringe* I gave him 1K. He renewed his promise to refund the following day.
Red flag #3: He leaves home without knowing how much fuel he needs for the day? Maybe he’s not organized: personally I fuel once a week because I know my usage.
Once again we parted ways, I zoomed up to Mombasa Road towards home, the thin traffic working my favour. As is the polite custom in Kenya, when you get home, you text to let the other person know you got home safe and inquire if they did too. He called to say, actually no.. something had happened to his car and it had stalled on his way home. Could I call him back? No big deal, I have a lot of talk time thanks to Safaricom’s post paid tarrifs that are now set to end. But I did wonder why a rich man didn’t have credit. Another red flag?
Remember the funny noises his car was making? Yes.. that was some issue in the hood that caused the car to stall. My friend later said rich people’s cars don’t funny make noises, lol. They buy their cars still in plastic from DT Dobie, and not sbtjapan.com (very nice site for importing cars btw, but their sales people are AGGRESSIVE!).
Red flag #4: Rich people car’s don’t make funny noises
Calling him back, he starts to imply well, that he needs money to have the car towed. Could I lend him?
I was astounded.
I had just met the guy. Of all his friends from childhood, secondary, university, neighbours, relatives (and you know in Kenya we have over 100 relatives), workmates, family, his entire network; he forgets all of them and borrows money from the girl he is trying to impress?
So of course not, I could not lend him. I hadn’t known him for longer than a week. In fact, I was broke. Just because I drive a small car and pay my own bills doesn’t make me rich
The following day dawned bright and early. Wanting to find out how it all went, I called the guy and he said the car had been towed successfully but he must have lost his wallet because he still couldn’t find it. So he had gone to the bank but we all know you can’t withdraw money over the counter without an ID, which he had also lost. So he wanted to ask me for a small favour.. and you guessed it, money. Again.
I told him to consider asking his friends or family or colleagues. This is someone who was implying dealing with millions. With the right connections even, so he was saying he’d get a replacement document/ID within 24 hours. I told him he could also wait those 24 hours.
We didn’t talk much after that.
To this day, he hasn’t refunded the bill or fuel soft loan. Making it embarrassing to start asking back for it. Same thing Biko talked about in the magazine.
Anyway, the point of this post is: at what point is it okay for a guy to ask money from some woman he is trying to impress? I think that unless you are engaged/married, a man should never borrow money from the woman he is dating. He should first of all exhaust all his options (family, friends, relatives, colleagues), but even then, there is M-Shwari. Loan sharks. Faulu and other banks hawking loans. Sell his phone on OLX. Salary advance. Chama. Sacco loan.
Never the woman he is dating, but if it comes to that, the first priority on his list should be refunding the loan.
So if you see all those red flags above, please run. This is not someone you can trust. There are those who will borrow the first small loan and refund in record time, so that you can give them without hesitation the next time they ask. The next they will ask for some more money; and then you will never hear from them again.
What is your opinion?