Attending a wedding during these times is interesting. Wear a mask, sit at a distance at the back, and make one on one conversations. And then watch people and link behaviours to what one has heard, known and learned. Interesting, indeed.
A wealthy doctor with a thriving practice attends all the ceremonies riding in last on her scooter. She sees the air and wind as her ally in these covid times. In contrast, only the new air conditioned car will do for the struggling young couple, offering rides to guests as they brag about their new vehicle. The husband had just asked me the previous night about what happens if one defaults on EMIs. Financial denial kept staring at my face all through the week and those are my stories this time.
People don’t always solve their financial problems head on. Denial is the comfort the brain offers to deal with small setbacks. But many extend that soothing balm to deep rooted problems and prefer to wish them away. Financial denial is a disease the afflicted unwittingly choose for themselves.
An elderly couple strutted around in gleaming silks, making sure that people noticed. They let it be known that the children who live abroad are providing for everything. The brag was too much, but people remained courteous. And then the host cribbed privately about how he had to grudgingly bear their intercity plane fares. By the end of the week, stories of the couple skimming off most other guests had surfaced and the audience for the stories dropped. The couple remained unfazed though.
The woman who was changing her child’s fancy frocks almost every hour, kept her smile smug and spoke too little. It was as if she found others not matching up to her league. At lunch, her husband sat next to me and told me about how he makes a few lakhs from all his businesses every month and how he is expanding rapidly. Except that his father had rued the lost capital in all the businesses the son set up and about paying for the son’s monthly household expenses, just at breakfast. If you met the younger couple you wouldn’t guess that the family had no income.
Those who live in denial of their actual financial position are prone to several foolish habits: they put on a show; they weave stories about their wealth; they do not open mails about their bills and dues; they speak as if the winners around them just got lucky; they spend as if the dues will take care of themselves; they do not discuss their actual finances with anyone; and they refuse to look at their bank statements or deal with actual facts of their financial lives; fiction alone will do. The stories they tell others and repeat too many times are believed by them as truth and they don’t solve the real problem.
That 50-year old man who lost his job a year ago, has still not informed his wife and family about his reality. They believe he is working from home behind closed doors. He is hoping to find a job soon, but blames the rest of the world for his situation, while remaining reticent and reluctant …….