Joy’s Rant List Volume 36: You Get What You Pay For

Okay, first let me get something off my chest.  For those of you who know me, you know that I suffered the loss of my father in February, right between my birthday and his.  It took me a while to get over it.  Actually, I’m still not “over it,” but I am back to functioning.  I wanted to write something about my dad, but every time I tried, I couldn’t.  I didn’t want to relive that pain, but I wasn’t ready to write about anything else.  So I stalled out on writing for a while. My friends and long-time fans that have been with me since Volume 1 – they understood.

But to my new fans who jumped on after volumes 28 and forward…


Sigh… I feel better now.

Speaking of payment… I want to tell you a story about me being a cheap-ass, and how that worked out for me:

1)  Recently, I bought the cutest little orange and white dress that fit perfectly.  I was oh-so-excited because it only cost me $8.00 on the clearance rack.  Score!  I wore the dress, and that was all cool.  Then, I washed it…  My ENTIRE load of clothes turned a disgusting “orange creamsicle” color.  ALL my socks were finished.  My favorite white button-down work shirt – DONE.   Dammit!  Stupid cheap-ass orange and…creamsicle dress!!  How do you make a dress that fades on ITSELF? … Oh yeah, $8.00.

2)  Oh, but let’s move on to me replacing the socks.  I went to the dollar store and got a 3-pack of tube socks for $0.99.  Why hadn’t I known this before?  Why didn’t I always buy my socks from the dollar store?  I was once again stoked to get a deal.  But then I snagged one of the socks with a fingernail and got a run in it.  A RUN IN IT!!  These were socks and not a pair of pantyhose!  WTF!  I washed another pair, and a hole just appeared out of nowhere.  Who makes one time wear socks??? …Oh.  The dollar store.

So as I am sitting here in my orange and creamsicle dress wearing my run-filled, holey socks, I got to thinking:   “I would have been better off just buying something of higher quality the first time.  Being a cheap-ass was an expensive waste of time and money.  You always get what you pay for…”

To my high-powered brothers out there:  How many of you are cheap-asses when it comes to finding someone?  I am not talking about finding someone who won’t spend your money.  I’m talking about someone that doesn’t cost you anything emotionally.

Too often, I see men looking for relationships with women that are not going to make them extend any effort, or cause them any real pain or emotional turmoil.  The trouble is that when they find these “emotionally inexpensive” women, they try to make it last.  After the first spin cycle (emotional turbulence), all hell breaks loose.  All of a sudden, she needs her bills paid.  Or, she has a kid she forgot to mention.  Or, she has a Chlamydia infection.  Or, she is a stalker, batshyt crazy, ghetto fabulous…

SN:  Remember that ghetto booties are found on ghetto chicks.   (Not that I’m calling out Free or anything…) 

I have lots of power-broker, semi-baller, good-job-having, “great catch” male friends out there.  I went to Spelman and Ga Tech – they were everywhere.  But in the last decade, I have heard my male friends admit they don’t want to go through the trouble of working to get women like me or my friends because they have to work too hard.  With these “hard” women, they have to call them, pay attention, actually listen, and be ready for a deep or challenging conversation at least once a month.  Why try so hard when there is another woman that looks just like us at the “Dollar Store” club, and “She don’t want nothing”?  With the “Dollar Divas”, they can go from ballroom to bedroom in less than a month.  Well, brothers, there is a difference between Gucci and Pucci.

If you get a woman who isn’t going to make you work up front then believe me; you will be working much, MUCH harder in the long run.

Example:  How many of you guys drive a Mercedes, BMW, Range Rover, Lexus, Infinity, etc?  You didn’t just go out and buy that car.  You made sure you had a down payment AND enough money in your account to afford the car note.  You budgeted for the premium gas to keep it running right.  Why did you do all these things?  Why not buy a used Pontiac Bonneville and call it a day?  Well, here are a few possible reasons:

  1. You didn’t want anyone to see you in some raggedy old bucket.
  2. You wanted something reliable and dependable.
  3. You wanted everyone who saw you to know you had good taste.

Question:  If you will spend 3 years saving up to get the car of your dreams, why won’t you invest 3 months getting to know the girl of your dreams?

Too often, some men make the fatal mistake of confusing “high maintenance” with “high cost of entry”.  A Lexus has a “high cost of entry”.  You have to be sure you can afford it – UP FRONT.  But once you know you can afford it, the rest is a breeze.  A bucket is “high maintenance” – every time you turn around, there is something else wrong with it.  It stays in the shop.  Take the Lexus in to the dealership for service, and you get a loaner.  There are no loaners at your cousin’s garage where you take the bucket.  You better catch the bus.  Or just wait.  My parents bought a Lexus the year I graduated from high school.  I am going to drive that same car to my 20-year reunion in a few weeks.  Now THAT’S longevity.  On the flip-side, my friend’s Pontiac stays in the shop for some reason or another.  THAT’S just a lemon, and it ain’t enough sugar in the world to turn it into lemonade.

The next time you meet a woman, listen to what she says.  Watch what she does.  Determine if she is “high maintenance” or “high cost of entry”.  You can even use this FREE cheat sheet:

High Maintenance

High Cost of Entry

Wants you to buy her gifts and take her places that she can’t take herself.

Is already gone on a business trip or a trip with her girls. Again.

Calls you to talk about nonsense.  Gets mad when you don’t call her back within the hour.

Didn’t call you yesterday.  Might not call you
tomorrow.  But is happy to hear from
you when you do speak to her.

Scandalous in the bedroom.

Scandalous in the bedroom…  Once you make it that far.

Always available.  (But you have to go pick her up because her car is in the shop.)

Usually busy.  (But will make time, if you give her a reason.)

Always wants to come spend the night at your house. Tries to leave something behind.

Has her own house/condo.  Doesn’t mind if you spend the night.  But you better put the toilet seat down, son!

Always flawless.  Don’t touch her hair, though.

She might rock a ponytail on the weekend.  But she cleans up well, and can go from ashy to classy in less than an hour.  Doesn’t mind getting caught in the rain.

Will be a damsel in distress, needing you to save her constantly. There is always going to be some new drama.

Doesn’t need you to save her.  But she may need you to
ground her, or catch her when she collapses from doing too much.

What you will notice is that the woman who has a “high cost of entry” sounds like “she doesn’t need a man.”  She doesn’t.  *kanye shrug*  HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t WANT one.  The hard part about getting a woman like this is getting her attention.  She may not have time for you when you first meet her.  She will not sweat you, which can be a little damaging to the ego.  She will even call you on your shullbit in a NY minute.  You have to invest yourself and prove you are worth her valuable time because she is self-sufficient and usually doing a whole lot in her own personal and professional life.  But if you can get her  attention – and her affection – there’s nothing like it.  20 years later will still feel like the first (as long as you keep the oil changed)!

Final Analogy:  Remember that orange dress I washed?  Well it turns out; the tag said something like “Hand Wash Separately in Cold Water – Line dry”.  But all of my other clothes go in the wash with no complaints (*kicks rocks*).  Why did this dress have to be so troublesome & contrary?  Well, it was not as resistant to the rigors of a washing machine as the rest of my higher quality wardrobe.  In a similar way, these “clearance rack” women will not fit into the demands or lifestyle of the high-society or corporate professional man.  If you want someone that can roll with you through the ups and downs, late nights, early mornings, work trips, and the spin cycle, you will have to stop shopping at “Hoodrat Depot.”  Which woman do you want in your house while you are gone:  The one who calls you every time she hears a noise, or the one who got the plumbing fixed while you were out of town?  The one who complains every time you have to work late?  Or the one who comes to your office for a ‘nooner’ because her office is up the street?

Parting Shot: Think about it this way: When you go to the club, you pay the $20 cover, then walk into the crush of strange people,
fight with 30 other folks to get the bartender’s attention, and leave with a hole in your wallet and no real buzz from those watered down drinks.  On the other hand, the guys in the VIP buying bottles got to lounge on a couch, mix their own drinks at their table, get shout outs from the DJ, etc.  It’s a whole different experience at the club …IF you are willing to pay the “high cost of entry.”

Rant # 36 done, and I’m out. … But not for so long this time.