Money can’t buy happiness or love…Final

Money can’t buy happiness or love…Final

The following day at work, all I could think about was if I had made the right decision in spending so much time with this family.  It had been just over two months since meeting this woman who connected with me just because I went to college with her deceased husband.  I wasn’t really that close with her husband back in college.  Yes, we had a few business classes together, but there was no real friendship outside the classroom.  I guess I felt bad for her and especially her children for the loss of their father.  I was close with my father growing up and couldn’t imagine losing your father at such a young age.

I have been accused of having a big heart, which sometimes got me into tricky situations that I had not thought all the way through.  This was not a typical or normal relationship, but then again does that really exist any more?  There was an uncomfortable feeling at the thought of being in a relationship that had revealed such patterns of deceit.  How could this person not know that her husband had been stealing money from his company?  Did she not question all of the extravagant gifts and the lavish lifestyle that seemed to come so quickly?  She knew her husband was a Controller that made good money, but not professional athlete type of money.

What was I doing?  Yes, the situation was weird, but this woman had been really nice to me and sought me out because I went to college in her hometown.  I decided to stop this negative thinking and realize that I was making a positive difference in someone’s life which is a good feeling.  I stepped away from my desk and made my way down the hall to attend a sales meeting.  As I am walking down the hall, my new Blackberry begins to vibrate, alerting me of an incoming call.  I look at my phone and notice that my friend is calling me.  I answer the call in a positive tone and on the other line all I can hear is someone crying.

My friend is upset again and wants to know if I can leave work early to come visit her.  She is pleading for me to come see her.  When I ask her, what is wrong all she can tell me is that she is having a bad day and really wants to see me.  I explain to her that I can’t leave work because I am walking into a sales meeting that will last most of the day.  Her response to me was, “Fine, I guess I shouldn’t have bought you that new phone, digital camera and GPS!”  Then she hung up on me.  Really?

I tried calling her back, only to keep getting her voice mail message.  Did that just happen? Doesn’t she know that I have to work?  I was blown away about what had just transpired.  Throughout the sales meeting, I went back to my initial thought process of was I doing the right thing in getting involved with a person who had recently been dealt such a large blow to her life?

After work, I drove over to her house to check on her.  When she opens her front door, I am greeted with a solemn stare and an unenthusiastic, “Hey, how are you doing?”  I notice that my friend is wearing pajamas and that her face is red with puffy eyes from crying.  I ask her if she was okay and she starts telling me about her terrible day.  Apparently, her in-laws called her to see about having the kids come to visit and the discussion quickly turned to her being blamed for their son’s death.  I gave her a hug and tell her that I am sorry that she had such a rough day.  I suggest that we open a bottle of wine and forget about what happened today.  She gave me a big smile and the rest of the evening we spent lying on the couch, drinking our wine as we laughed to re-runs of “Friends.”

The next day, I received a call from a local car dealership confirming an appointment with me to come test drive a new BMW 5 series.  I told them that they must have the wrong number because I was not looking to buy a new car.  They explained to me that the appointment had been arranged by my friend.  I told them that I needed to call them back because there seemed to be some mistake.  Immediately, I dial my friend to find what is going on.  Her voice is bubbly and she is almost giggling, she explains to me that she thinks I need an upgrade to my current vehicle and wants to buy me a new BMW.  What?!  I am shocked and tell her that I can’t accept a gift like that, she told me that I deserved it and that she wants to spoil me.  I told her that I would be over after work and we could discuss it further.

When I arrive at her house, she greets me at the door with a big hug and kiss.  She thanks me for making her feel better the previous evening after such a rough dealing with her in-laws.  I told her that I was glad that I was able to take her mind off the stress of dealing with her husband’s family.  My friend has an anxious feeling about her and it appears that she wants to tell me something.  She grabs my arm and leads me upstairs.  We walk into her bedroom and tells me to close my eyes because she has a surprise for me.  She guides me into her large walk-in closet.  I open my eyes and notice one whole side of her closet is filled with new men’s clothing.

The closet is filled with new suits, pants, shirts and ties.  All with tags still on them.  I begin to look through the clothes.  There are suits, shirts with ties from Brooks Brothers, not to mention all kinds of Banana Republic pants and shirts.  The weird thing is that she had my sizes right.  I was curious how she got my sizes correct and she told me that I when I stayed over the previous evening that she looked at my sizes from my clothes on the floor.

I ask her what’s going on, because I was starting to have an uneasy feeling come over me. She looks at me and tells me that she wants me to move in with her.  Before I can answer, she tells that she has one more surprise for me.  She takes me down the hallway to a guest bedroom.  I notice that the door is closed and now I am curious what is going to be behind this door.  My friend opens the door and quickly turns on the light to reveal a room filled with brand new Pottery Barn furniture and Hello Kitty bedding.  She tells me that the room is for my daughter and that she wants us all to be one big happy family.  Uh, what?!  She has me open up the bedroom closet and there is an entire rack of clothes for a young girl.

Now, I am starting to get a little startled about all of what has taken place throughout the day.  She wants to buy me a new luxury car and has filled two closets filled with designer clothes for both me and my daughter.  Not to mention the expensive kids’ furniture.  This is crazy!  I barely know this person.  Yes, the past two months have been nice, but we had mostly been friends.  These gestures were too much for me.  The thought process behind the gifts were very nice, but it just didn’t feel right to me.  I had been raised to work hard for what you have and don’t accept free hand outs.

My friend could sense my uneasiness about her generosity.  We walked back downstairs and sat on the couch.  I was speechless and tried the awkward process of explaining that I can not accept these gifts, but appreciated her kindness.  As I was stumbling through my explanation I could notice the sour expression that had come over my friend’s face.  She was disappointed in my initial reaction and had hoped that I would be more open to being showered with wonderful gifts.  I told her that all of this had come so sudden and needed some time to process this information.  As I left her house that evening, I will never forget the look on her face.  It was a look of pure disdain and I was concerned that our relationship would never be the same.  Little did I know that would happen sooner than later.

It was Saturday morning and I was enjoying my cup of coffee as I watched sports highlights on ESPN.  All I could think of what had happened the previous day?  Those gifts were so nice, was I stupid for just not accepting them with open arms.  Was I being close minded?  None of those thoughts made sense to me.  The main issue was that I was not comfortable with being bought such expensive items.  Do I really want to move in with this person that I had just met not too long ago?  This all seemed to be moving so fast and I felt that we needed to discuss how we could move forward in our relationship in order to make us both happy.  I decided that I needed to go visit my friend so that we could hash out our expectations on our relationship.

I dialed her number, only to be greeted by her voice mail.  Throughout the rest of the day, I tried calling her, but had no luck in reaching her.  This went on for a few days.  I didn’t leave a message every time, but when I did, I tried expressing my sincere apologies for disappointing her.  It had almost been a week since I had spoken with her.  Finally, one day I receive a call from her and as I start trying to apologize to her, she stops me to let me know that I broke her heart.  She told me that she didn’t want to see me again or remain as friends.  I told her that I was concerned for her and the kids.  She told me not to worry and wished me the best of luck in my search for a relationship.

What had happened?  Was I really in the wrong here, should I have just accepted the gifts?  It just felt weird to me that someone would think that buying someone such nice things would earn their love.  The uncomfortable feeling that I had throughout the two months of knowing this person proved to be correct.  I was taught early on to always go with your initial gut instinct!  If something doesn’t feel right, more than likely, it isn’t right.

I have shared this story with many friends and family members.  The majority are not sure that they could walk away from such nice gifts.  Some wonder why I just didn’t move in with this lady and embrace an upgrade in lifestyle.  What do you think? Would you make the same decision that I made?

 

 

 

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