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Thursday, July 12, 2007
Prioritize Your Priorities
When I got home from work last night, I saw one of my neighbors washing his car. That's a weekly occurence, so I didn't think anything of it. But when I got closer, I saw that he was washing a brand new Benz. I was kind of shocked, seeing as his old car was a perfectly good 2001 or 2002 Pathfinder. I asked him what happened to his old car, and he said he just wanted an upgrade. He politely informed me that the new car cost $48,000 and that he's getting new rims and tints on Saturday.

I'm all for upgrading yourself and your situation, but what bugs me is that we live in an apartment complex and most of us there are either young professional single people or young families. Solidly middle class. This is not a luxury condo village, but rather an average apartment complex with average people. His car doesn't really fit in. But more than that, I'm mad cuz I know he doesn't work and is living in his apartment damn near rent free because he's on Section 8 and got in just before the property management changed ownership and stopped accepting residents in that situation. I also know that he's got 4 kids and most definitely isn't pulling his weight in raising them--he's always singing his own praises because he bought diapers for them.

I get so angry when I see the same situation played out over and over again in our community. I hate when I see people that have expensive stuff, but nothing to show for it. In serious debt or worse, just so they can say that 'they're still fly'. You know the type-- eating ramen noodles for a month to pay for rims, etc. Or like the song says, "...quarter tank of gas in my new E class..." Why am I looked at stupid when I talk about investing or saving (at least some of) my money rather than buying something I don't need? Why according to too many black folk is bank a cuss word?

I find it hard to believe that people who have their priorities all effed up really want people to take them seriously. All day they go out of their way to make sure people know that they have this stuff that makes them seem important, but all they're doing is making themselves look foolish. I don't understand how they can get mad when the general public gives them the proverbial side-eye.

I wish I had a better explanantion as to why this phenomenon continues to haunt our people so badly, but I don't. I wish I knew what I could do to change it. *sigh* What do you all think?


Blogger Ms. Behaving said...

I hope that this comment is not gonna make anybody wanna hunt a sista down :-) but um...it's my thought that a lot of us don't take things too seriously.

We tend to settle for "good enough" instead of looking towards "the best". We have this mentality that just getting by is all good--and we have the tendency to put off the more important things in life by putting more focus on our wants than we do our needs.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tasha,
I'm new to your site and to say the least... I think it's a really informative site and funny at times
as well:)I do have a problem with people like your neighbor. I'm a single mom of one, working hard to keep my child in private school (only because the schools in our district are not level 4 schools). I've never been on public assistance and I'm proud of that, but if I needed it I bet your neighbor would get it before me. I ran into some problems awhile back and tried to find another place to live (based on my income). I applied several places and was informed that I was over the 25,000 dollar limit and that if I had 2 kids I would qualify...that was a slap in the face. I don't have 2children or more, so I'm being punished. I feel the system is really "messed-up" and people like your good neighbor, make off like bandits. I go w/out for many reason(s) and the major reason is my child....I am determined to keep her in a good school. I decided a long time ago, I would not have another child unless I had someone to help me like a husband or someone special in my life, willing to be there through it all...If he can drive a Benz, he does not need any effing asstance......

Blogger Minerva Exertion said...

I remember someone saying, "we pay for what we want, but beg for what we need". That is so true in our community, yet we get mad if someone (no matter what race) calls us on it. We tend to cut corners with things that appreciate in value, but go all out on crap that depreciates. I know someone who wants to buy a mediocre house in one of the worst school areas, pay a grip for private school, but wants to buy a car that's worth over $40,000. Then she tells me that she wants to live below her means. HA!

I love my people.

Blogger AR Gal said...

You can tell this kneegrow ain't had nothing before. How in the world are you going to have a benz....especially a new one and not have a home with a garage accompanying it. Don't even let me get on the fact of him having 4 kids and being on section 8.....a grown ass man on section 8. Boy that ain't cute!!

People and their priorities slay the hell out of me.

Blogger Always.Funky.Fresh said...

We stay trying to keep up with the Joneses. Well more like the 50's and the Diddy's and the HOVA's....

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He has a Benz and isn't taking care of his kids. SMH Damn Scrub!

When I hear about stuff like this, I always think about the episode on Chappelle's Show when we(blacks) got reparations and how it showed how we spent that money. That skit was so real yet so sad.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tasha. First time visitor, but I'll be back. Your post is so real. i talk about this same thing to friends all the time. We need to invest in assets and as I've heard it said, if you can wear it on your a**, it's not an asset. That's why so many of us will always be po', broke, AND black.

On point.

Blogger princessdominique said...

I know how you feel. This is my first visit to your blog but it's timely; the post. I watch people put out picnic chairs and tables and hang clothes on the railing like they own a house. I just don't get it.

Anonymous Black Mamba said...

This problem isn't just with our people...it's race-wide. I've seen all kinds of ethnicities doing the same crap, and I just have to roll my eyes at the stupidity.

Stupid is as stupid does. It's a damn shame though that it keeps happening.

I for one will not look at you stupid when you talk about investing and/or saving since I've been preaching it from a young age.

...and guys wondered why I didn't look twice at their benz, but will give them a scrutiny stare when I see where they live... HA! puh-lease, SO not impressed.

Blogger Golden Silence said...

That man and others like him are putting appearances before living a financially-stable life and it's pathetic.

Those people don't care---as long as they have their 20'' rims and are sporting the hottest clothes then they couldn't give a crap about not having food on the table and a good roof over their heads.

Those people need to realize that no one cares if you're wearing the hottest label---it's what's on the inside that counts.

Anonymous MsRebecca said...

You know he's washin' that car now while he has a chance, because it will probably be snatched in the next month by the repo man, wonder how on earth he managed a 48k car?!
It's all very sad..

Blogger malieta said...

I am new to your site and I like it!
You sure tell it like it is..I will be back! :):)

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