01 May 2012

Story of Gopal...

Men are not as dumb as you think they are!!Ask Gopal, my friend, and his systematic tackling of the overspending habit of his better half!
Gopal is one of those dreamy, thoughtful guys who tend to get taken for granted. One does not expect creative ideas from him. He is considered to be solid, dependable, complacent, almost bovine in temperament. I was telling him one day that my wife likes shopping and I am finding it difficult to catch up with her shopping. I bitterly told him that I was planning to inform the HR department to directly credit my salary to the shop owner’s account.
It was then that Gopal told me his experience.
As an afterthought, why should I be the one to tell you the story? Let us listen to Gopal himself.
"Early in my marriage (said Gopal) I found that my wife has a habit of shop-spree. I mean, suddenly she will decide to shop, go to Brigades or commercial street or wherever you have the most expensive shops, shop to her heart’s (and my Banker’s) content and come back. I remember feeling shocked at the massive bills, which used to accrue (Gopal is an accountant) and my bank account which used to be debited in the beginning of the month used to have credit balance by the 20th. 
And I thought I was earning a good salary!
No amount of entreaties was able to curb my wife’s spending habit. You have heard the joke about thief stealing my credit card and I not complaining...(Gopal has this exasperating habit of inserting jokes anywhere and everywhere in a dialog. You have to forcefully cut him short and retrieve his focus on the main theme, which I went on to do.). Many a sleepless night did I spent trying to find a solution to my problem of how to stop the incessant flow of funds from my account to the shop owner’s.
By now my wife had become friendly with a number of shop owners. If you wanted to see genuine ecstasy, you should look at their faces as they espy my wife on the horizon. Soon she started buying on credit. In no time I had more sundry creditors than I would have cared to handle. The liability side of my personal balance sheet became heavily loaded with Account Payables. 
I was in as sticky a situation as you can imagine. 
I vividly remember the day I identified the solution to my problem. I had gone to Bata to buy a pair of shoes. I paid Rs.1000 of the good money to buy one of those waterproof shoes...(Suddenly he became thoughtful. “You know Ram, it is necessary to tell some lies....” I cut him short and refocused his attention to the main story). Well, I purchased those shoes and brought them home. 
As soon as my wife saw my shoes, she wanted to know its price.
Have you read the book “The Double Helix”? It is written by Watson who was the inventor of DNA. In that book he describes his experience of finding a solution to a vexing problem in a flash. It just came to him.
Similarly, at that instance, I found the solution to the problem which has been vexing me for a long time.I told her that the price was Rs. 700.00. It was a lie. But you know Ram, in married life it is necessary to tell some lies. 
She seemed to be surprised.In fact she was surprised that I managed to obtain a good product at a cheap price.From then onwards it was a cakewalk. My standard discount became 30%. Whatever I bought anything I told her that I purchased it for price that was 30% less than what I had paid.Whenever she purchased any thing I pointed out that I would have paid only 70% what she had paid.
The result was predictable. She slowly started losing confidence in her buying abilities. She had fights with most of her suppliers who she thought were overcharging her by as much as 40%.
Nowadays she insists that I accompany her whenever she wants to go shopping. To escape that I stay back in the office. I tell her that I have work. I put in over 12 hours a day in the office. My boss is very happy.
In the last two years I have been promoted twice.”

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