Money can’t buy me Louvre

When it comes to money, I’m an un-realist.

I will entertain any state of affairs except reality. The only constant is my disdain for my actual, current financial situation which, whatever it is, automatically causes me great stress.

I’m not reckless or wasteful with money, but I won’t acknowledge that there may be a gap between the cost of something and the balance in my bank account.

This is partly because I largely estimate how much I may (or may not) have in the bank, and stab wildly in the dark at how much something may (or may not) cost.

Then I get cross when the figures don’t match.

I invited the local carpet man round recently to measure up and quote for the hall and stairs in my house. The old carpet has worn through to the underlay in places. It’s not often you get to use the phrase ‘threadbare’ these days, but that’s the only word to describe it.

The only thing worse than having to describe your own carpet as threadbare, is hearing your friends, family, and other visitors describe it as such. It’s particularly saddening when they think you can’t hear.

I find myself in the supermarket, paranoid, the whispered strains of “threadbare…his carpet is threadbare…there’s no other word to describe it…” fluttering down the aisles.

So. The carpet man came round.

“Yeah, I’m getting the carpets done,” I’d been casually offering to anyone who’d listen.

“It’ll cost me about six hundred quid, that’s all…well worth it really,” I’d been pronouncing confidently.

“All measured up mate,” said the carpet man, pencil behind his ear, and barely concealed glee in his eyes. “You’re looking at around £1850 all in. Shall I get the fitting team booked for you?”

I soon sent him packing.

Threadbare? Vintage? Well loved?

I’ll get another couple of years out of them, no problem.

It works the other way too, though, this financial un-realism.

A few years back myself and the wife spent a week in Paris. Now, I’m a man of culture, and I know my way around a romantic day out in a big city. So, on this particular day we’d planned a morning wandering around Rodin’s sculpture garden, and an afternoon in the Louvre.

Fine by me – a classy day out.

Except that, post-Rodin, I’d really had my fill of the arty stuff and just fancied finding a nice bar to drink cocktails and behave like Ernest Hemingway.

“It’s so expensive, the Louvre,” I insisted, as we headed in it’s general direction.

“Touristy too…there are far better ways to spend that kind of money in Paris.”

“I think I might even have left the credit card back at the apartment…SO disappointing I know…but…” I continued, as we pressed our faces against the glass of the actual Louvre and watched actual people wandering round looking at actual art.

“OK, fine,” she said. “Buy me a cocktail.”

And off we went, in search of the perfect thirty Euro cocktail.

As it happened, it was one of those out of season Sundays at the Louvre, where entry is free for all. But how was I to know?

Too late, anyway.

We’d wandered off in search of a bar, with our Mona Lisa smiles in place, for a rather costly and very enjoyable afternoon.

Well…money isn’t everything, y’know.



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