I’ve tricked you into thinking that you think you know what this post is about.
I chose the title carefully, in order to mislead you on purpose. Calling this one “Money Flow” would have turned many number-averse individuals away (like myself).
This isn’t so much about money as it is about generosity, its ebb and flow, and the cycle of good intentions.
What you give, you receive.
Here’s my story:
A friend of mine allowed me to peruse the contents of her “to donate” bag of clothing. Realizing many of the items were of good quality and branding, I did not feel right taking the pieces without paying her in some way. I left her a crisp $50 bill in her bedroom and made my way home with a new wardrobe.
The following day, my other friend ended a two-year relationship and she asked if it would be okay to come stay with me for a couple of days (she and her boyfriend lived together). Without hesitation I prepped my apartment for her arrival in which she came tear-stricken and in the conventional “break-up” uniform of Ugg boots, sweatpants, and enough bags to make me think she might stay for a month. As she made her way through disclosing all of her reasonings and thoughts on the matter, I made sure there was always a crunchy snack at her reach and some form of alcohol in her hand. I treated her to a large pasta dinner and gifted her a brand new lotion I had stockpiled in the bathroom. To me, this is what friends are for, and I thought nothing of the cost or “burden” of sharing my one bedroom apartment and queen bed.
Later on, once she had returned to her place to face the music of the aftermath and subsequent discussion of “who is taking what,” I heard a “cha-ching” emanate from my phone which was buried under a pile of laundry. She had Venmoed me $50.
“Damn,” I thought.
First of all, there was absolutely no need. But second of all, I apparently couldn’t get rid of this $50. It had been passed on from my initial wardrobe warrior, who had given me the equivalent of funds in the material items of clothing. Then I had given it back in the form of cold hard cash. Then I spent approximately the same amount tending to my heartbroken friend, and “poof” — the cold hard cash was back.
"Fine, I’ll take it," I sighed. But what a coincidence.
Until it wasn’t.
My mother’s birthday was coming up, and a friend from high school’s fiancé works for a flower company. As a frequent user of the company’s services (and close friend of the soon-to-be bride), the soon-to-be groom allows me to utilize a special discount — for which I am most grateful. In picking out the bouquet to send online, I pick the largest and most deluxe one I could find. It was perfect, obnoxious, and would certainly show that I didn’t go cheap on mom. In passing along the address and other information to my friend, she told me that my total with the discount was $51.59.
“You’re kidding, right?” I said.
And here we were again. Just passing the goodness forward, with good intention, in that generous flow.