Upgrading your Man or Woman: Worth the Gamble?
The Webster Dictionary says that the first known use of the word upgrade was in 1873, and that it means to “raise the quality of”. So what is it to “raise the quality” of your better half in 2011? Let’s take a look.
In today’s society, an upgrade might go something like this. Jenny meets Steve; he’s working for $10 an hour. He’s cute, and seems bright, so she says, “Hey let me help you to pay for that modelling portfolio you’ve always wanted”. Now he’s getting the jobs, looking better, and smelling better. He’s been upgraded.
Richard meets Candy. She just needs that extra $800 a month to move into her own place. Now he won’t have to see her mother walk around in that old nightie, and they’ll have a lot more privacy from her ten crazy siblings, so Richard, being the great guy he is, decides to assist with the rent. Candy’s been upgraded.
So now that we’re all on the same page, let me tell you that for this article, I listened to Beyoncé’s “Upgrade U” to put myself in the mood; but to watch her chewing on car keys, crawling around in some kinda mud and gold, just sent my steups vibe into overload. My depraved sensibilities wondered, what do rich people know about upgrading each other? A conversation with Beyoncé and Jay Z would probably go something like this.
Jay Z: Yo B.
Beyoncé: Yes lips… I mean Mr. Z.
Jay Z: Thanks for the Lamborghini but uh… don’t they come in beige?
Beyoncé: Oh ZZ you know that I can’t stand that colour since I’m preggers and can’t run the world for the next nine months!
Now I’m not sure how many of you can relate to upgrading on the BeJay level, since most of us can barley afford to move our mates from the bus stop to the maxi stand, but if you can, power to ya. I’ll take this opportunity to speak for the average upgraders like myself.
Having run the upgrade yuh man route a few times, thinking that charity should begin at home, I’ve personally discovered that it would have been a smarter investment had I bought myself a cow. I’d still be getting milk, and I hear a calf can run you around $1500 a pop. In the end, I would have been ‘in the money’, instead of standing there with a shocked looked on my face, as the son of a you know what asked me what had I done for him lately? In spite of my negative experiences, I still think it’s okay to assist the person you’re in love with. For many though, the question is how far you go towards upgrading someone.
Many of the people I spoke to believe that it’s important to put the upgrade in context. If you’ve just met someone and you are not too sure about where the relationship is heading, slow yuh roll. Just because the ‘getting jiggy’ is good, it doesn’t mean that you should begin a major upgrade process. In plain English, you do not start investing your hard-earned cash into someone that you’ve just met, simply because you can’t resist saying, “Oh God, oh God, I love you”, each time you have sex.
Upgrading has risks. Take, for example, the decision to help your partner through university, buy books and give up social time. From a positive perspective, this decision can set you up for life, as you may be well on your way towards marrying the doctor, lawyer or savvy businessperson you’ve always dreamed of. However, even after years of financial support and sacrifice, you would hope that, when they graduate, they don’t feel the need to graduate from your relationship, since they may think that you no longer stimulate them intellectually or are now ‘below’ their status (ungrateful wretches). Or what about helping a new love to look better, with a change of wardrobe, new hairstyle, teeth whitening, etc. Sure, this will impress your friends. After all your girlfriend/boyfriend is now HOT! We’d hope though that now that this person looks better and feels better about how they look, they do not now think that you ‘look a mess’ and move on.
Although life’s a gamble, many people believe that the upgrade odds are better in relationships that have seen some time and gone through some fires. The ones where you actually know this person on a deeper level and where some level of long-term commitment exists. Or course, we know that there’s no guarantee that after you’ve helped a person to purchase a new car or helped them through school that the relationship will not fade. However, long-term commitment still seems to be the safer bet, when it comes to major upgrade decisions.
Another question might be, is there a double standard when it comes to upgrading? Many women will scream: “Woman doh give man money! You go to the mall. You see some underwear; you get that. You see some cologne; it’s on sale. You pick that up, but my hard cold cash? Hell to the no!”
Some of these ladies, however, do firmly believe that its’ the man’s responsibility to take care of their every need, financial and otherwise, even if they are working for more money than he is. So is there a double standard when it comes to what some woman expects to get from their men versus how much they’re willing to give in return? In today’s world, some of the guys are getting hip to the game, and have decided to target the older ladies playing the cougar and cub game as they get apartments, school fees and much more in return for limited commitment or in other words sex.
Ultimately, though, the consensus seems to be that you should set some limits on the types of upgrades you perform in casual relationships. In a situation where two people have fully committed to each other, larger upgrades can be attempted. I mean helping each other to grow is part of what being committed is about, isn’t it? But I said attempted, sigh, because if everyone believed in the happily ever after, we’d have no need for prenuptial agreements or lyrics like:
“Everything you own in the box to the left,
In the closet, that’s my stuff,
Yes, if I bought then please don’t touch.”
So is it really safe to pay for a boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s university tuition, car payments, or new wardrobe? What are your thoughts on upgrading?
Check out the rest of this week’s issue (3/10/11; Issue 75):
- Blurring the Lines: Friending your Child by Onika Pascal.
- Sex, Stories, and Music: The Hunt Backstage by Mystie Thongs.
- Supporting Charity in T&T: Beyond the Facebook Status by Joshua Ramirez-Wharwood.
- Landlord Adventures: Toilets, Baybays and Excuses by Keisha Stephen-Gittens.
- Scrunting or Balling: Wait til I get my Money Right by Karel Mc Intosh.
Look out for a new issue of Outlish.com every Monday!