Growing up, my father would insist my mom made a list of household items to buy. I bet it wasn’t funny when she started it, but she did it anyway.
You must make a list of things to buy and you must go through every item in the kitchen and store as you compile the list.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the house helps or my mother who would go to the market, there must be a list of things to buy.
We re-stock food stuffs and groceries every Saturday and the reason my Father insists on a list is to enable us buy everything we need for the week with nothing left out and for us also to work with a budget.
Most times, he asks you to make a list of things to buy with their prices attached. Once you present him the list, he hands you the money with a few hundreds to cater for miscellaneous, or he gives you a certain amount, asks you to make a list and work with the amount provided.
I grew into this routine, but I wasn’t cool with it. I grudgingly went with the flow, but refused to do due diligence when it comes to making a list. I wouldn’t go through the kitchen or store. I will just make the list from my head and my father would endorse the list by giving me the money after asking if I went through the kitchen and store. I always lied that I did.
Before long, I started making mistakes. I forgot to buy or include certain things on the list. I made a lot of mistakes that saw me going to the market more than once to buy the things I forgot to put on the list or left out because I refused to glance through the list I made as guide.
One day, I forgot to buy pepper and our food was cooked without pepper. That was the day my Dad charged at me and almost hit me. He told me he insists on a list and checking through the kitchen because he doesn’t want us to be unorganized or go disturbing our neighbors out of our own carelessness.
According to him, borrowing is not allowed in his house.
I never saw my parents knock or send any of us or house our helps to any of our neighbour’s houses to borrow anything.
Although some of our neighbors do come to us to borrow some things, we were not allowed to go to any of them to borrow anything. My parents believe that if you are organized, there’s no way you have to go knock on anyone’s door to borrow anything that you can afford. Even if it happens, it should be a one-off thing.
I grew up with this consciousness and shame to never go to any man’s house to borrow things that I can afford and it has made me more organized when it comes to managing my house and meager resources.
If I have to buy water, it keeps ringing on my mind to buy water and if I forget to buy it or had no time to, no matter how thirsty or dehydrated I get, I will stay put and endure it until the next day.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect and it’s not pride, but I make the most of the little I have. It’s not a bad thing to borrow and I don’t see it as a weakness but it is irritating when people make you pay for their inability to be organized.
Have you ever had a neighbor who knocks on your gate or door shamelessly for at least 2, 3 or 4 times in a day to borrow something? Worst of all is when they send their kids or house helps to come borrow this or that on their behalf. They wouldn’t mind waking you up from sleep just to borrow something.
They want water, matches, charger, money, bucket, hair cream, detergent, soap, battery, DVD player, pen, paper, and even your DSTV decoder because they put on their generator to charge their phones, and since their DSTV subscription has not expired, and you don’t have light, let them borrow yours and enjoy while the generator lasts.
Some neighbours will even borrow your cooking stove, camp gas cooker or come over to your kitchen to finish their cooking because they ran out of gas and have no provision for emergency, not even a charcoal stove. Cases like this abound. They make the same mistakes all the time and transfer discomfort and extra expenses on their neighbors.
Children raised by unorganized parents grow into adults without shame and have a huge sense of entitlement. They don’t see borrowing as anything, and they feel you should give them whatever they want, whenever they ask for it.
If you knock on your neighbor’s gate or door repeatedly even when they are home and they ignore you or take a while to answer the door, do not be offended, it’s a wake-up call. You have become a nuisance, read between the lines and make amends.
If you ask to borrow from your neighbors and they start to turn you down, don’t get upset. Save your own money and buy the items you need yourself. The rejection means they are tired of lending you things and they need you to get your acts together.
Constant borrowing will make you lose respect amongst friends, colleagues and neighbors, they will start making up excuses to avoid you. Don’t let your case degenerate to that before you embrace a responsible lifestyle.