Grand prize winner student essayist Filip Zekic from Windsor, Ontario presented his work (see below) at the CEWC 2011 Dinner Gala.
"Her name was Angela. For three short weeks, I thought she was the greatest thing that would ever happen to me. She was stunning in absolutely every way imaginable. Her perfect hourglass figure transcended the bounds of any mortal woman. Her long, slender legs challenged the self-confidence of all females who dared to be in her presence. She was also really hot. During this time, it never crossed my mind that loving a woman solely based on her looks was a bad idea. Yet in less than a month, Angela cost me my heart, my soul, and worst of all, over $700 in expenses.
Before I met Angela, I was living the big life. I had a nice TV, a lava lamp, and a part-time job at Subway. Since my parents bought me just about anything I needed, I made sure to keep every penny of my earnings in a bank account. After about 9 months, I had accumulated almost $2000. I was the kind of financially successful guy that women only dreamed of meeting.
While at work one day, I saw Angela for the first time. As I mentioned earlier, Angela was really hot. I had to have her. She was rapidly approaching the counter. Perhaps a clever pickup line would work? I had to think fast. “Hey girl, do you work at Subway? Because – err, wait, I work at Subway…” I thought too fast. She gave me an emotionless chuckle and proceeded to order her sub. This was going nowhere. I needed a way to convince Angela that we were perfect for each other.
“You know, I have $2000 in my bank account that I can spend at any given moment.” Suddenly, she froze. Had I known any better, I would’ve seen the cartoon dollar signs light up in her eyes. She gave me an enormous smile and said, “Wow, that’s really cool! We should hang out sometime!” I grinned at my own ingeniousness. This woman was head over heels for me. We arranged to meet up the next day, and that’s when all of my problems started taking shape.
Our first date was mostly going pretty well. I told some hilarious jokes, but I guess Angela was too nervous to laugh at them. She clearly seemed out of her comfort zone, so I offered to buy her ice cream. Liquorice flavour was on sale, but Angela insisted on chocolate. I thought long and hard about whether or not I should spend those extra 50 cents. A quick look at her perfect body gave me my answer. Short on change, I approached the counter and swiped my debit card for the very first time. My heart skipped a beat when that obnoxious “Transaction Complete” noise came up. However, Angela seemed delighted. I bought the happiness of a woman for a few bucks! She was so excited that she even agreed to meet up with me the next day as well!
On our second date, Angela ran up to me and gave me a big hug. “Honey bunny!” she called. She eased her mouth close to my ears. “So I was walking home after our date last night, and I fell on the ground and ripped a giant hole in my new jeans!” She pointed to a loose thread of fabric. “Can you PLEASE buy me a new pair?” I wish I could say that I resisted her pleas. I wish I could say that I realized she was trying to mooch off of me. Again though, she was really hot. With even less regret than the day before, I swiped my card and surrendered $130 to my gorgeous leech.
Watching my hard-earned money drain from my account was mentally grating, but Angela seemed to really appreciate me for it. We held hands and cuddled as we walked through the mall, and everything seemed to be alright. Of course when I came home, reality kicked in: I just spent $130 on a girl I knew for two days!
I felt like an idiot. I was an idiot. And yet instead of confronting Angela about my huge mistake, I agreed to go on a third date. I knew exactly what was going to happen. I was going to assault my debit card with yet another hefty transaction, and I would hate myself for it the next day. But it didn’t stop me. That night, I ended up spending $150 on a new jacket for her. For some reason, I was fully convinced that this vile woman was my soul mate. Then again, she looked really hot in those new clothes.
This nonsense continued for the next 2 weeks. I bought Angela literally anything you could think of. Perfume, shoes, even scuba-diving equipment; you name it, I swiped for it. I was completely helpless. I wish I could say that I finally stood up for myself and dumped her. In fact, if she didn’t suddenly leave me to date some hotshot fulltime cashier, I’m pretty sure I would’ve run my account completely dry.
This experience taught me how quickly seemingly small purchases can pile up. I literally didn’t touch my bank account until I bought an ice cream cone. It seemed like such a minuscule purchase that I began overlooking my savings. If I could spend a few bucks on an ice cream cone, what was the harm in buying another pair of jeans, or a new scuba suit? Well, the harm added up to $700 in 21 days.
However, the most important lesson I learned from this experience was that money doesn’t buy affection. Angela was an evil leech, but it was my fault for thinking that I could get her to like me with material goods. If someone doesn’t appreciate you for who you are, then they don’t deserve you in the first place. While troubling, Angela has left me with lifelong lessons about the management and true value of money."