Thursday, March 11, 2010

Oh, no, you din't

Ever been scammed, ripped off, cheated? And I’m not talking about something petty that happened on a schoolyard, or the emotional pain of being lied to by a significant other, I’m referring to the unparalleled lousy-ass experience of parting with money in order to obtain something, then finding out—much, much too late for any reaction on your part—that you’ve been swindled, fleeced, duped…all such ugly words. It’s bad enough when you buy something, say a piece of exercise equipment designed to make your belly fat disappear sans effort, and find it’s not going to live up to your expectations. That is not a good thing, but some part of you knew it wouldn’t work out. It’s another thing entirely to buy something you’re never going to get, because, my friend, you weren’t even making a purchase, you were a deer in someone’s headlights, in the wrong place at the wrong time with a very wrong person. Infuriating, but you pretty much have to suck it up, at least for public consumption, because, as my mother always said, “Who told you this world was going to be fair?”

Really, though, it’s a terrible feeling, isn’t it? Very difficult to get over. Not much you can do about it, either, and I don’t know about you, but I’m never fond of chalking things up to experience, living and learning, or allowing someone to get away with my money scot-free. Plus, there are all those moments of hindsight, of fervently wishing you’d seen through this person who really didn’t seem very trustworthy at the time, of angrily thinking of what you’d like to do to him/her should your paths ever cross again. But they won’t.

In my admittedly limited life experience, revenge has a nasty way of backfiring in unpleasant ways. However, unpardonable actions demand some sort of response beyond remorse and rumination. I’m recovering from a recent encounter with a con man, and opting for some preventive maintenance, trying to learn as much as possible as I can about the various ways in which people can, and will gladly, take advantage of me. So many ways, when you start doing a little research, it’s really quite overwhelming! I’m starting my lessons with the slow-motion swindle, which may seem old-fashioned, since many of us no longer carry cash or allow others’ hands to touch ours.

So I’m also getting this book, which is going to teach me how to cheat at everything. Everything!! In a few weeks I’ll be able to say, “This will never happen to me again,” although I’m not sure I’ll ever really believe it.