Hey y’all. Just felt like doing a little writing this fine Sunday morning so I can procrastinate taking my tree down (!) and cleaning my apartment. I did get up early and go to church though. Woot! And I had a sort of interesting conversation last night that’s been on my mind and I just want to get it out because that, if you read anything I ever write, is how I process and make sense of things.
Had dinner with a lovely friend of mine last night that I always enjoy seeing because she’s A) from Arkansas, and so we can just sit and be southern girls for a few hours and it’s nice, B) she’s a dancer, and when you have a passion for something, being around other people who get that and let you talk about it without wanting to change the subject is priceless, and C) she and I tend to disagree politically and so we are (and I’m proud of this) a pretty good example of how partisan divides don’t have to actually divide. That’s a good reminder while we navigate the extreme partisanship of this city. And usually we agree not to discuss work. Usually we talk about men. But last night she decreed she would rather discuss work over men. Totally fine. So we did. But in the course of that discussion, the topic of men came up (of course it did!) and we kind of danced around this idea that maybe it’s worthwhile to make actively seeking a man in a certain tax bracket a priority. Now, neither of us has a tendency to seek a true bum — the kind my dad, in describing one of my boyfriends many years ago, called being “worthless as a dog on the side of road” — but I think we have both always been comfortable with the idea of dating a good guy who can be provider, both financially and spiritually.
So this was new. Her argument was basically that men behave a certain way and why not seek the more affluent if you’re going to get similar behaviors no matter who you date. It’s a rational argument. Which is why I like hanging out with her. She’s a thinker. And I don’t disagree. Except…
I don’t know. My experience in dating men with means — and probably more so in dating the ones who were certainly comfortable but prioritized getting ALL THE MEANS — is that they tend to place a high value on things that are fleeting. And, more importantly, for the ones who already had more than enough, they behaved as if their ability to buy you things or plug you in or take you places or whatever they used their money for was grounds to behave however they wanted because of course you’ll just deal with it. Rich bird in the hand and all that. And I just never wanted to be one of those ladies who had all the things but couldn’t sleep at night without popping a pill, or looked the other way at serial infidelity, or — and this is the worst — was so acclimated to easy street that I stopped appreciating it and began to take it for granted, boasting about it, using it to manipulate, foregoing feeling lucky and blessed in lieu of feeling entitled and somehow innately “deserving” of my good fortune. It’s just a tradeoff I was never comfortable making. I get that others disagree. Life is certainly easier with money (I have a vague memory of it…). But then…is it? I see a lot of pictures and hear a lot of stories that would indicate the former. But I’m always struck by the almost constant struggle I see to convince everyone else how marvelous all the things are. It’s like the Buzzfeed version of life. “Best thing ever done by people in the history of the world and you must read about it and agree with it now!” Entertainment and bragging rights seems to supplant real relating. That seems like a recipe for something very delicious that leaves you really hungry later on
Our conversation just got me to thinking is all. And one thing I’ve noticed is that the men who are obsessed with seeking the means have a different standard for different people. They treat people differently based on what that person has or what they can give them. And I have nothing cerebral to say about that except I just don’t like it. It doesn’t appeal to me. Same goes for the ladies in pursuit of the man with the fat wallet. It’s not attractive no matter how you dress it up. Now none of this is to say that there aren’t really fine people out there who live fabulously comfortable lives. Of course there are. I’ve met some of them. Just that, personally, I prioritize the “really fine” over the “fabulously comfortable.” The former is a first principle that I’m pretty solid about not wanting to negotiate. Because I’m not sure all the money in the world can cure a tortured soul. At least from what I’ve seen. Also, and this is something of a semi-related aside, I’m not sure which is less appealing: boasting about your good fortune or half-assed apologizing to the world for it.
Okay, done. Have some music. I’m going for a run and then hopefully hanging out with some Broncos fans later down at Penn Quarter. All this talk of money and love just makes me want to have a beer and watch football.