Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Why I would rather not marry for money

Ha.  Not that it's a possibility. . .

When I was unemployed, I went into Boston a lot--mainly to meet with people I knew in my field of work, for informational interviews and actual job interviews, and basically to get out of the house.  Once, I was walking along the harbor walk to kill some time before meeting an old colleague for coffee when a woman who lived in one of the condos there struck up a conversation with me.  When she learned I was unemployed, she advised me to try and snag one of the men who lived in the buildings or who worked nearby because they were quite wealthy.  A lot of lawyers and finance guys apparently frequented the walk or lived there.  A guy I knew from my train commute gave me similar advice--find a wealthy guy.

They were mostly joking.  I hope.

Now, I don't think that money is the root of all evil and that I'm a principled and wonderful person, because it isn't and I'm not.  I'm no one to judge, but it's not for me.  Not for moral or true love reasons, but brass-tacks practicality.  Also, as the saying goes, those who marry for money earn every penny.  You're kind of always on the clock, and I don't have that kind of stamina.  Also, we now live in an era where women can own property and "respectable" women can work and support themselves, and women in fact have all careers open to them. Not living in an era where your choices were to marry or rely on a possibly resentful family to support you has its perks.

The thing is, I would be very happy with a partner who shared my values and was okay with the way I want to live, which isn't a lifestyle most people with significant wealth want to live other than as a pleasant weekend distraction.

If I was involved with a guy who say, wanted to grab some burritos and see a movie, or had picnics with me in the park, or made me dinner in his nice but not exceptionally gorgeous place (and enjoyed the dinners I made), I would have thought I had died and gone to heaven.  A guy like that would be okay with my tightwad ways, wouldn't bat an eye at me washing and reusing plastic storage bags, would be okay with my deep freeze, with be fine with my insistence on making homemade stock from vegetable ends and canning it, would be thrilled to get home-canned jam, would be fine with Zombie Apocalypse Movie Night, would be deliriously happy with homemade biscotti and cheap coffee with stove-heated and frothed milk and a dash of nutmeg.  He'd be okay with living in a small, simple house with a sunny yard with no HOA or uppity neighbors who would side-eye laundry drying on a line or a compost pile or a big garden.  Or a decently-sized but affordable apartment or condo with a dryer rack used weekly for clothes.  He'd be fine with using public transportation in the city. A man who enjoys those sorts of things would be a better match for me than one who does not, or who sort of grits his teeth through them.  (If he's rich and prefers to live the way I live, that's wonderful, but I suspect it's also rare.)

I won't pretend that there are some things I don't lust after--I'm one of the few people who would use the bejezus out of a 6-burner Viking stove, who'd love one of those tricked out kitchens in some of those flash homes you see on TV (that ironically almost never gets used).  But my happiness isn't dependent upon that, and as I'm single, I don't need it. I'm not against eating out or doing things that cost money--I do not live like a monk.  I had a delicious dinner out with a friend of mine on Sunday night, I watch movies in the theater, and I had my place redone several years ago.  I do not live in hovel, wear rags and eat gruel.  Nor do I live in a flash place and spend money I don't have on things I can't afford.  I'm trying to save my money.

But let's face it, if I was a billionaire, I'd still do a lot of these things (granted, if I was a billionaire, I might pay for some people to do some things for me to spread the wealth and provide employment, but I'm not in danger of becoming a billionaire anytime soon). I do these things because I enjoy them.  If I had a yard, I'd line dry my stuff because clothes dried in the fresh air and the sun smell like heaven.  It's satisfying to use every last scrap of what you have, to use it well, and to use it beautifully.  So I will make a delicious stock and make fantastic meals from it.  I will make jam and offer it on top of some homemade yogurt to guests.  I will watch cheesy zombie flicks on my old-school TV.  I will enjoy and treasure what I have.

And I'd want someone who enjoys those simple things with me.


  1. We rented a house for a year that had a viking stove... accidentally burned the wall next to it. (Still, the stove was pretty darn awesome and it was hard to go back to our electric.)

  2. Except for the zombie movie obsession, my husband and I look an awful lot like this description! OK, we DID replace our old-school tv when I hurt my fist banging the side of it to make the screen color something other than green.

    Ah, kitchen lust. I'm saving my pennies for that.

  3. Great post! We live like that here too, and I like it. Glad other people like it as well. :)

  4. I am waaaay too old to be on the clock all the time...lol. I have met men, older men my age, who seem to back off if I mention I just got clothes off the line, or fed the hens. I sort of think they equate that with poverty. Well, I am not a millionaire, but I would have hens and a clothes lie if I were wealthy. But, then I could afford to have someone run to get the clothes off the line when it starts raining...lol.

    Maybe those guys are just lazy.

    I refuse to allow a date to buy me treats at a movie and I insisted once that a guy who was not a senior get my senior discount when he paid for tickets. I do insist the guy stop at a gas station and buy me a coke in a plastic bottle with cap and a bag of M&Ms. It would not matter how much money he made.

  5. There are things that I continue to do that I first began doing because we had little money. Now that we have a bit more, I still do these things, like reuse every plastic container that comes through the house, or save coffee instead of throwing it out, or keeping a vegetable garden. I could afford to throw the old coffee out, but I don't want to. This is the way I like to live, and any man attached to me has to be able to not only live with that, but participate in my lifestyle, as well.

    Marrying for money. . . you're right! You pay dearly for it, every second of your life. On the other hand, if my husband suddenly landed a ridiculously high-paying job, I'd still keep him around.