IN THE 'BUF': MONEY COMPATIBILITY

 

Money. One short word that seemingly makes the world go round. It has made poor men rich and wealthy men lose their minds. People have such diverse stances on how to make, save and internalize the dollar bill that studies have declared the issue of finances as one of the most common reasons for disagreements in marriages. Not a lesson that one wants to learn the hard way.

I have dated princes, paupers, lawyers and guitar players and one thing is certain--it can be like a bad ear infection trying to find two partners that agree on how money should work in a household unit; i.e. PAINFUL. But buddy, it sure is important if you don’t wish for your castle (of whatever size) to look like a bad episode of Rosanne.

It has been my experience that some people are totally defined by moneyandpower. Otherscoulduseanicefirmkickinthereartobe a bit more - inspired shall we say? Over the years, I have met a fairly full spectrum of personalities and have learned the importance of two people being on the same page.

Years ago, I was set up on a blind date with a very attractive man, who it turned out, was extremely successful in his career as a corporate manager and was quite wealthy. STEVE showed up at my door with three dozen red roses. Wow! I thought to my twenty-two year old self. We walked up to his red shiny Porsche and he opened my door. He proceeded to take me to the nicest restraunt in town and had reserved the most romantic table in the corner beside the fireplace.

I felt like Cinderella at the ball as we shared a two hundred dollar bottle of wine...until dinner continued. Steve must have opened his wallet five times flashing a large wad of cash, trying to act as if he was showing me pictures of his grandmother. He proceeded to talk...and talk and talk...about himself. He discussed his career, houseboat, lake house and multiple trips to Spain while sneaking in several chauvinistic comments about his secretary and our waitress.

He never once bothered to ask me a thing about myself, and by this time his monologue made me want to take a nap. Even at that age, it occurred to me that no amount of money in the world would make me enjoy a man like that. However, I had to admit, the marinated filet was nice.

Sometime later I met and had a lovely exchange with PAUL, who was very likable, artsy, kind-hearted and certainly no Steve. However, it turned out that he was an out of work screenplay composer who apparently left his wallet at his home. The home which he shared with his Grandma Spriggs. I paid for our dinner bill and dropped Paul off at his granny’s because according to him, his car was in the shop.

The writing was very clearly on the wall and I had a sneaking suspicion that Paul probably had not had a job for a long time and if I intended to date or marry Paul, I had better make a great living for the two of us or learn to love Grandma Spriggs.

Years later yet, I became involved with a banker, RON. I enjoyed my time with Ron and thought we might have a nice future together. I am not irresponsible with money, nor am I willing to obsess over every penny at the expense of having a few perks along the way, when possible. After moving in together, I realized that money would always be a huge issue for us. Even though I made my own good living, I found myself hiding a new pair of shoes in my trunk so as to avoid the lecture that would follow. Who would have thought that money could affect so many relationships so drastically?

I recall when Mister Man and I had dinner early on in our relationship. We discussed some of the biggies... religion, children, politics and the mighty green dollar.

He laughed as I told him about my previous money disaster dates and decided that we would have one primary banking account, a savings account and each of us would have our own money for earned perks.

So you can imagine how guilty I felt as I shoved a hot pair of new high heels in the trunk of my car. What was wrong with me? We had an agreement and he would be so disappointed in me for my little secret. But I felt guilty that without question, those hundred bucks could have been better spent.

I felt guilty until the next morning as he was on his way out of the door; I noticed what appeared to be a new set of golf clubs. “Hey babe?” I asked. “Are those new clubs?” “Uh...well, yeah.” He guiltily replied. “I got them in a killer sale last week....didn’t I tell you?”


Posted on 2013-02-01 by
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