The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

7 December 2004

No gifts, please

I hadn't thought about this — okay, I hadn't thought about this much — but Andrea Harris has:

No man will respect a woman who spends money on him. No matter how much he may love her and appreciate her at the time of the present-giving or check-picking-up or whatever it is, deep down inside he'll be ashamed, and eventually he will leave her and find someone who doesn't remind him of his vulnerabilities.

Having once been married to someone who outearned me — which doesn't take much, alas — I must concede that there's something to this. So does Chi-Lite Eugene Record:

All my friends call me a fool
They say, "let the woman take care of you"
So I try to be hip and think like the crowd
But even the crowd can't help me now

Did this phenomenon play any role in the Presidential election? The Twisted Spinster thinks so:

Witness all the attacks on John F. Kerry's marriage to the millionaire ketchup lady. His exalted gigolo status in the eyes of many Americans may not have been the main reason he wasn't elected but I'm sure it helped.

It is an unfortunate fact of my life that anyone who catches my eye, quite apart from the usual array of obstacles, will inevitably prove to be way out of my league. So I strive to be as self-sufficient as I can, knowing that neediness, at least in my case, always seems to breed resentment.

Posted at 8:24 AM to Table for One


Hm. But even in this day in age, some (or is it most?) people don't mind so much about the opposite situation.

Posted by: sya at 12:54 PM on 7 December 2004

Which demonstrates that while we can make people equal under the law, we can't make them identical under the skin.

McGehee used to say something to the effect that "There are substantial differences between men and women — and I like them." He wasn't referring to this phenomenon, though.

Posted by: CGHill at 1:32 PM on 7 December 2004

Well, I wasn't referring to wages; I was referring specifically to the actual act of spending money on a man, as in buying him expensive gifts that put a strain on your credit card and can be enjoyed by the man long after he's dumped the gift giver for another woman. I think most men have accepted that there will at least be times when their wives will be earning more money than they are, that's just the way things are these days.But presents are different -- unlike paying the mortgage or the car insurance buying someone a gift is an extra, it's not necessary, so it always has motives behind it -- anything from "I think you're great" to "I want to flaunt my wealth and your lack of it (and presumably the balls to go out and out-earn the wife) by giving you fancy things you can't afford." And there is no way of knowing, barring a sudden outbreak in humanity of the ability to read minds, how to tell which motive the gift-giver is impelled by.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 10:51 PM on 7 December 2004

In my own situation back then, there wasn't much money for expensive gifts either way. And eventually the income differences subsided, leaving room for all the other problems with the relationship to make their way to the surface.

And, well, I'm not at all accustomed to anyone telling me I'm great. :)

Posted by: CGHill at 6:40 AM on 8 December 2004