The swirling shitstorm of Class and Race in America on account of Shirley and the Teabaggers has many implications for our collective future, but I am much more interested in socioeconomics as a factor in the demographics of dating.
Granny the Ho was not the first woman to say that it's just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man. She stuck by that bit of advice her whole life, and went to her grave saying she never loved any one of her five husbands. She got married because she needed the money. That's reality for you. Granny was born and raised in North Carolina during Prohibition and The Depression. She graduated from 8th grade, and I don't really know what she did besides tend the garden, cook, sew and clean until she married the bootlegger. The point is that there weren't a lot of career options open to women at that time, so women got married and had children.
One of her children was my mother, who never once acknowledged that nice girls do indeed have sex outside of marriage because we only focused on Marriage. However, Mother never failed to point out that being Married is a hard way to make a living, and she still hasn't worked outside the home since her part-time job at the Florist shop in high school. When I was in high school, she strategically placed a small poster in the hallway outside my bedroom that read: What if Prince Charming Never Comes.
When I wanted to drop out of college, she said, "Patricia, the same man who says he's going to love you and take care of you forever when you're 19 and cute will get up and leave you when you're fat and 35. THEN what are you going to do?" Made sense to me, and I got my BA in English from the University of Texas at Austin. My female role models were Farrah Faucet and Daisy Duke.
That was then and this is now. I'm not hung up on the Socioeconomics of Romance largely because I have my own money - thanks to Buzz Kill. Not a lot of money, but enough to pay my own bar tab. And my date's, if I choose to do so. Typically, if I pay for anything on the first date or two, a man can rest assured he's not getting anywhere near my pants unless there are extenuating circumstances. Further, it is important to note that getting your own money through the divorce process does not make a woman a feminist disgrace. As my mother said, being a stay-at-home wife and mother is a hard way to make a living - and staying at home is a damn career choice. A choice that doesn't provide an income.
As it happens, when Grand Master A (aka Velvet aka Irving aka Mandark) was a baby, the Wall Street Journal ran an article saying that Stay At Home moms were a status symbol. If a man could afford for his wife to stay home, he must be doing pretty well. My New Mothers Group and I were asked to be on the local news where I argued that decent child care costs so much that it doesn't pay to have both parents working unless they are both making at least $60,000 per year. There are plenty of statistics to show that all a couple has to do so that one person can stay home is Simplify.
I'm pretty sure that trend will continue now that the Republicans are trying to push us all into another Depression so that folks will be living in their cars and working for food. If they force all the illegals out of the country, that means more and more White People will be waiting outside the Home Depot for day jobs. My brother - the Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographer - says that the way things are going at Newspapers, the delivery van will swing by the Home Depot with some disposable cameras and call it a photo department. But I digress . . .
As a woman of a certain age with a degree of financial security, I don't care about man's net worth or earning potential like I did when I was interested in breeding. Here, I have to admit that whatever fears Men have about women and money may very well be justified. A long time ago, some guy was saying on Oprah that men may view women as sex objects, but women view men as Success Objects.
I don't know how all this stuff will change for kids in college now. When it became clear to me that Grand Master A (aka Velvet) needed a personal assistant to stay organized and prioritized at college, I remembered that girl friends used to provide that service. Young women protect their organizational and executive functioning skills these days. Why spend your time supporting an engineer when you can be one yourself? Saves a lot of trouble - as long as you feel like being an engineer. And there's no reason a man should be an engineer just to support a family when the woman can be the primary breadwinner and the man stay home. Or the other man or woman. One mom and one dad; two moms or two dads. Doesnt' matter. There are options.
The trouble these days is that Business can now get two workers for the price of one, and people are convinced that the only way to know for sure that God loves them is to have two cars, three TVs and an annual trip to Disney World or Myrtle Beach. But I digress, again . . .
All I'm looking for is a single, straight, mostly sober man with no small children. That's it. I've only been interested in looking for a couple of weeks now, and I'm really not ready to date until Grand Master A is back at Tree Hugger. Notably, his landlord is cute and doesn't wear a wedding ring.
Sadly, the lack of a wedding ring means absolutely nothing. I had coffee last week with a man who wore no ring, and it turned out he's married and still living with his wife and daughter. I met him when I was reading at KGB and he seemed to have some information and insight that interested me. Once we were at coffee, he said right off that he was looking for mistresses - and went on to declare that the difference between a girlfriend and a mistress is that mistresses don't do laundry. I had to correct that statement instantaneously since everybody knows Mistresses are Kept which means cash, jewelry, vacations etc. etc. etc.
I had to correct a lot of that man's statements, especially when I learned he was an unemployed journalist who had been hanging out at that bar looking to get laid for two years. New York is filled with unemployed journalists these days, but they are typically more interested in picking up free lance work than picking up sex partners unless that partner can potentially get them free lance work, too. It's all about the networking - at least it is when you're way over 40 and single.
I've got nothing against unemployed journalists, or unemployed anybody, because half the world is unemployed. It's the Married part that bothers me - as well as the bar tab. What kind of person hangs out in the same bar three or four times a week when their spouse is paying the tab? If his wife is happy to pay that kind of bar tab, he must be quite the asshole at home. I asked him point blank what he had to show for himself after spending two years in a bar, and he said, "A Paunch."
Now, I like a man with a paunch, too. Makes me more comfortable with my own paunch. I just expect him to be fully single. Some people may have good reasons for being Separated for years and years - but to me, Separated is still Married. Although I wouldn't rule out Separated men all together, that kind of marital status means you'll eventually be referring to his Wife in conversations. When I'm at the nail salon with my girlfriends, the last thing I want to mention is my boyfriend's wife. It doesn't sit well with the married women in the nail salon.
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