Busy this weekend. Good busy.
I recently took part in my community’s Big Read and read the book “The Great Gatsby.” A week later in a book discussion we talked about the themes of betrayal, infidelity, excess, the roaring 20’s, how the rich behave, escaping the past, and other literary staples that have made the book stand the test of time but what caught my attention was the theme, “I’m sorry, you’re not good enough.”
The fact that “rich girls don’t marry poor boys” is a hard lesson learned by a poor boy in love but is there a harder lesson learned by a rich girl who marries for love and lives poor?
I wasn’t good enough for someone when I started my career. She was beautiful, funny and charming and I’d like to think I was at least one of those since she did date me. I wanted to take her for a ride, to the top, then the bottom, over and over again.
She didn’t say to me I wasn’t good enough but I knew deep down she was waiting for something better. She wasn’t going to wait for me to “make it.” She went on to marry the son of one of the biggest grocery chains in the south, a move well played. I wonder if she stays up at night thinking of me? Just kidding.
I’ve also been on the other side. Since my early 20’s crush I’ve run across women who thought the world of me but didn’t think they were what I wanted. In one scenario, it was her mother. I thought her family was freaking crazy and I didn’t want to get involved with a bunch of nut cases that scared the hell out of me, even though this time she thought I was the person who was handsome, funny and charming. Here’s the bitch, I was unaware of the fact that with her I wouldn’t have had to make it to the top. I could have been me, mediocre.
She ended up leaving her crazy-ass family, knowing they weren’t good enough either. She also believed in the next guy, his ability, and started a business with the gentleman who really loved her and is now rich. For me, another lesson learned. I’m still working on my career.
I have a friend who is good looking, funny and charming, who, years ago, was crazy about a woman, willing to do anything for her. She kept telling him she didn’t want to have a boyfriend, just a friend, a close companion, a guy to do things with, and he hung in there and gave no pressure. He was madly in love and just willing to be by her side. She must have known and had one of the best excuses that keeps us men at bay, “I’ve just gotten out of a relationship.”
“Hey! Honey! You’ve been my friend for six months. We’re technically dating, throw the dog a bone or better yet, let me throw you one and get this over with.”
But he didn’t. He kept on until he realized he wasn’t good enough.
All people want to be held close. I don’t believe people when they keep dating you, then talk about just wanting a friend. Was she getting over on him? Was he not rich enough?
But love conquers all, right? Tell that to the woman who married for love and is dreaming of the life she could have had, had she held out, went with her brain instead of her heart and got the house, the clothes, the trips, or even the feeling of showing one’s entire family they’re not good enough.
I can only speculate on women holding out for love or marrying for money. I would think it‘s the way the girl was raised. I would bet the farm that if a woman loved me and another man the same, the brightness of gold would diminish the glare from my red hair. I don’t blame them.
Love and money, or lack of it, plays into such an interesting way man and woman form a relationship. Throw youth into the mix and holy Christ, innocence and lack of intelligence rears its ugly head.
I once saw a young couple in the French Quarter begging for money. I was sitting across the street by the Joan of Ark Statue. They couldn’t have been more then teenagers, dirty clothed, street urchins, and I was amazed at the fact that as they begged they would hold hands in-between accepting change from passers-by.
For a long time I wondered if they were in in love or just in poverty. I couldn’t tell.