Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Holla we want pre-nup!" In which my goat has been goaded, not gilded!

My goat has been got this week: royally stalked, speared, shanked and stewed.   And, as I marinate in feelings of female frustration—echoes of “that’s just not fair!” and “fucking cheek!” whirling through the coils of grey matter—no solution seems to satisfy.

So, what is it that has so skewered my usually sunny disposition?  That has kebabed my thoughts, stabbing through the center of everything and therefore making E. v. unproductive? 

Well, yes, it’s men—no surprise there then—but it is women too, People.  People and perceptions, specifically in terms of the subset of the male species: the wealthy male.  Homo Dicktardus Millionairus.

Oh grief!  Is she going to yammer on about how Prince William really should have given her a chance again?  No.  I am not.  Good for you, Kate.  Changing your major to study William’s course at St. Andrew’s University had NOTHING to do with you wanting to date him.  The thought never crossed my mind!  However, now that my goat has been slaughtered, I might as well share the feast.  So this is my take on… Gold Digging.  Cue music, Kanye.

I type as an Equal Opportunities Dater.  Scratch that, there are some criteria: teeth, hair (preferable), charisma, passions, kindness, integrity—there are those base non-negotiables—but other than that, blankety blank sums in the checking account, and off-shore accounts in Grand Cayman, Monte Carlo and other tax haven, have never made it to the list. 

I am an independent, hard-working woman filled with passion, ambition, and dedication.  I have goals and I will achieve them and succeed by my own merit.  I had rather assumed—Fool, fool, that I am!—that my efforts and endeavours rather speak for me.

So, Dearest Reader, imagine my horror—Quelle Horreur!—when one’s integrity was called into question and I was asked—not in quite these terms, but near enough—“Are you a Gold-digger?”

I was pole-axed, nay, lampooned, speechless, witless, stunned senseless.  After I scraped my jaw from the floor, I considered how One could possibly defend against such an unpalatable charge.  Surely, protestations of sincerity only sound… insincere?  But what else can one say? 
"But, but... I didn't ask the ex-Beloved for a bean!  Not a cent!  Not a share of our home, nor a dip in the pool."--And it has been a bligh warm summer not to ask for a returnee dip! 

Perhaps I need to provide references, methought: “Ermmm, well here’s my dating resume and three previous dates' telephone numbers who would be happy to provide recommendations of honourable conduct.  Oh, and while we are at it, here’s my credit report and current bank statements.”  Really?  RAHHHHHLLY?

It’s perplexing on a number of counts because a) why would that thought even cross someone’s mind when dating me? b) because I feel helpless and I HATE feeling helpless.  c) Surely, a manly man, wealthy or not, should be assured enough of his talents to know that it doesn't matter what he is packing in his pocket?  But mostly, d) how to prove what one is not? 

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s review.  Kanye West did a great job defining your classic "Gold digger," but I’m a biologist and love a meaty classification. 

Common attributes of a GOLD DIGGER: Homo Parasitus

·         Shies away from work

·         Takes the easiest path

·         Has an Action Man (G.I. Joe) eye/head swivel, checking out all others in the room

·         Never offers to pay for dinner/ offers to pay and then—oh Heavens!—finds that purse/wallet is AWOL

·         Is more impressed with glitzy gifts than heartfelt ones

·         Would rather dine at the nameless, faceless, minimalist urban chic restaurant and order a leaf of bibb lettuce, or anything with truffle oil, for their date to pay extortionate sums for, than the cozy little Italian on the corner, with the plastic red and white check tablecloth, the carafe with candle, dripping wax down the sides, and cheap dishes of unfashionable deliciousness.

A Real FishWife of NJ. Such class. Such style.
NB: GD’s are usually—always—thought of as being women.  Yet, I know many men who would belly-flop into the above description.  Isn’t it odd that you rarely hear the term bandied around about men?  You hear "Gold Digger" and you immediately think of some plastic, gilded Real Housewife of New Jersey.  Why is that? 

I suppose it is because women can get pregnant and men can’t—when I last checked—so the classic GD scenario hooking your "Baby Daddy"—dear Lord, that sounds ridiculous even typing it—is more difficult to accomplish if you are the chap.  But then again, I don’t have a great deal of sympathy here.  If you are a man of means and you are sleeping with an Unknown Quantity, why in Hades would you risk it?   WHY? 
Congrats Charlene! He's a Dad! Again. Surprise!

I feel I need to have this heart to heart with Prince Albert of Monaco.  How many paternity cases have proceeded or are pending?  Crikey, Man!  You rule the Principality, your wedding reportedly cost $65 MILLION (so you obviously have crock-shit-loads of cash), and there you are wanging away, spreading your wild ones without a bye or leave.  I don’t care about your proclivities or preferences, your sperm trail seems to be just darn right careless.  Albie, meet Mr. Condom.  Mr. Condom, meet Prince Penis.  It’s hardly rocket science, Al.  (And don’t tell me you’re allergic to latex either, because Buddy, I don’t believe you.)  "I won't cry for you, Albert-weiner, the truth is you never sheathed it..."

We, as women, don’t do ourselves any favours in crushing this stereotype, either.  Hollywood plays to it.  Think of the ghastly reality TV offerings from the Hef’s Playboy Mansion show to my latest horrific TV discovery… Millionaire Matchmaker, on Bravo.

OH. GOOD. LORD.  I can’t blame a chap from trying to protect his assets with women like these around!  Mind you, listening to some of these men, arrogant enough to enter themselves for a show like this, methinks they deserve every fake that fawns their way.  Check out the fist-pump (in the video below) when the blonde model learns her date, Max Marcus Von Oliver EdWeird Blah Blah Blah is a Prince.  Priceless.

I can understand why well-heeled types go for pre-nups –as much as the Romantic Me screams “NOOOOO!”  You know what, a marriage is a contract.  If a contract ends, surely it is easier if there are certain terms in place?  There is, however, no such arrangement for dating, so how does one protect/defend oneself?  Maybe if such a hideous cold contract were in place it would answer those detractors who assume the only reason a younger and relatively attractive woman would date an older chap would be money? 

Oh yes, I am sure Anna Nicole Smith really did love her octogenarian billionaire, but forget her…oops you already did.  (Distasteful?  Sorry.  I just didn’t buy it for a moment.)   Oh shit?  Does that mean I’m a hypocrite, because I assume ANS had her geriatric’s billions firmly in her sights?  Gah, I suppose it does.   But that was a pretty steep age gap. 

Look at Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Spartacus-Douglas-Jones and Michael Douglas, there is a wee ol’ generation jump there.  The actresses, whilst successful, were in no way the secured celebrities they are now, but did that make them Fortune Hunters?  The tabloids implied it, and what could they say to defend their honour?  Nothing.  However, they have graciously stood by their older men, won Oscars, spawned, run marathons.  Time has told. 

Is that all I can do?  I suppose so.  I shall keep my own conscience, and continue to take the most challenging path.  I will look people in the eye and give my whole attention, no matter who else in the room.   I will always treasure the hardback Catch 22 inscribed, ‘To my Beautiful En,’ far more than all the Coach purses in the world.  Café Rinaldi will always be my favourite.  I hold my head and debit card up.  

But maybe we should think about NOT promoting such stereotypes in the future.  I am not typing this as a bra-burning hoorah or a sycophantic commercial, but maybe a bit of a call to arms that men and women, regardless of status or bank account, should be self-reliant.  That women should not promote themselves as being these ridiculous televised fortune hunters.  Grow up, get a job, do it yourself.  You are not, and never will be, a Disney Princess.  And Millionaires, be you male or female, get a pre-nup, get a good attorney, and go with your gut.  And if you meet her on a show called Millionaire Matchmaker, chances are, Bud, she’s not really there for your dashing charisma.


  1. Absolutely, love your thoughts. Leaves a lot to discussion. Very interesting!!! You are sooo right - people are truly amazing and will always be amazing. But they sure give us fuel for thought and they for sure make a good read!!!

  2. Love this blog eleanor! And I agree why is a gold digger always a woman?! Men are just as bad! You are strong and independent and I would never put this title on you no matter what the circumstances! <3 (heart) haha


  3. Thanks, Beauty Soapbox! Yes, People truly amaze me. In good ways, in bad ways, and in some bloody unbelievable ways!

    Jaclyn! It's true isn't it? We get the worst names: spinister, golddigger, cougar... what's a gal to do, but be lion-hearted about it?! ;)

  4. LOVE IT. Every word, E. Especially enjoyed Millionaire Bachelor Kibbles n' Bits being as giggly and giddy about Fairy Tail (pun intended) character Max Marcus Von Oliver EdWeird Blah Blah as was the Golden-Haired Gold Digger. I am with you on all points in this blogette. Superficiality knows no gender. And a true heart knows no math, nor cares to learn. ♥

  5. As for the popularity of these, as you say, "ridiculous televised fortune hunters," a passage from "The World According to Garp" by John Irving (my favorite writer) leaps to mind:

    “To Garp, [TV's] glow looks like cancer, insidious and numbing, putting the world to sleep. Maybe television causes cancer, Garp thinks; but his real irritation is a writer’s irritation: he knows that wherever the TV glows, there sits someone who isn’t reading.”

  6. "You hear "Gold Digger" and you immediately think of some plastic, gilded Real Housewife of New Jersey. Why is that?"

    Because the world is full of philistines who don't watch nearly enough Alfred Hitchcock.

    Actually I suppose that just compounds the injustice. Think female gold digger and you think "...some plastic, gilded Real Housewife of New Jersey", but think male Gold Digger and you think of Cary Grant brimming with awesomeness.

  7. "Brimming with awesomeness."
    Yes, there is a huge, unjust imbalance here, Damo. I think very poorly of women-leeches, and yet, because Cary Grant does it with class and style, he is a hero.

    I wish I could take you to task, but I can't. Maybe, we just need to teach the "plastic, Real Fishwives of Whereever" some class and style and then it would be okay?

    Nah. I'd still have parasitic issues.