Continued from part 1

Some people view money for what it can do for them.  The expensive clothes, the pricey shoes, the lavish vacations and of course the luxurious automobile that is the model for success for all Americans.  And God knows that I have had my moments of being enamored with that sort of stuff.  But other people view money as security.  Something that gives them comfort in knowing that if something goes wrong tomorrow, I have this money to take care of it.  And this is where a lot of people are disconnected.  I know what it is like to have a woman overlook me because she felt that I did not make enough money.  When I was teaching high school English for nearly a decade I was clearly not doing it for the money.  When I coached the basketball team I clearly was not doing it for the money.  When I tutored kids and ran Saturday school, I clearly was not doing it for the money.  So when certain women dressed me up and down and got to the part about what I do…….I went from looking like a catch to….well…is that all that you do? Because they clearly deduced that Jackson wasn’t about the money.  And naturally I had a defensive attitude about that.  I was amazed that a young beautiful MD with a one bed room apartment uptown, a metro pass, 120k in school loans and a work schedule that consisted of 12 hour days somehow thought that I wasn’t up to snuff.  Never mind the fact that I had a house, a car, no student loan or credit card debt and I was off for 10 weeks out of the year.  But after overcoming my defensiveness I switched my tone.  Because I was wrong to judge her.  She valued money for different reasons than I did.  She felt like her hard work was all put in so that she could afford the life of luxury that she always wanted.  And her not liking me because I didn’t look good enough at the bank on the 1st and 15th was OK.  Because the differences in how money is valued is the ultimate thing.

A man will never look at the extra digits on a woman’s pay stub as an automatic dismissal in terms of seeing her as undatable.  Correction…..a man will only rarely do that.  But he will judge how much you value the things that you can attain with your money.  And how important those things are too you.  I would never tell a woman to not enjoy the fruits of her labor if that is what she is into.  It is just hard for a guy who does not value that sort of stuff to feel comfortable with a woman who places a lot of emphasis on material things if he is not also driven by materialism.  And while this sounds very much like the musings of a guy with no money saying that money isn’t everything, I maintain that I don’t take my social cues from immature rappers or celebrities with a different set of values.  Also, as I am no longer a teacher my income has put me into a more attractive position but I still don’t LOVE my money.  A gentleman’s first reaction is to be proud of his lady for her success but it can be very concerning when success is measured in money for people.  And speaking for myself I would feel bothered and potentially nervous about dealing with a woman who values price tags more than I do.  I want a woman to have what ever she desires but consider that when a guy buys a woman a gift and she takes that gift back to get a more expensive one it can send the wrong sort of signals.  The same sort of signals can be sent when I take a woman to eat at a “nice restaurant” and she continually comments on what this place doesn’t have in comparison to the more expensive place that she prefers.  While I know some people do this to send signals, it is a lot of times just a lady thinking out loud.  She doesn’t mean any harm at all!  And she doesn’t even realize that she is subtly sending the message that no matter what a guy does for her it is not enough to satisfy her.  This goes back to the whole, “guys wanting to be important” to a woman.  No man wants to feel like a woman is unsatisfied with him in any way.  I don’t want a woman to look at me and only be marginally attracted to me.  I don’t want her to be less than stimulated by my conversation.  I want her to see me and notice my attributes more than my flaws.  And absolutely, I want to be able to contribute monetarily to our relationship and give her things that make her happy.  I don’t want to give her an engagement ring that doesn’t make her proud.  I don’t want to come up short of contributing to the house or car that she wants because my income won’t do enough to help support it.  I know how people handle that.  It starts off with some sort of kind-hearted attempt to shelter a guys feelings.  But how long does that go on before the urges and desires that she may have for things that are clearly important to her lead her towards not so nice feelings and thoughts about her mate.  Resentment even.

Now the thing that I hear the most from old people is that young folks have to place premium on the kindness of someones heart over what they can give you.  If I hear one more story about some simple wedding ring and how it cost a few hundred dollars I am gonna puke. Because while I respect these older people and agree with what they say, I just feel like it is unrealistic for a materialistic person to totally drop the materialism when they get married.  (and please know that I am not throwing around the word materialism like and pejorative)  It sounds good but it is too difficult for people to do sometimes.  10 years of living single and being a label whore for the latest hi-def television or the latest Birkin bag does not change over night because you met a great girl or guy.  I wish it could.  But I can’t tell a woman what she should and should not value.

That might be the most important thing in making any level of friendship work.  Common values.  And if a person doesn’t share my values then….I can talk to her about it.  We can try to come to some common accord.  We may even see eye to eye on a few things.  But you are taking a real gamble if you just think that they will entirely lose their obsession with the things that they have worked so hard to attain and amass as a single person.  And I don’t know if I should want to change a woman for having different values than my own.  I wouldn’t want her to try to change the fact that I would rather work to live a happy life instead of kill myself to live a life of extravagance.  To her it might be worth it.  And far be it from me to look down my noes at her because she likes things.  But what does need to change is the idea that it is the sheer amount of her money and her glory that I have a problem with.  Just as men need to know that to vilify a woman who values things only makes you look like a hurt little kid because she doesn’t value you.  Someone not being compatible with you doesn’t make them evil.  But you complaining about it does make you a prick……

@jacksonbracey

jackson.bracey@gmail.com

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