As a woman especially, there is going to be nothing more sexy or satisfying than having your own income.
I say this after (re)-reading this book:
The book talks about Manhattanites, specifically Manhattan Upper East Side Mommies who make homemaking their lives.
They fight to get their kids into the right preschools, be the richest, show off the most, climb the social echelon, support their husbands’ careers, manage the household, look and act perfect and be 100% amazing all the time all the while trying to clamp down being jealous if another woman flirts with your bread & butter (husband) or that it can all go away in a blink of an eye.
No pressure right?
Oh and it’s all done with a bleached smile.
What Martin says in the book really resonates with me, particularly these two points she brings up in the book in light of all this excess and stress:
1. NOTHING IS MORE SATISFYING THAN MAKING & HAVING YOUR OWN INCOME
It seems to me that the women are educated for the most part but seemingly deeply unhappy with trying to fill a void in their lives by living through their children to make them perfect because by extension, they represent your status in life.
The ones who channeled their passions into making their own money, felt a sense of independence and satisfaction from doing so that cannot be gleaned from just obtaining the money.
Getting $100,000 handed to you without having worked for it, or earning that $100,000 are emotionally & psychologically speaking, two absolutely different things.
The latter being more satisfying and fulfilling believe it or not.
Perhaps that’s why lottery winners don’t keep all their money. They didn’t work for it, or earn it, so they take it for granted and spend it like water.
Not only that, they have no sense of responsibility for the money earned and thus, cannot see the true value of it without having worked for it.
It is the same I believe, for people (women AND MEN) who have money handed to them.
2. WHEN YOU ARE DEPENDENT ON OTHERS FOR MONEY, IT CHANGES THE RELATIONSHIP & DYNAMIC
Others can mean anyone.
Your Husband / Parents / Parents-in-Law.
It can last forever, this giving money tree, and be wonderful.
Great vacations, fantastic clothes, great schools, anything your little heart desires is immediately purchased and presented to you.
Or it can go away overnight or trap you in a relationship because you have no other way of providing for your children or you don’t want to go through a messy divorce with lawyers & end up destitute while he takes sole custody of the kids because of financial reasons.
Much like being trapped in a job because of the pay and the fact that you’re in debt, people dream of an Emergency Fund, or as some like to call it, the “F U Fund”, it is the same as being trapped in a marriage or a relationship with your parents solely because of the carrot dangling in front of you (the money).
You are in it for the long haul, happily or unhappily all because of money, which you have to ask for each time you want to use it.
Is there no one out there who would not feel bad asking for the money or for permission?
Or like a child, yearning for the day when they are adults with jobs who can just DO WHAT THEY WANT with their money?
For those of who are of the staunch, independent ilk, you could also (in hindsight) wonder if you should have just taken the money and swallowed your pride.
Either way, you know that the relationship exists because you are dependent, not inter-dependent.
This is probably why I am so adamant in being 50/50 with my partner. I want to earn my own money, pay my way, complain just like any other working schmuck about not saving enough, and be at the same time, happy and stressed in doing so.
It isn’t all bad, this working for your money lark.
It gives you way more than just money. It gives you a sense of independence, pride, and personal accomplishment as well. I guess if we saw work as a way of maintaining good self-esteem in being useful in society, we may be a little happier on Mondays.