Marrying "Up"


Marrying "Up"
Is it so wrong to want to marry someone with money?

In college it occurred to me that, if I wanted to, I could be rich when I grew up.

No, there wasn't a "Eureka!" moment where I thought I might become an i-banker, a corporate lawyer or an arms dealer. What I mean is I realized I could marry somebody rich.


I grew up pretty class-oblivious, sheltered within an upper-middle class Connecticut bubble. But in college, I looked around my social circle at my law- and med school-bound classmates, as well as old friends from the suburbs who were on similar tracks. Suddenly I realized these kids would have money when they grew up.

True, I may fall in love with a musician or another writer. We'll be broke-ass starving artists, bouncing rent checks and forgoing health insurance together! Or maybe I'll join the Peace Corps, flit about the world seeking adventures and love affairs, and be my niece's "cool aunt" who never marries at all.

But the crystal ball predicts a life far more mundane: I'll be a journalist and I'll marry another journalist, a lawyer, a doctor, a web entrepreneur, or someone else like that. He'll have "stable" job and a high five- or six-figure income; we'll live (and procreate) in the New York City metropolitan area. Sure, we'll struggle a bit as newlyweds. But eventually, like my mother before me, I suspect I'll have health insurance, drive a nice car, take yearly vacations and maybe even stay home with my hypothetical kids. Compared to the rest of the world, I'll be "comfortable." Which is, of course, a polite euphemism for "rich."

I realize it is a privilege to hypothetically even be in this situation; I probably sound like a jerk. But that's because it's hard to touch upon marriage and wealth without sounding like some kind of modern-day Anne Boleyn. (Or, worse a woman on The Real Housewives of Orange County.) That's why it's bold—foolish, even!—of Jennifer Wright to address marrying well-off men in "Are Sugar Daddies Our Modern Day Prince Charmings?" on

"Apparently, you are not allowed to state that you want to marry someone wealthy," Wright writes, using the 'Craigslist gold digger' as an example. And why the hell not?, she wonders. Because society says we're modern women who know better than to be gold diggers!

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