In early January 2009, I figured it was time for my guy to meet my mom. It had been seven months and she was beginning to think that I had something to hide. (I didn't, but before him, I'd been single for six years. I put this relationship at a speed somewhere between frozen turtle and crawling backwards.) He picked out a nice seafood restaurant and I'm pretty sure (from what I haven't blocked out) that I spent a good deal of the evening wishing for more Tanqueray (as I was cut off... evil people in this world).
Everything was going pretty well until my mother (whom I love—with clenched teeth) brought up a very touchy topic for me. She asked him if his family would think that I'm a gold digger (or GD). She asked him that, upon their first meeting, at dinner, while I was trapped in a booth with an empty tumbler. I don't recall the rest of the evening. I simply remember being embarrassed.
I won't lie, I've thought about it. I've thought about how his daughter would feel about a less-than-wealthy woman (9 years her senior) hanging out with her not-close-to-broke dad. In fact, I thought about it when we first met. I was a service writer at the shop where he brought his company vehicle to be serviced. I bet he probably was aware of my average salary.
When we went out to dinner for the first time, we went to a tapas lounge. I got there before him and outside of work it was obvious that he had a lot going on for him. Since I worked around cars, I could tell by his keychain that he owned multiple nice cars, but I refrained from saying anything (lest I have to mention "The Blackmobile", my '94 Probe). When we went out to our cars (I was rollin' in mom's '07 Maxima) he asked me what I thought of his Windstar. I told him that it looked nicer than my car. That's when he let me in on the "secret" that his own cars were a Yukon and BMW. (I felt really poor when I went home that night.) He used this as a gauge for women and how gold-diggerish they were (I guess I passed). When Money Masks Couples' Real Problems
Soon, he let me in on his salary (about 5x mine), his houses, and other things. This was most likely due to a message I sent him that I thought we were too different and I didn't have a lot to bring to the table. I was glad that he didn't (and doesn't) seem to care, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me feel inadequate. Once I made it to his house, it didn't get better. He has lots of things that I want. Flat screen HDTVs, jewelry, even shoes that each have their own little special bags. His toilet paper gets beautified and folded by the maids, and his earrings are almost ludicrous.
There was an invite for a cruise, but I didn't go because I couldn't afford to go. He would have paid for my ticket, but I've tried to have a different outlook concerning men and money, and that involves not letting men make major purchases. It's been a mindset years in the making, beginning in my childhood.