Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stuck in the Middle with You

Be forewarned, this post is all about money. It's the unfinished story of a very crazy girl who wants lots and lots of money, probably so as to get much chocolate and joie de vivre (French things are expensive!).

As Valentine's Day approaches, I am reflecting, willingly or not, on possible future marriage partners. It's a continuing theme often taken up by my girlfriends and myself. Today what struck me was the economic difficulty in finding my perfect match. The difficulty is as follows: I make a pretty good amount of money. That in itself is not a problem (can anyone say DOWRY??). The problem comes when you apply two key principles (whether they be rigid principles I leave for someone else to dissect): one, because a man feels threatened by a woman who makes more money than he does, the man should make more money in a relationship; two--and this just dawned on me today--a lot of people nowadays, men or women, who make above a certain amount of money tend to have certain goals and ways of life that are not strictly compatible with a strong spiritual life. They are the rich young man in the Gospel story.

I am the last person to say that you must intentionally become poor in order to live out your vocation as a Catholic lay person, but there's no denying the strong temptation that a sizable income provides to material attachment. This attachment is especially prevalent in single people like myself. Without a family to provide and sacrifice for, singlets can easily indulge themselves with money and possessions; I know that all too well from experience. That brings me to the quandary: I don't want a man who is so focused on career and money that he cannot see true spiritual goods in their proper and ordered light (i.e., WAAAAAY more important than your bank balance). However, though I don't strictly aspire to "marry rich," I would prefer to marry in my general social class. Therefore, I do want a man who makes more money than I do, even a lot more money. He also has to pray a lot.

Is there a man out there who makes plenty of money yet spends ample time on his knees? Probably, because there's all kinds of people, including crazy me. It's interesting, though, to see how unlikely and unusual such a person would be. Moreover, perhaps this is as close as I'm going to get to making an online dating profile, so that might amuse you too. I make great cookies! :0)


Maex said...

You amuse me...and Texas misses you!

bakerstreetrider said...

Very interesting post! I remember when we had a conversation about this last week.
I totally agree that it is usually good to marry in your social class; however, this does not mean that one has to make the exact same amount as you do. I think social class is more dependent on standards of living. For example, you might meet a fellow who makes a little less than you, but since you do not live extravagantly, if you could easily adapt to having a little less, there probably would not be any difficulties. I don't know if you would continue to work full time after marriage or not. (I think that causes many problems, at least as a rule.) But, since you seem to enjoy your work, you could drop down to part time. This way, you are not making more money than Mr. Whoever, and the total income would still be more than you had before.
Perhaps a way to avoid the difficulties of being single with money is to not just give money to charity often (which I know you do...you set a very good example in that) but to also commit to give to a particular person. For example, I know there are programs where you can financially adopt children in third world countries. Also, I know a lot of seminarians need help, and some orders of seminarians let you adopt a seminarian. Maybe you could become adopt one through money and prayer.