Saturday, August 22, 2009

Goodbye// Sugar Daddies!

In my last post I’m going to conclude with talking about a cultural staple I encounter most often- sugar daddies!

I’ve had wealthy older gentlemen try to take me out in the club, on facebook, myspace, manhunt. (Yes, I got curious and I just had to get one) and let me say now, my red-alert goes off when I hear the word "generous" or the phrase "take care of you."

My friends, and even my sister have joked that I ought to have one. After all, I love new experiences, I’m good at faking interest, and I’m materialistic as hell. But the whole idea horrifies me. I see why it’s done- and really there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. You have to know that both parties are satisfied and get something out of it. Just as in a typical relationship both parties are satisfied and get something out of it. And when one or both no longer are, the relationship must inevitably dissolve. Is it really such a big deal? I think, objectively, it’s not. And it’s totally fine. And if some nice man wants to take care of you, why not let him?

Well, I don’t like having things bought for me. When I go out to dinner, I bring enough for both of us. I expect to pay, or go dutch. Rarely I’ll allow someone else to pay (and if I invite, it’s on me) It’s a lovely trait I inherited from my maternal side of the family.

As a tangent, my uncle & his partner once took me to dinner when I visited them. As the check came, I went to check my cell phone. My uncle thought I was reaching for my wallet and sternly commanded, “Take your hand out of your pocket!” And when the same Uncle and I went out to lunch this weekend, I didn’t suggest that I even cover my half, I knew he’d be offended. When he went to diner’s cashier he, in the same stern voice, informed the man. “That,” he said, “is my nephew,” and I then realized why everyone had been staring at us.

Of course, my family is the only group of people I don’t object to spoiling me. I can’t question their motives. After all, they only want the best for me (though our ideas of what that is are quite polar.)

But as for others, there are always ulterior motives, and I hate the idea of somehow being indebted to someone. Like, you bought me a nice dinner so now I ought to sleep with you. Ew. And on the level of a consistent relationship that relies on his credit card, I do get very titchy. Because though I may have less than most, I have money for my age. And if there is one thing I am most proud of, it’s the fact that at 18 years old, I can, and successfully have, provided for my own finances with no assistance. This past summer I decided not to move home so I could keep dancing, and to prove a point- I wanted my parents to know that I did not need their money. And now when I date I want my boyfriends to know that I don’t need theirs, either.

I’ve been put in a very strange situation recently. See, I don’t date guys more than, say, five years my senior, and I very rarely date guys who are above my socioeconomic class. It’s a matter of pride- I like to pay for dinner. I like to be able to say “I’ve got it covered,” and I’ll do so ‘til I’m broke. I once saved up for weeks just so I could take a guy to a fancy dinner. I ate Ramen for the next week, but it was worth it.

But I recently agreed to go on a date with a very handsome guy who, I quickly realized, had more money than I could comprehend. It’s pretty ridiculous for me to suggest that dinner be on me, when in comparison I’m dirt poor. And it was a little strange for me. I didn’t quite know what I would do with myself when the check came, so when he asked the waiter for it I excused myself to the restroom. Being the smart cookie he is, he took this time to pay. On a later date I stopped mid-cigarette to very bluntly say, “I don’t want a sugar daddy.” He looked at me a little like I was clueless and replied

“I know.”

Now maybe it was me endlessly reminding him that –lord almighty- I’d skipped on the parental benefaction this summer, or perhaps when, in Duane Reade I bought aloe vera for a nasty sunburn he said “I got it,” and reached for his wallet. A little coldly, I suppose, I quipped “No you don’t.” and grabbed a few crumpled singles from my backpack. But I was glad he’d already picked up on it.

Now, this leaves me in a predicament. As a wealthy man, he has the luxury of going to nice restaurants, taking weekends trips to places I’ve only seen in National Geographic, and shopping at stores where I only buy underwear. (Diesel calls me “one’s-boy” in lue of a string of shopping trips where I bought one pair of briefs every Wednesday with tips. The cashier at Armani just gave me a strange look and sighed at the idea of having to count.)

So how do I respond to the invitation to an activity that I can’t feasibly cover my end of? After all, he is inviting. Is it a matter of pride that I suck it up and go with, and just maybe not turn on the air conditioner this month? Or should I reason that he is asking me to attend something I can’t cover and so I shouldn’t object to being paid for? Well, I’m still not sure. After all- I can’t reasonably have an opinion or solution on something I have never experienced. So I certainly wouldn’t mind hearing yours!

p.s. just walked out onto the deck and met my new neighbors. I don't think they're fans of Britney Spears or my booty shorts.

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