About a week ago, I celebrated my 25th birthday with my friends (a week early as I celebrated with family this past weekend and have my corporate Christmas party this coming weekend).
I had a great time. It was organized by one of my best pals, T (who loves to plan, and thank goodness because she’s great at it!). I went with three of my best friends to get pedicures and manicures, and followed that up by meeting more friends for dinner at our favorite Indian restaurant. It was great to have everyone there. With my being born in December and living in Canada, there’s usually a blizzard on my birthday and so I don’t get to celebrate, but this year my motto was “presence not presents” and mother nature was co-operative for once!
After dinner, most of us headed back to my place to un-cork a bottle or two of wine and hang out. We played a card game (okay fine, we played Sociables but technically that is a card game!) and after a couple of hours the crowd had thinned out leaving just myself, my best guy friend Mitch, my other guy friend lil W, and lil W’s girlfriend Rissa.
The four of us were chatting and one conversation lead to another (you know how those things go) and before long we were talking about online dating. It just so happens that lil W and Rissa met on Plenty of Fish so they were very interested in hearing about my recent dating escapades.
I didn’t want to dominate the conversation with bad date talk so I gave the condensed version of recent events with Mr. Subway, but my friend Mitch took it and ran. He insisted that there must have been something in his profile that should have tipped me off about his douchebagness, and he asked to see the guy’s profile. I figured it couldn’t hurt.
So, there I sat in my livingroom listening as Mitch, lil W and Rissa critiqued not only Mr. Subway’s profile, but that of every other guy who’d sent me mail as well. Mitch even picked out one of the guys I hadn’t yet responded to, and insisted I send him a reply.
Edit: I did send that guy an email and ironically, though its been days, he’s responded right now as I’m typing this post. Ha.
Of course, as these things progress, the next thing they wanted to see was my profile. Lord help me now… I haven’t updated my PoF profile in months and I wasn’t
really at all serious when I created it so I’m well aware it’s not the greatest. They confirmed this for me very quickly (“this makes you sound bitchy and this makes you sound easy and this makes you sound blah blah blah”). I was feeling a bit on the defensive all of a sudden and so I told them to look at the new match.com profile I’d created recently instead…
As it turns out, my Match profile is better and they were much easier on me the second time around, thank God. That was until, of course, they got to the bottom where it lists all the things I want in a man. This is where the conversation took a dark and nasty turn.
For those of you who don’t know match.com, it asks all sorts of questions about your potential match, from preferred eye & hair colour to religion, body type, and income. It then asks you to rank the importance of those selections. What I didn’t know when I filled it out was that it shows these things on your profile page, but not the level of importance you selected.
Imagine me sitting there having this somewhat harmless conversation with my friends, when suddenly Mitch’s eyes pass over the preferred income section and he notices that the lowest box I selected was the one which contains my own salary range.
To say the shit hit the fan would be an understatement.
Let me add here, without getting into salary details, that mine is by no means unreasonable or unachievable. I don’t have anything against men (or women for that matter) who make a lower salary than me, but I have my reasons for wanting someone who is equal, and I’ve stated them all here on this blog before. I want someone ambitious, with goals and a career. I want someone who is financially responsible, and that doesn’t just mean knowing how to pay his bills, but being able to as well. I want someone who can afford to do the things and live the lifestyle that I want for myself. I don’t want someone who makes significantly more than me, for that same reason. I want to have children someday and I don’t want to struggle to provide necessities for them like my parents did. I want to be able to pay for their college, and for our retirement, and I don’t want to have to do that on my own.
It didn’t matter during that conversation why I felt the way I did about money though, because Mitch wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise. He was coming up with what he assumed were my opinions and throwing them in my face like they were factual. All the while lil W and Rissa (who don’t know me as well so were being easily influenced by what Mitch was saying) are sitting there taking all of this in and then forming their own opinions on my (so-called) opinions. Rissa agreed with a couple of the things I managed to sneak into the conversation (that it’s not okay to take a girl to Subway on date 2!) but sided with Mitch for the most part, and lil W sat there with his mouth shut the majority of the time (probably because out of anyone, he would be the one to understand where I’m coming from the most). I think over the course of the conversation I was called high maintenance, a gold digger, and told that I should be signed up on sugardaddy.com instead of Plenty of Fish.
High maintenance? Maybe, if you consider having standards and knowing what you want out of life to be high maintenance then sure, I guess I am. I have worked my ass off to develop a career that keeps me financially stable and affords me a few perks here and there, I’m not ashamed of that. I deserve it.
A gold digger though? I think not. A gold digger is someone who wants to date a man who’s rich so that he can pay all of her expenses and shower her with presents, and I have never been that girl. I work for what I have and for what I want to have. I have never been the girl to take handout’s and I would never be comfortable sitting back while the man in my life did all the heavy lifting. Do I expect a man to take me on real dates during the courtship phase and to do nice things for me sometimes? You bet your ass I do… but I think that falls more under “high maintenance” than it does “gold digger”. Actually, I think it falls under “knows her worth and has a fucking backbone”.
But you know, whatever.
Needless to say I was offended and hurt that a friend I’d known for so many years could have those sorts of opinions of me, even if he can be a pig-headed, closed-minded, arrogant jerk sometimes.
I went to bed crying that night (the bottle and a half of wine probably didn’t help), but I felt a lot better lying there looking at my ceiling when I realized that the entire conversation sprouted more from his own insecurities than it did from anything I could have said or done.
You can talk until you’re blue in the face, but I’ll still think that finances are a big part of long-term compatibility, and I’ll still know that I deserve someone who sees things the same way that I do.
Ironically, this is my favorite song right now…