I am not judging, though obviously I am since I am starting this piece with those words. But I would rather call it an observation, a thought or a "musing" that I have been rolling around inside of my brain. It's a phrase that has caught my attention or for some, should I say, the phrase has become a way of life.
"Hey at least it's a fee dinner…"
I could really use that free dinner due to my continuous deteriorating financial standings, however, I can't accept. Nothing is free.
It's not that I am against a man taking care of me-I definitely am not. Most women, no matter how much we shout out how we want to be super independent and take care of ourselves-most women are lying. Now that does not mean we want a man to do everything for us, but we want the give and take and the part where you have someone to depend on and someone depends on you. What I am against-is taking advantage of a man's position in life to better my own.
Sometimes, women can become blinded by what kind of a life a man can offer her and fail then to see the real man at all. Too many women believe "free dinner" is a means to an end. It isn't. And then we balk at men assuming so many of us are gold diggers or out for what we can get. For all the men out there whom we assume are only after a piece-there are as many women whom are out for a piece of the better life.
There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting a better life or with wanting more. The wrongness comes in the form of using someone else to step on to obtain what you desire most. I seem to be incapable of that. If I were-life would be so much easier in many ways, just not the important ways.
A few years ago, I met Mr. Mobster (and no, I did not know he was a mobster when we met), the first man to offer me the world. I was bowled over by his confidence and bravado, the money he flashed at the drop of hat, and everything in my life I never had that he offered. I considered him only for a short while. I didn't have any real attraction to this man but something about him intrigued me. I liked the attention, the way he pursued me and the life he lived in. After one dinner with him, I realized, I didn't like him. I didn't like the man he was.
We went to a quaint Italian restaurant near the beach. The menu I was given didn't have prices which made me nervous. I had brought money with but now was unsure if I could afford to pay my own way. He ordered for me, which then meant that I had no idea how much I would pay. Mr. Mobster-ordered the wait staff around as he was used to doing in his life. He complained when the special fish he wanted was not available. He was pompous and I was uncomfortable. I noticed the servers were milling about as we ate or meal and I realized no one else was there. He ordered another bottle of wine and I mentioned that maybe we should leave as I thought they were closing.
Mr. Mobster said, "This is what they get paid to do."
"But what if they have somewhere to be? What if they worked all day and are tired and ready to go home?" I questioned.
"Not my problem. This is what money buys sweetheart…"
And I wanted to smack my own face for only realizing it then-I'm not what money can buy. I don't ever want to be bought by anyone for any amount of money.
I finally told him I was tired and had to work in the morning. He stepped out to get the car while I said I had to use the washroom. I went to the waitress and gave her my "date night" money and apologized for us staying so late. She said Mr. Mobster did this all the time.
On the way home, he regaled me with the adventures he would take me on, the opera's we would go to, the fine wine we would drink. I thought to myself-If I am stuck listening to a transistor radio and drinking Kool-Aid in my backyard for the rest of my life I will do so happily rather than spend one minute more with this man.
As I said earlier, nothing is free. What do we, as women, give up when we accept the "free dinners" of life? For me, the price is too dear. The things I can be bought with are kindness, laughter, joy, loyalty, peacefulness-the list is endless of possibilities. Money can't buy my love-ever.
Monika M. Basile