She’s twenty-something, and she’s in his car. If she’s acquiesced to being seen in it, it’s definitely an expensive ride. They’re on their way to a hot spot. She needs to be in the place to be. She needs to be seen there, and he can’t wait to be seen there with her. He’s earned this moment. He’s a successful man, and a fruit of his labor is now fixing its make-up in his temperature-controlled passenger seat. They both base their self-worth on outside approval, and they’re going to help each other receive it. If temporary, this arrangement is fine. If this becomes a long-term relationship, it will also become a problem; the kind that plunged a knife into a 72 year-old UK man’s arm when he accused his 27 year-old trophy of cheating on him.
We’ve all heard the term, “gold digger.” This is a woman who profits from her feigned interest in financially successful men. She’s a self-serving parasite. The men she snares deserve her. To them, she’s a possession, not a person. She’s a Rolex, an Armani suit, a custom-built Mercedes. There are no victims in this arrangement.
But what if the guy isn’t exactly the aforementioned hot-spot-bound status-seeking attention sponge? What if he’s not even rich? Can he still attract a gold digger? The answer depends on our willingness to explore a figurative meaning of the term. Consider the following scenario.
When they first meet, she asks for nothing but his time, attention, and affection. She compliments his looks, his personality traits, and his accomplishments. His abilities impress her, and his jokes make her laugh. She seems totally smitten by him, and he feel like he’s eight feet tall.
But as he ups his commitment to her, she ups her price. She makes weekend plans he can’t afford. When he’s in the room, she “window-shops” online, and uses the word, “need,” where “want” is the correct term. On the road, she points to other cars and extols their aesthetic qualities. She’s suddenly very interested in his long-term career plan. She may frequently celebrate the achievements and attractiveness of well-known successful men — nudge, nudge.
She places many demands on him and none on herself. When they met, she was “between jobs.” At her last one, she was, of course, horribly treated, grossly underpaid, or not doing what she was “truly meant to do.“
She virtually lives at his place, and when he returns from a day’s work, she’s left her dishes in his sink and hasn’t bothered to even fluff a couch pillow, though she has already called a pricey restaurant and placed an order for delivery. When he tells her he’s not carrying cash for the tip, she seems more than displeased; she’s turned off. So, he immediately heads out to the closest ATM and hurries back. He awaits a thank you that she never offers.
I’m describing a hypothetical “her.” It’s up to you to decide whether or not her selfish and manipulative ways are directly or indirectly applicable to the “her” in your life. If she’s all take and no give, she’s got the mindset of a gold digger.
For our purposes, the term, “gold,” can mean anything about you that is somehow profitable to her. If her big goal is to always get without giving, and you can provide the requisite circumstances, you’ve made her a rich woman.
But enough about her. What about you?
Though this discussion has done its best to malign a hypothetical her, it really wants to be a spotless mirror for the kind of guy who seeks her. We attract what we project.
The person wearing a smile all day receives smiles. Vibe hostility and you’ll get it. In your social life, are you advertising altruism or superficiality?
Is there a selfish woman in your life? If so, what was it that attracted you to her? Was it her personality?
Her life philosophy?
Her talents and ambitions?
Was she your friend before she became your girlfriend? If so, what qualities, aside from her looks, did you really admire?
If you didn’t know much about her but couldn’t wait to relish in online responses to your uploaded couple pics, you basically bought the farm without testing the soil. You’re positioned to pay a high price for those digital high fives, and your willingness to do so means that you’re also a gold digger.
Some say the term is misogynistic. I agree. I see no reason why a word that represents a gender-independent character flaw should be attached to one gender. All human beings have needs and want those needs met. We’re also social creatures with many requirements that can only be satisfied by others. Even a religious celibate requires an other, albeit in the form of an abstract divine power.
Male and female gold diggers seek the right things in the wrong ways. They both want to be completed and made happy by another person, but their superficial criteria for happiness and wholeness cannot truly achieve their spiritual ends.
Take heed, guys. If she’s nothing more to you than a custom Mercedes, enjoy the ride if you must, but hang in for the whole analogy. A car begins to rapidly depreciate the moment it’s driven off the lot. Eventually, it starts to demand more than it gives. It’s an impersonal object that serves a single purpose. If something like this is sprawled out on your sofa and also has a social security number, you may want to trade it in before it leaves you in the middle of nowhere with your hazards on; and you’ll want to make a more sensible purchase next time.
Go for true quality and reliability. They’re as good as gold.
About the Author:
Vincent Corvino’s writing has appeared in several literary journals, among them The Quarterly, New Letters, The Crescent Review and The Blue Moon Review. He is currently the lead singer of the New York City hard rock band, Urbansnake. He is a former student of Zen Buddhist Roshi, Rich Hart, and has trained as a boxer under former WBO Middleweight Champion, Doug Dewitt. He possesses an MA in Education from Columbia University and a Post-Graduate Certificate in School Leadership. He has been an English teacher since 1996.