Thursday, January 29, 2009

For richer, not poorer

Some people truly deserve each other:

Dawn Spinner Davis, 26, a beauty writer, said the downward-trending graphs began to make sense when the man she married on Nov. 1, a 28-year-old private wealth manager, stopped playing golf, once his passion. “One of his best friends told me that my job is now to keep him calm and keep him from dying at the age of 35,” Ms. Davis said. “It’s not what I signed up for.”

Actually she did. The marital vows - the ones she supposedly took about three months ago - explicitly mention something about "for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse." It was the part before she added a sparkly wedding band to a ring finger that was probably already weighted down with a $20,000 diamond.

Davis and some of her friends have started this blog that invites women to join “if your monthly Bergdorf’s allowance has been halved and bottle service has all but disappeared from your life.”

The First Lady summed it all up nicely: "These are the dregs of society."

Apparently, they've had quite a response since the NY Times profiled them the other day. Good for them. I was hoping that this has all been done with their tongues firmly in cheek.

If not, then I hope the DABA girls represent the end of this reckless American gilded age. There's something disgusting about them and people of their ilk, something that I can't quite put my finger upon.

I'm thinking that Ta-Nehisi might have found the perfect metaphor for it all - the humbling descent for the bluebloods of Wall Street, their money-based marriages of convenience - a couple months ago, when he compared our national financial meltdown to the Bill Withers classic "Use Me."

We're always talking about politicians deluding us and Wall-Street manipulating us, and predatory lenders conning us, into doing things that aren't in our own interest. But maybe we don't want what's in our interest. Maybe we like our gas-guzzling, credit-card charging, second house buying when you can't afford it, commercial culture.

The thing I always liked about Bill Withers's "Use Me" was that it was a man's critique of a dysfunctional relationship. Unlike a lot of rappers, Withers doesn't blame the girl, he blames himself, going so far as to say, "It ain't too bad the way you using me, because I sure am using you to do that thing we do."

Right. So fret not for the man whose girlfriends writes: "Thanks to the recession, I now have a completely devoted BF, which is exactly what I wanted. So I should be happy, right? Wrong. I’m bored and can’t stop thinking about my perpetually unattainable Euro ex-boyfriend who is recession proof courtesy of an offshore trust account. To be honest, I’m only with my BF because I just don’t have the heart to change my facebook status from “in a relationship” to “I ain’t saying I’m a gold digger, but I ain’t messin’ with no broke banker."

He chose her, same way that she chose him. They're just fulfilling the book. They belong together, if only to keep them from ruining the lives of some other innocent souls.

To borrow a line from American novelist Edith Wharton: "When the honeymoon is over, the marriage begins."

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