Hey Baby, What’s Your Dollar Sign…

05 Jan

At lunch my single friend excitedly tells me how a dark balding stranger was pursuing her on Facebook.  She in turn had checked out his photo and page.  Decent build.  Decent job.  Divorced.  Granted, he virtually had no hair but men of a certain age rarely do, no matter how many bottles of Minoxodil are sold yearly in this country.  She was willing to give the newly unmarried Mr. Clean a shot.  For a while they exchanged a flurry of flirty messages back and forth until the dreaded question came up – not how old she was, not even if she wanted children, but – What does she do for a living?

It is a practical question men who are not attached to a jobless someone young enough to be their granddaughter ask. Those heavy hearted men that have had their bank accounts and 401K’s looted by a failed first marriage, maybe two. Not to mention the recently enacted ObamaCare and other social welfare programs that siphon the black right out of their paychecks and always leave these men in the red.  Once my friend said she was a missionary, he must’ve quickly tallied up her lightweight tax return as a religious do-gooder, then promptly stopped all contact.  It was nothing personal, of course.  He just couldn’t afford to spend any more time on a woman with a heart of gold.

This is not just a question for older men who are looking for a mattress stuffed with financial security.  At an art gallery in Beverly Hills, well before I was married, a good looking twentysomething foreigner asked me what I planned to do for a career.  Even then I knew my answer of wanting to be a writer and professor should’ve sent him crashing like a lunatic straight through the plate glass front door just to get away from me.  For some reason, though, it didn’t.  Apparently in his native land writers are considered prominent people in society.  He said he wanted to be a part of it.

A part of what?  My part-time teaching gigs?  The endless hours I would spend locked away in a room writing a book, writing essays I wasn’t sure anyone would even want to read much less publish?  I was young and naive.  I didn’t understand.  Suddenly a wrinkled woman in a bejeweled turban and flowing gown let out a laugh, a throaty sounding one damaged by cigarettes and cynicism.  She had found our conversation amusing.  It was right then that I realized with much nausea that he was with her and romance, real romance is allotted to the couples fearless enough to fall in love without a net accounting of his or her self-worth.


Leave a Reply


  1. Kat

    January 5, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Older men interested in financially secure young women – not something I had thought about. Thanks.

  2. Fiona

    January 6, 2011 at 1:19 am

    Enjoyed the article, as always, had to google what 401K meant (not being American), but I can learn about the culture from this. I like your observations Paula.
    Best wishes for 2011,

    • Paula

      January 6, 2011 at 4:10 pm

      Happy New Year to you, Fiona! And thanks for continuing to read my blog. This one was really fun to write.

      • Sunday Times Reader

        January 7, 2011 at 10:09 am

        Like Kat I hadn’t thought about middle aged men being gold diggers either. Very timely! I will send this piece as a warning to all my single girlfriends!

        • Antonia

          January 8, 2011 at 12:44 pm

          Unfortunately men are becoming as mercenary about “love” if you can even call it that as women. Enjoyed the piece!

          • Miles

            January 8, 2011 at 1:53 pm

            Please don’t paint all of us men of a certain age with the same coarse brush. I do, as always, appreciate Ms. Priamos’s wit and humor on every subject she chooses to address.

            All best,


          • Miranda

            January 8, 2011 at 6:51 pm

            I can’t decide if this man was looking to be a free-loader or if he wanted a woman that has loose morals. He could have been put off from her being a missionary. She was lucky it didn’t go any further.

          • Paula

            January 10, 2011 at 12:26 pm

            He probably can’t either. I’ve always admired the time my friend devotes to helping others.

  3. Melissa B.

    January 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Glad to see another post. :-)

  4. Robbie

    January 10, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    my older brother acts just like this!

    • Aileen W.

      January 11, 2011 at 9:20 am

      Let’s hope you learn from his mistakes, Robbie. this piece speaks to women everywhere who’ve dealt with fool men like this. I’ll take my man with a full head of hair, thanks.

      • Jewel

        January 11, 2011 at 10:50 am

        Everybody seems to be missing the point that Ms. Priamos is a believer in real love. I found it for myself but it sure wasn’t on the internet.

        • Ethan

          January 11, 2011 at 1:10 pm

          True – the economy has been rough on us men trying to take women out and show them a good time. I appreciate Priamos showing both sides of the issue. Personally I wish I didn’t have to wonder what a woman does for a living, but the truth is I do.

          • C.S.W.

            January 22, 2011 at 2:12 pm

            No offense, Ethan but you’re still a pig. You should be wanting to meet a woman because your interested in her period. Hope you find a woman who robs you blind. Congratulations on the new publication, Prof. P!

  5. michelle

    January 31, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Single women I know won’t consider marrying a man unless they bring at least equal finances to the table. Maybe love doesn’t conquer all.

    • Paula

      January 31, 2011 at 8:25 pm

      That’s so passionless yet practical. Good to hear from you, Michelle!

  6. Renalda

    February 5, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    You’ve got a point here. I’ve never met a man who didn’t flip out his business card before chatting me up.

  7. Darren

    February 17, 2011 at 2:10 am

    blame a guy’s frugal tendencies on the economy. think i’ve learned what not to ask about the next time i take a girl out. thanks.

  8. Daniel Verdugo

    February 24, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Like you said in the blog; maybe he had been “takin to the cleaners” in a previous marriage. Maybe he was just generally interested in what you did for a living, why you were in Beverly Hills at an art gallery? It’s nice to have an independant, career oriented woman regardless of how much she is worth.
    I really enjoyed this blog! Keep up the good work!

  9. Daniel Verdugo

    February 24, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I confused your friend at the beginning, and your experience at the end. Trying to read and watch a movie in class at the same time.

    • Paula

      February 24, 2011 at 2:56 pm

      And here I thought you were in the back blowing off the film I assigned because you were looking up Watergate….Next time it might be more beneficial to your education if you, I don’t know, maybe logged on after class was over?

  10. Katherine

    March 28, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Your blog entries are timely and very clever. I enjoy coming back.