Men who are afraid of gold diggers should pay special attention to this column.
MADDY: "I met Luke at a party. I was kind of attracted to him right away, but I'd come to the party with another guy, so I tried not to say too much.
"Nevertheless, I found myself meeting Luke for lunch a few days later. We were in one of those old-fashioned diners where you sit at a counter while the server brings you your order, and you pay on your way out. Luke was a young lawyer who had just left a large law firm to open up his own office as a solo practitioner. He was excited but scared and unsure whether he'd made the right move. His parents owned a good-sized company and had promised to help him find clients, but he was still worried.
"I did my best to give him confidence and support. I also gave him some pointers on how to set up his office to look professional, yet approachable. He, in turn, gave me some free legal advice on an employment problem I was having.
"As our meeting wound down, the server came with the check. Luke grabbed his pocket and exclaimed, 'I must have forgotten my wallet! Can you pick up this tab until I see you again?'
"I was annoyed, but I agreed. I also agreed to meet him for dinner that Saturday night, and he promised to repay the money then. It occurred to me that I might never see him or my money again, but oh well...
"Luke did show up on Saturday night with the money I'd loaned him, but I insisted he only repay me for his part of the tab, since I would have paid for my own food anyway. It wasn't really a date. It was more like a meeting. Saturday night, though, I let him take me to a nice restaurant, and I let him pick up the full tab.
"The rest is history. We married six months later, and 25 years later we're still together. Recently, one of his friends asked him how we met. He said he borrowed $10 from me before he asked me for a date. He said he was tired of gold-digging women who were after him just because his parents owned a company. He said that when I didn't hesitate to open my wallet to help him out of the supposed difficulty, that's when he knew I was the woman for him! Who knew?"
And on the subject of money...
Just a Blue Collar Guy says he thinks Bart's solution to the income disparity between him and his girlfriend is "steeped in common sense." (She makes twice as much as he does, and when she goes on a nice vacation, he stays home.)
He said: "It's not what I would consider a long-term solution, but in the short term, it's quite straightforward.
"If they marry, they'll know that finances had nothing to do with their bond. They could continue the same solution or contribute the same amount to the household, and she could invest, donate, etc., her remainder. They can use their common money to enjoy events and outings together as a married couple.
"Heck. This could begin now. A cheap and easy solution to the possibly troublesome feelings of inferiority or superiority."
Got a problem? Send it, along with your questions and rants to [email protected] And check out my e-book, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."