Monday, March 05, 2012

Mountains of Mourne

"I know this will come as a shock to you, and I doubt you will believe me, but she was a gold digger." "We all knew it, but I'm the only one who has decided to tell you, that's what you get for getting me drunk on a random Tuesday."

Those (un)kind words, were uttered in my direction fairly recently, and have caused a bit of an upheaval in my life. They led me to thinking, which is almost always a dangerous thing, about their veracity.  It was not a pleasant thinking trip, and I would not recommend it to anyone else. It required a lot of thought, and a lot of thought is (mostly) beyond my overtaxed brain now days. But when I set out to determine whether or not I am a sap or not, I generally try to marshal my thoughts like a Panzer division, and have them roll over any doubts that may exist.

As I sat there in that bar alone (my companion had given up the ghost already),  drinking yet another (one too many) beers, I begin to seriously consider her comment. It was not said out of any malice towards the other person, after all she barely knew the person in question, and it was not said to make me feel like a fool, though it did manage to accomplish that feat quite nicely. I rarely either need any help, or particularly care to be made to either appear foolish, or to feel like a fool. Therefore, this comment left a rather bitter taste in my mouth, that, sadly to say, even the multiple beers I consumed after its pronouncement were unable to wash away.

The thinking that it lead to was, for the most part, unpleasant. I got to balancing the 'costs' of the relationship of which she was speaking of, and I begin to realize that perhaps she was correct.  I've never really considered such an idea before, and it was quite an eye opener when I began to do the math. Math, never one of my stronger suits, led me to the inevitable conclusion that perhaps people could see me as a bit of a gold mine. While still being a prole, and living in an absolute dump of an apartment, I do receive, what to many would be considered a fairly decent salary (of course, I earn every damn penny of it).

Of course that salary comes with a cost, that cost being the massive amounts of student loan/credit card debit that the classical education that I like to (wrongly) claim that I possess. I went to a LOT of school, and I owe a LOT of money to a lot of people. I don't really want for anything, but I am not going to retire to the south of France anytime soon, or probably ever. It is possible for a certain tier of people to consider me 'well off' though that adjective is not one I would use to describe me, well fed springs to mind. 

If I had any politics whatsoever I would probably be considered leaning slightly to the left, a long line of rabble rousting exists in my thinking, and I am not a fan of the 'right'.  Therefore, in several of my relationships there has been a (sometimes unspoken) rule that follows the 'from each according to their ability to pay, to each according to their need' type of arrangement. Mostly, it worked, and since I was the larger purse in the pot, I paid somewhat more than my share. Which, to me, is fair. I do not come from money, and subscribe to the theory that you can't take it with you, so spend it while you can (my heirs, if I ever produce any, will be sorely disappointed). 

That disappointment is, I figure, something similar to the one I experienced when I logically concluded that my companion of the evening was correct, I had been 'gold dug' as it were. I haven't the faintest idea as to why really, and I certainly felt an idiot for not seeing it sooner, but there it was in the number so hastily scribbled on numerous bar napkins. Proof that my idiocy knows no bounds, and has a fairly high price tag. Sadly for the digger, and I suppose my one saving grace is the fact that really, and truly I am not a gold mine in either a financial or personal way. I am a bit of a wreck, and I will (as mentioned before) more than likely die poor (and alone if certain people are to be believed). I suppose that makes me feel a little bit better to realize that even if I do sparkle a bit like real gold, what I really and truly am under that shiny surface is simply fool's gold. 

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