Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v04n25)
Beats from a Broad Ripple Rat - by Lisa Battiston
posted: Dec. 14, 2007
With the holidays approaching, I inevitably think about the things in my life that I am grateful for. It's cheesy and cliché and has been ruined by a thousand Hallmark and Lifetime holiday movies, but I am grateful for the people I love and, while presents are great, the last thing I need is a diamond from Kay Jewelers (there are diamond advertisements everywhere trying to convince men that the one thing women want is a friggin' diamond and, I'm tellin' ya, fellas - diamonds are not necessarily a girl's best friend). I look forward to the holidays because it's the time of year that causes the people I love to crowd around one another.
I'm reminded of several months ago, though, when I went to a wedding in which my best friend was the maid of honor. My date and I were put in charge of taking care of her date during that lull of time between the ceremony and the reception. My my, where did my date and I take him? Yeah, to the Chatterbox on Mass Ave. So, upon sipping mid-afternoon Newcastles, my friend's date proposed the question, "Love or money - which would you choose?"
My date and I looked at one another briefly and quickly answered in sync, "Money."
I grew up with very strong female role models always telling me to go have the career. They were all career women who'd grown up in a generation in which their parents told them to get married and forgo whatever professional callings they may have desired. My father, too, instilled in me a need to be self-sufficient, a need to be able to take care of myself. Looking at my best friend's date and immediately picking money - which the three of us quickly decided meant more than just money, equating it to things like the perfect job, etc. - seemed natural because they idea has been hammered into my head for the past 23 years. And surprise surprise, I happened to have a date that would pick the same thing. We were obviously destined to work out.
I've recently gotten over a fairly rough patch of existence, mostly due to not being able to find a job and living off of my savings for six months. It was bearable because (cue the Hallmark movie) my boyfriend (I should clarify that he is not the date I took to the wedding) would randomly buy me dinners. Or he'd pick up a movie. Or take me out to one. Or he'd get that book I talked about wanting to read. Basically, he made denying myself the extra things I'd normally get for myself tolerable because, well, he'd get them for me. And the best part was that he'd do it in a way that didn't make me feel like I was being a mooch or in any way depending on him. Because, ya know. He loves me and all. I'd try to reciprocate and do nice things for him, too. I'd clean his house while he was out of town. I'd cook him a dinner I knew he'd love.
And I'm realizing that perhaps that's sort of what love is about. Taking care of each other. It isn't tick for tack. But I'm not going to try to define an emotion that thousands of years of songs, poetry, books, tv shows and movies have been trying to characterize.
So I ask myself again, especially now with the holidays characterized by both spending lots of money and being around those you love.
Which would you pick? Love? Or money?