Carolyn Hax
Carolyn Hax
Columnist

Carolyn Hax: Being judged by the heft of the wallet and not the size of the heart

Dear Carolyn:

My girlfriend and I recently broke up after two years together. We met in my home town while she was attending the university. She came from a wealthy background, and myself from an upper-middle-class family. Despite not being as wealthy, I felt that I made up for that in other areas. I always cooked and cleaned, I paid for monthly trips and activities together, bought her flowers every two weeks and gave her rides. She transferred to do her rotations for school (I was still in school at the home town where we met).

Carolyn Hax

Carolyn Hax started her advice column in 1997 as a weekly feature for The Washington Post, accompanied by the work of “relationship cartoonist” Nick Galifianakis. She is the author of “Tell Me About It” (Miramax, 2001), and the host of a live online discussion on Fridays at noon.

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(Nick Galifianakis/For The Washington Post)

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Long story short, she started seeing another guy while seeing me. I found out and we broke up.

After being broken up for three months, we started talking. Hashing things out. She told me that her dad never wanted to meet me because I wasn’t good enough, and that she started seeing that, too.

I may not be rich, but I do well for myself. I’m finishing school, I have my own place, pay my own bills, take care of the cats that we bought together; it just seems like such a left-field thing for her to say. I can understand that her dad may think this, he’s never met me. But my girlfriend thinks this way now, too?

Maybe I am just naive, but love should be judged on a person’s heart, not their wallet. Am I wrong?

Heartbroken in California

You aren’t naive to think love should be judged on heart above wallet, no.

But you are naive to think that belief applies to her. (Two years, no meeting Dad. Missed sign?) Your girlfriend found someone else, and the rest is just words and justifications and, I suspect, excuses, since blaming you must be tempting for her when she’s the one who behaved badly and the one who’s supposedly superior. I envision your cats gacking hairballs on that one.

Think of it this way: If she agrees with Daddy about judging you by anything besides your character, that’s deplorable. That she would tell you this is even more so. If instead she doesn’t agree with her father but is appeasing him, then that’s just weak. (And telling you, deplorable.)

So, yes, do judge love by a person’s heart — and see that, unless she does some tough work on her priorities, her heart isn’t worthy of yours.

Hi, Carolyn:

I am co-hosting a baby shower with a friend’s mother. I also have an infant myself. My husband was planning to look after our children during the shower but has now been deluged by work.

I let the mother know I may need to bring the baby, but that he’s quite happy napping or hanging out in a carrier at this age. My investigation of sitters fell flat.

The response I received from my friend’s mother was rather rude: that she hoped I found an alternative since babies steal the limelight and the focus should be on the mother-to-be. I do understand the sentiment. But . . . really? How does she expect me to respond? Not to go?

C.

You say, “Family shouldn’t host showers, so we’re even.”

Har.

Just bring your baby, shrug and say you struck out on sitters, and count on babies large and small to make do.

Write to Carolyn Hax, Style, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071, or tellme@washpost.com. Sign up for Carolyn Hax’s column, delivered to your inbox early each morning, at http://bit.ly/haxpost.

 
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