Smart Girls Marry Rich

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Welcome to another installment of Suggestion Saturday dear readers. Today's book was suggested by Danimal. Actually, he didn't tell me a specific book but requested that I read a book about marrying up. So I agreed, with the understanding that I would only be reading the book and not taking the advice in it.

Today's book, "Why does society applaud a girl who falls for a guy’s “big blue eyes” yet denounces one who chooses a man with a “big green bankroll”? After all, isn’t earning power more a reflection of a man’s values and character? Smart Girls Marry Money challenges the ideals and assumptions women have blindly accepted about love and marriage—and shows how they’ve done so at their own economic peril. In this brazen manifesto, authors Elizabeth Ford and Daniela Drake use cold hard facts, real science, and true stories to present a compelling case for why mercenary marriages make the most sense for future happiness."

I encountered my first problem with the book rather early, the assumption of the authors that every woman in the world has blindly accepted the ideas about marriage that we saw in movies. Apparently we all think that marriage will be 24/7 romance and bliss, and then we're all devastated when it doesn't work out. I spent most of the book thinking What about the women who are cynical to begin with and therefore only have negative ideals? What about the women who never planned to get married in the first place and so never spent time imagining what marriage would be like? What about the women who aren't into the hearts and flowers ideal we're told we're supposed to want? I count myself in that last category since I seem to be missing the hearts-and-flowers gene entirely - I don't enjoy gushing displays of emotion, I don't plan weddings in my head, and I feel like I'm going to gag whenever I hear a bride say, "I feel like a princess." I also feel like I want to walk over to that bride and say, "Please explain to me why feeling like a princess is a good thing?" (No I'm serious with that last part, I really do want someone to explain it to me because I don't get it.) The authors spend most of the book arguing against an ideal that not everyone holds. They also spent a lot of time explaining how the euphoria of romantic love wears off with time. Is that supposed to be a newsflash to anyone?

But the book was amusing in its own way - as long as you don't take it too seriously (although that ship may have already sailed with my last paragraph.) The book was rather light on the advice. For the most part the advice consisted of reading two books, The Rules and How to Marry a Multi-Millionaire (don't get any ideas about suggesting those books Danimal.) One of the few pieces of advice the book does offer is to become a nanny. Now I did have those pesky morals getting in my way - and I worked for people who were repulsive - but that route obviously did not work out for me. Of course I foolishly wasted my time as a nanny actually providing love and care to the children - I guess my priorities are just totally messed up.

And here's your fun fact for the day dear readers: People who have five children or more have a divorce rate of practically zero. The book doesn't really specify how close to zero it is, so we'll just call it zero. It's not as if anyone's going to care enough to challenge you on it when you share that piece of information with them.