Rich Lady Poor Guy! by Mario V. Farina

"Darling, shouldn't we be setting a date for our wedding?"

"Yes Sweetheart," responded William Hamilton. "I've been meaning to talk to you about that."

"What's there to talk about, dear? We've been engaged now for several months. I believe it's the common thing for an engaged couple to talk about marriage," said Thelma.
Rich Lady Poor Guy!
Rich Lady Poor Guy! by Mario V. Farina
"You're absolutely right, but we can't ignore the fact that a lot has changed since we became engaged." "What has happened, darling, doesn't change the basics. I love you and you love me. We're engaged to be married. What is there to talk about?" "Dear, you've heard about the elephant in the room. The one in here is almost squeezing us outside the door!" Thelma Smith and William Hamilton was sitting in the small living room of Thelma's apartment. Though the loveseat was barely large enough for two, the emotional distance between them, was vast. Ten days earlier, Thelma had won the State's lottery for thirty-six million dollars. This fact had given birth to that baby elephant who had grown to maturity in less then two weeks. "You're talking about the lottery," she commented. "Why does it bother you that I suddenly became a millionaire?" "Don't you see how funny your question is," responded William without attempting to mask the sarcasm in his voice. "Dear one, it's only money, and I don't even have it yet. I haven't quit my job, and you still have yours. Why should it make a difference? The way we feel about each other hasn't changed." "You should hear the joshing I'm getting at work. 'You're marrying her for her money,' they say. You should have heard Jim. He said, 'Aw, rich lady, poor guy!' I laughed it off, but I felt awful. We both know, that was not right, but maybe a lot of guys will be thinking the same thing." "Why do you care what people think? You're probably going to be quitting your job, and you won't be around those fellows anymore." "That's just it! I won't have to work! You won't have to work! But it will be you who will be supporting the family. It would have been much better if I had won the lottery!" "Aren't you expressing a form of male chauvinism, dear?" "You can call it what you want, but I wouldn't like relying on you for anything I needed or wanted to do. This is not the way I was brought up. At home, my father was the boss. Nobody questioned that. He was the breadwinner! Even though mother had worked for a while, that didn't seem to matter a bit." "The world is changing, dear. Men and women are equal. When we are married, there will be no such thing as a boss. We will be making decisions as partners." "Yes, and suppose we don't agree on something? You'll be making the final decisions. I would rather that, in our house, sometimes you would be deciding and sometimes, I would. But it looks like, there would never be a time when I could make a decision stick. You will be the winner all the time. Like they say, it would be your way or the highway. And you know what the highway would mean for me!" "Nonsense, dear! You would have as much say about everything as I!" "You say that now, but our marriage will be for a long time. I don't see how I could depend on what you're saying." "Are you saying we should break our engagement?" "I'm saying that we should think about this. I certainly don't want to suggest anything radical like you giving away all your money, or giving it to me, or refusing to take it. But we do need to find a way that we could live together as equal partners. I know that a lot of men in my position would be overjoyed at your good fortune, but to me, we have an unacceptable situation." "Bill, you're being very unreasonable. There would be nothing in our marriage that would keep you from doing anything you want without resorting to my permission. You're an accountant. There's no reason why you can't grow in this profession and contribute to the household. There's no reason why you couldn't express your preference in where we're going to live, how many children to have, what to do on vacation, and all that. I don't know how to make it more clear that the fact I won the lottery should make no difference." "What would you say if I suggested we don't see each other for two weeks while each of us thinks over what we've said here today?" "Is that what you really want?" "Yes." "Your suggestion is excepted," she said. "Let's make a date for two weeks from today and meet here at the same time it is now." "Agreed!" They stood, hugged briefly, then sadly parted. Time passed, as it inevitably must. Two weeks later, the couple was seated where they had been the previous time they had conversed. William spoke first, "I've done a lot of thinking; how about you, Sweetheart?" "I have too," she said. "Shall I talk first, or do you want to?" "You, please." "This may come as a surprise," she began. "I spoke to a corporation attorney and told him it was my determination to create a charitable foundation with the money I won. I'll call it, The Hamilton Foundation For The Blind! I named it in honor of you. Every time I hear its name, I'll think of you!" "That was so sweet of you, Honey," he interjected. "I plan to quit my current job and go to work for the foundation. I'll start as a Receptionist and try to work myself up to the point where I feel I can take over its administration. I'll select another person to head it up until I get to that point." "What an admirable ambition," William exclaimed! "Bill, dear," she continued, "I understood your concerns. I wanted to put this issue to bed for my benefit as well as yours. This kind of problem should never concern two people who are in love!" "You're exactly right, Sweetheart!" "What did you decide would be the best way handle our problem, Bill?" "It doesn't matter what I thought," he replied. "Your ideas are so much more substantial! What did you think might be a good role for me in the Foundation? I know I'd be a good leader!" "I don't know," she replied. "You might consider starting at the bottom like me." "Yes, yes, I see, and work myself up! Great idea! And what about the wedding?" "I'm breaking our engagement, Bill." She handed him a ring she had been holding in her hand. He took it numbly. "Why?" he mumbled. "Bill, dear," she said, "when two people love each other, material obstacles should never be major issues. In a marriage, I want love to be the primary consideration. There should always be the feeling that despite difficulties, everything will work out. You showed me that your love for me was not strong enough to overcome the problem that I was going to be a rich lady and you were fated to be the poor guy!"

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