Chapter 5. MARRY WELL. REALLY WELL

Was Marilyn Monroe right when she said
in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, "Don't you
know that a man being rich is like a girl
being pretty?
You wouldn't marry a girl just because she's
pretty, but my goodness, doesn't it help?"

Seem ridiculous? Then this isn't your road. See it like this: You wouldn't marry someone physically repulsive to you, so why marry someone fiscally repulsive? If money moves you, shop among the rich. If you don't like the notion, fine. Leave the rich to those who care.

Today, marrying for money is often decried. But marrying well is not new; it's archetypal in literature and mythology—the beautiful peasant girl marrying the earnest prince. In Europe most marriages used to be arranged among people of comparable wealth.

Marrying up was applauded! Marrying down was failure. Because of finances and technology, folks moved in limited circles. They chose mates from their circle or one was chosen by family from outside.

Only more recently has it been common for lovers to choose for themselves—paving another road to riches. Right or wrong, it's taken an unseemly connotation. Whereas in Pride and Prejudice we cheer when the heroine bags rich Mr. Darcy, now she might be called a "gold-digger." She shouldn't.

Warning: Marrying money can be rough whether done by a man or woman. We had a young female family friend of considerable inheritance. She married a handsome, energetic young man. All seemed peachy—kids and all. Did he marry for money? Hard to ...

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