Saturday, 16 July 2016

Advice I've gotten in the past from successful older women

It's interesting isn't it thinking about the many different lives you could have lead had you gone down different paths. When i was younger i had my life mapped out and everything seemed so clear. Follow your passion, meet the man, buy the house, have the children. Then when i got to my late twenties and realised um, oh crap, that's not what i want! Things got a little more complicated.

It was during a very complicated pregnancy, one that wasn't planned, that i became very close to my now ex's older aunts. One a very wealthy housewife and well, socialite. The other a single, successful career woman with two divorces under her belt. They, along with my mother and aunt, gave me a lot of support, but it was there two who gave me advice.

As they say, hindsight is 50/50!

The ex's single, successful aunt was already dying by the time i first met her. Her death was no surprise, we'd planned our funeral outfits for months beforehand, but her wake was a celebration and a also revelation.

One of the women who spoke - also single, divorced, and with a young son - was her protege. The aunt had been her business mentor. She had many wonderful things to say but one line that stood out, and i feel it's so true, "make the money, and for god's sake buy the damn Chanel suit!" Meaning, it's okay to put motherhood second to a career. The kid will live. And you will never ever regret buying Chanel so as soon as you can, buy it. (Getting there, guilt slowly abating.)


When i was about 16 years old I went antiquing (when antique shops were still everyyywhere) with my aunt and her neighbour. A shrewd, elegant older lady once divorced but now happily married. I have no idea how the topic came up but one thing she said was, that in any relationship, and she said this coming from a time where the man made the majority of the money and usually controlled the majority of the money, "always have 'running away' from home money." Whether you only have a little bit to squirrel away or you are able to stash away something substantial. You never know when there may come a time to run away from home. Also keep some 'running away from home money' in a secret compartment of your purse for 'just in case moments'. Like when you need to buy a fantastic vase for a complete steal!

My grandmother found herself in a very unhappy marriage for 50 years. In fact, just to make a point, she divorced him on the golden anniversary. I asked her what she thought her mistake was when she got together with my grandfather. She said to me "well, you can't eat off a pretty plate." Meaning: don't marry someone for their looks. She also said to me, "never get married, it's the worst thing you can ever do."
(My grandfather on the other hand told me one day one-on-one, "get married! it's the best thing you can ever do!")


When i was about 12 my younger brother had a playdate with another boy from school. His mother, my mother and myself went on a long walk around the lake where the playdate took place. The boy's mother, an impossibly glamorous French woman, and my mother spoke about relationships and men. She was married to an older man and didn't give a fuck what anyone though of that. When i was left alone with the boy's mother she took me aside and said to me, cigarette in hand of course,"always marry someone who loves you more than you love them." She went on. "And never marry someone who doesn't have money."


What have i personally taken away from all this advice from these women? Well, money does equal happiness. Or rather, the absence of money equals unhappiness and stress. I will probably never regret anything Chanel. When i start to accumulate it.

But what of the rest? Well. I did try to eat off the pretty plate. My grandmother was right. You can't. They are merely for decoration. (Well you can, but they're better to look at since you can just eat off any old plate.) I have chickened out of marrying two very loving and lovely "non pretty plates" for their money and the life they could provide for me. I'm pretty sure i'm committed to the idea of never getting married. I really love making my own money and i hope to make fucktons more of it in the future (with the ex's aunt as my inspiration.)

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