On dating wealth and chasing dreams.

Dear Coquette,

I’m having trouble processing the immense wealth of my boyfriend’s family. A solidly middle class upbringing did not prepare me for casual offerings of first class flights to Hawaii and biweekly dates at Osteria Mozza. I love spending time with him and his family and appreciate their generosity, but I’m torn between attempting to be an Independent Woman and dying to see the inside of a country club. Advice please?

If your independence is threatened by a rich boyfriend, you’re doing it wrong. Relax. Have another bite of maltagliati with wild boar ragu, and quit acting like they’ve already asked you to sign a prenup. You’re hardly a kept woman at this stage in the game, so don’t let other people’s money go to your head.

There is nothing mutually exclusive about being in relationships with wealthy men and being an independent woman. I’ve done both all my life, and it’s as simple as having your own career, making your own money, and paying your own bills. When your boyfriend picks up the tab for extravagances, the trick is to be gracious without being uncomfortable. It’s fine if you get used to him spending money on you, but never let it become something you expect.

Oh, and as for the country club, prepare for disappointment. I think you’ll find that watching a bunch of old white men play golf isn’t worth having to observe the dress code.

My parents believe that education is everything and success is not achievable without it. Although I am a junior at a respectable college, I just don’t consider myself an academically oriented person and simply do not enjoy school very much. I am fascinated with the entertainment industry and always fantasize about somehow making a living through that world. Should I take a risk and pursue my dreams or continue going through school and do what is expected of me?

Every morning, the entertainment industry wakes up and devours the fresh souls of a thousand fascinated children who can’t tell the difference between chasing a fantasy and pursuing a dream. Don’t be one of them. Stay in school, kiddo. Get your degree.

This is not dream-killing advice. If you had an actual dream to pursue, I might have given you a different answer. Thing is, your desire to make a living in the entertainment industry is just as nebulous and without meaning as someone who wants nothing more than to be famous.

Do you want to be a television writer or a fashion designer? Do you dream of making it as a sports agent or a cinematographer? If you can’t be bothered to give me that level of focus followed up with some legitimate passion, then you aren’t even worthy of an internship.


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