Too poor to afford high-end love

Titanic Jack and Rose

“You can’t give my daughter the things she needs in life. You say you love her, but love alone won’t put food on the table, nor clothe her. Just leave her alone. She needs someone who can sustain her prestigious life. She’s from a rich family, and you are poor. You’re not meant for her. You two can’t be together.”

Those are such depressing words, especially if it’s about someone one truly loves. I don’t know if I will ever conform to the idea of parents deciding who their children fall in love with, based on the financial status of their partners.

I consider it discrimination, and one of the worst kinds for that matter. Love is beautiful, but the minute we start putting up such barriers, we corrupt it. I understand a parent’s desire to protect his/her children; to ensure their needs are taken care of even after they leave the nest, but causing them untold misery while trying to prevent a love that’s already deep-rooted is unfair to say the least.

I grew up in a family where dad’s mother thought her children should marry into rich families. But as it is with love, it’s hard to dictate where it grows, so dad fell in love with mom, who’s from a poor family and his mother has never accepted it to date. I attribute many of the problems mom and dad have had to his mother’s incitement. Somehow she has always been bent on splitting them up.

I know in most of my posts I complain about dad’s shortcomings; even so, I see some good in him sometimes, especially when he is not drunk. Sometimes I wonder what kind of a man he would be if he didn’t drink so much.

On a good day, when he is sober, I see so much kindness in him; he radiates lots of compassion. But that side of him disappears the instant he imbibes anything alcoholic. I pray for a day to come when he won’t crave alcohol anymore. Maybe then, if all goes well, my sisters and I will have the dad from our early childhood back; a dad who wasn’t so cold… Everyone’s allowed to dream, right?

Back to love matters though, I don’t agree with parents preventing their children from dating certain people because they are from poor backgrounds. Money comes and goes. A rich man might go bankrupt the next day while a poor man’s star shines bright and he finds himself at the helm of a multi-billion company.

I always think, if a poor teenage boy falls in love with a rich teenage girl, who’s to say in a couple of years the boy won’t be rich? No one knows what tomorrow will bring. Luck changes, and I have an aunt who would attest to this.

When she was in college she fell in love with a poor guy and they even went ahead to get a baby. Her mom, who obviously felt her daughter deserved better, was against the relationship therefore she had my aunt break up with her boyfriend. Subsequently, she took the new born baby, so my aunt could finish up with her studies.

Fast-forward to thirty something years later, my aunt is still unmarried, and the poor guy her mom didn’t want for her is now a rich man. Everytime I think about my aunt’s predicament I wonder, if she went back in time, would she have fought for her love? And her mother, my grandma, if she knew the impecunious young man she rejected would one day be rich, would she have let him marry her daughter?

The words at the beginning of the post are from a show I was watching yesterday. A teenage girl’s mother was talking to her daughter’s boyfriend, asking him to keep off her because clearly she deserved someone from a rich family. The girl’s father additionally, asked the young boy to go make money first and when he was rich he would be free to marry his princess.

In a funny twist of fate though, the young boy grew up without parents because he was switched at birth with the same girl by the man’s wife, who was furious with her husband for cheating on her. Oblivious to them, the girl the parents are trying so hard to protect from poverty isn’t their flesh and blood and the poor boy is the one who is actually their real son.

Parents do many things-some of them awful- with their children’s best interests at heart. However, sometimes it is advisable for them to step back and let the kids forge out their own paths. I have seen enough instances-in real life and in movies-where parents meddle in their children’s love life and none of them has ever had a happy ending.

The last boyfriend my big sister had was an Indian guy and seeing as we’re not Indians, mom asked dad what he thought about the relationship. He didn’t have a problem with it. He said he wouldn’t want to butt in into our love lives, lest we had a fate similar to his sister’s. Hearing those words from him made me realize the seriousness of the issue.

He is not happy his elder sister is single, and it’s their mom who personally orchestrated it; in her attempt to fix her daughter’s life, she ruined it instead. I am not a mother yet, but I believe when I am, I will let my kids choose who they want to love, because part of being a parent is knowing when to stay out of children’s affairs.

It’s not easy I know, but one has to let their children make such choices. If it works out, good for them; if it doesn’t, well…the parents won’t have anything to blame themselves for. And money, as important as it is; lack of it is not enough to keep two people who truly love each other apart.

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