Kanye West has been in my head for an inordinately long amount of time. I would venture to say that a song he wrote, produced, was featured in, or mentioned on his MySpace blog has been stuck in my skull’s speakers for roughly two years.
I even found myself quoting him when I biked past a Datsun the other day. I have several friends back in New York who thought the original lyric had to do with dachshunds.
“Gold Digger,” while being an unconventional way for Ray Charles to have reached the number one spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 since the 60’s, sends an important message:
It’s probably easier to be a prostitute than to get a real job.
Okay, so that’s not the message. And sex work has already been tackled in this blog, several times. But as I wandered into the local Safeway on the prowl for some anti-ant armaments, I noticed all of the stressed housewives, their coupons and sticky five year olds in tow. I wondered suddenly if I, too, am destined for the same path, or should I be. I mean, at this point being able to purchase groceries at all is a welcome luxury. A minivan? Swank. New dungarees? Posh. A home? Unthinkable. Seriously.
So maybe it’s more nickel mining than gold digging to wish for the suburban spouse and two point five. But, hey. If you’ve seen me in person you know, I’m probably not going to be bagging any rich man or lady unless they’re a member of some sober tattooed alternative rock group. My looks aren’t the conventional blonde haired beauty that men look for in their trophy wives.
I think I could be in a May-December, but only because the definition of monsoon season states that it’s primarily in May and often it includes a whole lot of barbed wire fencing being blown around.
In Japan, the practice of gold digging is called enjo-kosai, and it doesn’t always include a meat-for-money transaction. “Enko“ as it‘s called for short, usually refers to situations where guys pay girls for companionship. (Isn‘t that what the Internet‘s for?) The definition of enko apparently can include the payment for a whole gaggle of girls to attend a rendition of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” sung by businessmen in a karaoke bar. I certainly hope they are well compensated for their time. Perhaps this will be the standard I use from now on just to make sure I haven’t fallen too far. Am I in a karaoke bar with a dude for money? No? Good. We’re good.
The literal translation for enjo-kosai, by the way, is “reversed subsidized dating.” That seems like it would be an impressive title to put down on my business cards for my ten year high school reunion. Ainsley Drew: Freelance Writer and Reversed Subsidized Dater. Ask about her combined press release and compliment-on-your-tie rates!
Buying a date and buying a long-term date, which is worse? And, moreover, what’s it like to be the merchandise?
In 1989 the term “trophy wife” originally was used by some chick at Fortune magazine. What was she doing out of the kitchen? I kid. Julie Connelly, the senior editor at the time, coined the term, but she had meant it with regard to a tycoon who remarries a young and beautiful woman who is also just as accomplished as he is. Yeah. You got that right. The American vernacular couldn’t even adopt a term about a woman being successful without it becoming pejorative. Maybe that’s because it’s just easier to sell your rapport then to actually work for a living. I mean, the word companion and the word company aren’t so different, are they?
Those housewives that I saw outside of the market, they could have what I want in the sense of financial security, but how many of them are happy? Are they lonely? It isn’t my place to speculate. I have enough female friends who are domesticated, shacked up, popping out kids, and wanting nothing more than to pull a Scott Bakula and start over. One of them even had the audacity to say that she wished she could just leave her husband and kids and try again. That, to me, is crazy talk. Then again, I don’t have any kids. But I do have ants. Perhaps if I name them…
We’re all looking to connect with another person, and a lot of people are perfectly okay with paying for it. That’s why a lot of my gal-pals who are strippers say that the majority of the time men just want to feel like they’re having attention paid to them. They’re engaging in conversation (wiggle-room on that word does apply, literally) with a woman who would likely not give them the time of day if they weren’t doling out the dollars.
Being a trophy wife is more-or-less the same, only you don’t have to worry about your joints. From my point of view, to be a kept woman, may it be for an evening or an eternity, is the fastest and easiest way to sell-out. Everybody wants companionship nearly as much as everybody wants financial security, and most people will take being with someone they can’t stand over being by themselves, especially if their union allows them to drive a Plymouth Voyager.
Hell yes, I would drive one.
So where does one look for a hunting husband, if they are to be the trophy wife? Do you follow a trail of smaller ants to get to the sugar daddy?
But when I tried to research the life and haunts of kept women wannabes out here in Portland all I could find on the Internet was “Women in Engineering: The Best Kept Secret To The Changing World” and a story about how a woman fell head first onto a knife and survived. Go figure.
After some alternate searches I was able to find an article that shed some light on the phenomena of trophy wives. Granted, it was from a British publication, and what haven’t the Brits done better other than Americans, excluding food and the American Revolution?
It seems that across the pond women were going to university, working for a few years, finding a wealthy man under the guise of being a professional equal, getting married, and then settling down for a life of embittered luxury on the bloke‘s dime. That is a ton of work to go through for a shitty marriage and some jewelry, no? Though considering the current unemployment and divorce rates perhaps it isn’t so crazy of an idea after all. Turn the hunter into the hunted, as it were.
One of the best quotes I could find from this article was this gem from a husband regarding these pampered pet spouses: “None of us can understand this, they become obsessed with perfection, grooming, with all aspects of their personal appearance. In a word, they become boring.”
To which a wife in question replied, “Forget the work ethic. Why on earth would I want to struggle, feel tired, and look old before my time?”
Here’s a solution, do what you want and use condoms. Search for a mate because they make you laugh and are patient with how you insist on attempting veganism for a month, or your obsession with bringing your iPod to bed like Linus’ blanket. Don’t work for money, work for fulfillment, even if you have to take a second job to pay the bills. Then the spouse, house, and pitter patter of tiny Converse will follow in due time, if it’s even supposed to at all.
Unhappy housewives settle on security, the trophy wives aim higher, but the profound vacancy that all of us — from the suit getting a lap dance to the frazzled forty-year-old reaching for another set of Dora the Explorer paper plates — remains. Bellybuttons are the punctuation for our solitude. So if you don’t take your life and try to do what you’re passionate about then what the hell’s the point? If you rely on another person for either your happiness or your financial well-being, chances are pretty dismal that you’re going to be able to understand the reason why Common Loons have lifelong mates.
All of this is not to say that I wouldn’t do dinner with a lady or gentleman if it’s on their tab…and vegan. But I’d make a shitty trophy wife after all. In truth, the only shopping I really love is for groceries, and I look like an idiot in heels.
I’ve had a lot of you write to me about using cinnamon to get rid of ants. I’ve heard of this trick and, trust me, the spice is all over everything. When I have sex my nether region winds up looking like something sold at Dunkin’ Donuts.