Monday, January 30, 2006

Money And She

My friend Estelle has been out of work for a few months and now her unemployment checks have stopped. I watch her teeter at the brink of despair, considering desperate options to stay afloat - keep her house, pay the bills and medical insurance.

I am not sure what to tell her and how to help. She will not admit to being financially irresponsible because she is not a shopaholic. Her thing used to be travel and collectibles and a whole lot of both.

I don't know about women in general but Estelle and money sure don't get along too well. While I can't fully identify with the issues women supposedly have with money, some of it is definitely familiar territory.

For everyone, the complexities run deep. "Money is never just money," Perle observes. "It's our proxy for identity and love and hope and promises made and perhaps never fulfilled."

Marriage, especially, can become an economic testing ground and power struggle. Massive social changes in recent decades have left many couples confused about who is supposed to supply what in a marriage.

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