My first-ever boyfriend was incredibly wealthy. I was just a freshman in high school at the time and it definitely wasn’t serious in nature but I’m still fascinated by the way money affects (or doesn’t) relationships. His father owned a chain of largely successful law firms across the county where we grew up. To get to their house, you had to use four wheel drive to get up to a certified castle in the wilderness on thousands and thousands of acres. It was a far cry from my family’s tiny, aging house on half an acre. I remember feeling very embarrassed the first time he ever came over and even more humiliated when he asked me to my first prom. We took dressed up photos in the front yard instead of in the house because even at fourteen, I knew I didn’t want the orange shag rug of the living room to be any part of any photo album. It’s sad that I was ashamed but high school is a battlefield of raw self awareness. I never confessed any of these insecurities to him. He never commented on anything, was only supportive and always affectionate, but I still feel shy when I think about our few months together. That prom we went to that night was in a neighboring city. We took a limo to dinner and ate es cargot and $50 entrees. I wrinkled my pouffy dress while we sat in the back sipping sparkling apple cider with his arm around me.
Towards the end of our relationship, he flew to L.A. for some sort of family vacation and returned with a designer purse for me as a souvenir gift. It was a long time ago but I think it was around $5,000. I felt so guilty about it after our (very amiable) breakup that I gifted it to a distant friend so I wouldn’t have to look at it or think about it. I saw it in her bedroom a few summers ago and felt a deep pang. I don’t really understand why I didn’t keep it.
Wealth aside, I dated him because he was a really good guy. I didn’t realize the extent of his family’s legacy until the first time I saw his car and later his house. I liked him because he was tender and so kind, artistic and down to earth. He was handsome, great at sports and never cocky. I bump into him about every five years or so. He’s running his own law firms now and is married with five children. We’re friendly when we see each other. It’s nice.
[Stay tuned for parts 2 through 6 regarding other boyfriends and close friends.]