To Go or Not to Go
Dear Cousin Butchie,
My problem is probably so different and unique that you won't have an answer, but here goes....
I have been dating my boyfriend for almost a year. We are both freshmen in college, and the relationship has been good to excellent most of the time. We are both planning to major in psychology, we both act butch enough to fool the world and are fabulous basketball players who will be on the varsity team very soon. Dan's parents are extremely well to do. Their house looks like a mansion and they have two servants. Dan has often told me that they can be obnoxiously wealthy and brag a lot. I've always been treated well by them and have never had a problem. My parents are middle class and happy with our small home. They are also proud that they did save enough money so that I don't need to work while I'm going to school. When I can, I manage school and a job, like the usual kind of pizza delivery and supermarket work.
The problem is difficult to explain without me appearing to be a dope. Dan has surprised me on my birthday by telling me that he is taking me to Rome this summer and that it's all paid out of his kind of large allowance part of which he has saved over the past year and a half. We're talking about $10,000!! When he told me about this birthday present I was excited and thought it was great. Now, I'm having some second thoughts. I don't know what it will do to our relationship if I go along with the vacation trip. I don't want to feel indebted to Dan, and I don't feel comfortable letting him pay all this money when I pay nothing. Dan even told me that we would privately exchange wedding vows in Saint Peter's Basilica right in Vatican City.
What can I do to feel better about this gift? I guess I just feel that it makes us considerably less than equals. I do not have the money to pay for my half of the cost of this trip. How do I get out of this without causing hard feelings or even throwing a wet towel on what has been a a great relationship so far?
DEAR POOR BOY,
SOMETHING TELLS ME THAT I HAVE ANSWERED A VERY SIMILAR QUESTION IN THE PAST. I CAN'T SEEM TO LOCATE IT, BUT I'M SURE I WOULD HAVE ANSWERED IN THE SAME WAY.
I THINK YOU SHOULD HAVE A LONG TALK WITH DAN AND TELL HIM HOW YOU FEEL, BUT MAKE SURE YOU GIVE HIM THE CHANCE TO TELL YOU WHY HE DISAGREES. DAN WANTS TO GO TO ITALY, AND HIS IDEA ABOUT MAKING PRIVATE VOWS SOUNDS VERY ROMANTIC. I'D SAY THAT DAN IS A KEEPER WHO LOVES YOU VERY MUCH. IF YOU REFUSE TO ALLOW THIS VACATION TO HAPPEN BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE YOUR HALF OF THE COST, YOU ARE ACTUALLY BEING SELFISH AND KIND OF UNREASONABLE. THIS IS THE KIND OF DEAL BREAKER THAT COULD POSSIBLY MAKE DAN START LOOKING FOR ANOTHER BOYFRIEND. DAN WANTS TO GO, AND YOUR ATTITUDE COULD MAKE HIM BACK OUT OF IT BUT NOT WITHOUT SOME ANGER. HE MAY START TO CONCLUDE THAT YOUR ENTIRE FUTURE WILL BE THIS WAY AND HE COULD POSSIBLY HOOK UP WITH ONE OF THE HUNDREDS OF DUDES READING THIS COLUMN AND WISHING THEY COULD TRADE PLACES WITH YOU.
WHY NOT AGREE TO THIS ROMANTIC VACATION IF DAN ALLOWS YOU TO BUY COMMITMENT RINGS. THEY NEED NOT COST A FORTUNE BUT THEY WILL BE A VERY SOLID EXPRESSION OF YOUR LOVE FOR DAN. I TRULY THINK HE WILL BE OVERJOYED BY THIS GESTURE ON YOUR PART. MONEY IS ALMOST ALWAYS A PROBLEM FOR COUPLES STARTING OUT TOGETHER. DON'T RUIN YOUR FUTURE WITH DAN BY BEING TOO PROUD TO LET HIM PAMPER YOU IN THIS WAY. I WOULD HAVE TO VENTURE TO SAY THAT MANY GUYS WOULD BE OVERJOYED TO HAVE THIS KIND OF PROBLEM.
LET ME KNOW HOW THINGS TURN OUT. A POST CARD OR A HUGE HUNK OF CHEESE WOULD BE GREAT GIFTS... AND COUSIN BUTCHIE NEVER HAS A PROBLEM DATING SOMEONE AS GENEROUS AS DAN. HE'S SORT OF USED TO THE DUDES WHO GO OUT FOR DINNER AND THEN WHIP OUT A CALCULATOR TO FIGURE OUT THE EXACT AMOUNT EACH OWES. IT'S SO EMBARRASSING AT ARBY'S AND WENDY'S!!!!