There were other very important discussions on our Valentine’s weekend trip that were not related to readings from Living M/s by Dan and dawn Williams. I’m breaking these four main discussions into separate posts.
Maximus promised not to work at all during our weekend trip other than a brief scheduled phone call with the Regional VP of His company who wanted to let Him know what His 2012 bonus would be. He was true to his word and the phone call was brief, but amazing…Maximus was receiving a very large bonus. And when i say very large, i mean, nearly 40% of my yearly salary. i was shocked, needless to say, as i overhead the bonus announced through the phone. i knew Maximus made excellent money, it was obvious by His dress, His home, His travel, His hobbies, His ex-wife, but i really hadn’t grasped the magnitude of it before. Maximus was very pleased with the amount, but i could tell that it was not an out-of-the-ballpark figure to Him as it was to me–not unexpected.
When i started reading 50 Shades of Grey, i thought someone had been spying on us. Seriously, it was uncanny. It was a story about a woman from Vancouver–i’m from Vancouver, who meets a successful, wealthy businessman from Seattle–Maximus is a successful, wealthy businessman from Seattle, and gets swept off of her feet in a torrid, kinky, sexual love affair. i literally dropped the book. My response to my mom when i returned home from my first trip to stay with Maximus was, “i’m so out of my league.” He’d spoiled me rotten with dinners, dancing, riding comfortably in His luxury car and then sent me home with a $100 bottle of wine He’d purchased at a wine tasting…one of half a dozen bottles He’d procured that day.
He wears $200 jeans for grubbies. He asked me to go with Him to pick out things i needed in His kitchen for when i cooked there and we went to Sur la Table with valet parking; He walked confidently to the clerk and instructed her to assist me in picking out whatever i wanted/needed, and waited, leaning nonchalantly against the counter, in Pretty Woman fashion, as she gleefully picked out expensive items i’d only ogled at before. He didn’t blink an eye at the expense and even mentioned what a great deal those purchases were, while i reeled at the fact that i would have gone to a variety store for these things–Sur la Table was a place i’d only walked through making sure i didn’t knock things over at because i couldn’t afford to buy things there if i broke them! He wants to buy a new luxury car to replace His beautiful luxury car and while at a Toyota dealership with Swimmer Guy’s vehicle, texted a picture of a Prius that said, “New Prius. 37k. I could buy three of them [for the one luxury car He wants to buy].” He wraps gifts of expensive jewelry not in wrapping paper, but $1500 designer purses!
When Maximus told me early on that He wanted me to travel with Him, i made sure to let Him know that i would not go with Him as a free ride, that i expected to pay my share. He’d been talking about us going to St. Barth’s and said, “you won’t be able to afford to go there,” to which i replied, “Well, then You’ll have to give me a year or two notice so i can save up.” He took me to Las Vegas for my birthday last year and other than my airfare, which i insisted on paying, He paid for the entire trip, including some very, very expensive meals.
As time has passed, Maximus has been more insistent on paying for things, buying things for me. i work very hard to make sure i reciprocate, paying for meals, dividing lodging expenses equally. In fact, because Maximus used His credit card when we made reservations for this trip, i gave Him a check for half of the amount, and i expected that i was going to have to raise a stink to get Him to deposit it (He did the next day, initially expecting to destroy the check but deciding that action was not worth the consequences He would face from me for doing so). i’ve just never wanted to be a gold digger. It’s been very important to me. When He paid for our Valentine’s dinner the previous night, which was very expensive, in my book, He cooed, “You’re a cheap date!”
His bonus made it clear how large the financial gap is between us. It started to make me feel very uncomfortable, feeling that i just couldn’t keep up with Him, couldn’t keep up with paying my way with the places He wants to take me and things He wants to buy and do. It bothered me for several reasons, first, i don’t want to feel like i’m taking advantage of Him, His money had nothing to do with the draw i have toward or the love i have for Him; second, i do make great money, much more than most women and many men for that matter, and i’ve been the major breadwinner in my past marriages, have never felt beholden before; third, i did not want to be like JB, Maximus’ 2nd wife, who took advantage of His wealth and spent His money handily; and last, i just didn’t want to slow Him down or be a drag.
i started talking to Maximus about this, especially after He started showing me the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California where He wants to take me…the 5th best luxury resort in the US. i picked out where we were staying for this weekend, finding a very beautiful guest home adjacent to a main house with a 70-foot indoor lap pool so we could do our workouts, and was inexpensive, $110 a night. Maximus was telling me how wonderful it was, what a change as in the past He happily, without trepidation would’ve easily paid five- to ten times that rate–i was showing Him value, and He appreciated it as He’d not known value like this was out there. He loved where we’d stayed in Bend, Oregon, is excited to stay in the condo we will stay at in Lake Las Vegas on an upcoming trip, both of which i picked out and had similar rates. But even at those rates and splitting expenses, and other trips planned to Hawaii and Lake Tahoe, i’m getting to the end of my discretionary spending and afraid i’m not going to be able to continue.
i tried explaining this to Him. And he wasn’t getting it. “Baby, I’m so sorry, but I just don’t understand what you’re saying. This isn’t a blue/8 problem…you’re speaking Swahili to Me and I just don’t get it.” It was emotional for me and my eyes teared up and i started to cry as i spoke to Him. i explained how terrified i was about breaking the $100 bottle of wine He’d given me and how i couldn’t even imagine opening it. “Why not? Drink it! It’s only a $100 bottle of wine and it’s for you to drink!” He admonished.
“i can’t,” i explained, “it’s a $100 bottle of wine…how can i drink that? The most expensive bottle of wine i have ever had was $40 and i get nervous buying anything over $14.”
“It’s a $100 bottle of wine, that’s nothing. Someone one gave Me a $1,000 bottle of wine,” He replied.
“Did you open it?” i inquired.
“Hell no! It was a $1,000 bottle of wine!!”
i responded, “Well, my $100 bottle of wine is Your $1,000 bottle of wine. Hell no i didn’t open it!”
“Ok, I get it.”
He explained that our relationship isn’t a competition. Maximus isn’t buying things expecting me to reimburse Him. There’s no tally sheet. It makes Him happy to do this and i repay Him by making Him happy–and i need to learn to accept this. And i’m teaching Him value, He’s discovering things He didn’t know were out there and available. He also explained that He’s never, ever had anyone who paid their way, or even more, picked up the tab for Him like i have; it’s been a big change for Him and He’s allowed it because He realized it was important to me. “I’m used to $500 dinner tabs, or more with JB. We even had a $1000 per person dinner in Chicago once…a $120 dinner tab like last night is nothing.”
“Pay what you can, because I know it’s important to you. If I decide we should go to Key West and you can only afford to contribute $35, pay $35. If we’re going to Europe and you can’t pay anything, don’t pay anything. If you want to pay half and can afford it, do it. If you want to pick up the tab, do it, I won’t argue with you about it. Whatever makes you happy. I’m happy to pay because you make Me happy.” He continued. And then joked about me paying the rest of it with sex and bondage, which made us laugh!
This is a big submission for me. And i hadn’t thought of it that way until we’d had this conversation. Taking me to beautiful places and getting things for me are ways Maximus feels He is taking care of me, sharing His life with me. This isn’t a chess game, there is no score card.