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Hi Hairpin,
I am desperately in love with someone TLC might call a “scrub.” He’s kind and sweet and smart and charming, but he also doesn’t have a bank account or health insurance or a “real” job, and my parents think he’s not good enough for me. I know he is good enough for me because he makes me so happy, but I do feel very anxious about this. I love him, but I’m nervous about what our lives would be like if we ended up together. I am a teacher, so I don’t make tons of money either, but I sometimes worry that he is completely impoverished. It makes me feel so shallow to worry about money, but I know that money problems cause divorce and tons of other unhappy life problems. It would just be nice to know that you could be with someone you loved AND also take a vacation once a year and go out sometimes and all those other bougie things. My friends say that it’s great that we love each other so much, but sometimes that isn’t enough, and they know it hurts but I have to move on. What do you think? Is love enough, or is it more important to take into account practical concerns? Is there any way to talk to him about this without sounding like a shallow jerk?

Wrong about TLC, wrong for America. A scrub, or a “buster,” is guy who mistakenly thinks he is fly. Being seated on one’s broke ass is a necessary but not sufficient condition of a scrub — to be a true scrub, one must also ALWAYS be talking about what one wants. A scrub, eo ipso, cannot get any love from you. He cannot approach you, you do not want his number, to meet him, or any of his time. One’s man not only can but presumably has approached. Numbers and time are shared. So we’re good, right?

Ohhhhhh I see what the confusion was about, you were thinking of the B-Side, right? A Nice Guy Who Doesn’t Have A Lot of Money And Maybe Isn’t So Ambitious About Making Money Either? I was at this ’90s dance thing in Gowanus last week and they put that on and me and my girls went craaaaayyyyy with extra vocal fry. My favorite part is when Left-Eye (May She Jam In Peace) breaks it DOWN and is like “it’s not shallow/to worry about the role of money in a long term partnership but/the vicissitudes of life being what they are, shouldn’t that really be a question/of shared attitudes, not discreet goals for income/and of course communication about changes in those attitudes and expectations.” I don’t know why they didn’t release it as a single, really, the chorus is really a sparkling example of Marxist ’90s R&B, where they’re all “It’s not like money is just a thing that there’s some big pile of, and if you do the right things you can get at that pile, not even if you’re a banker, and being happy with yourself and your partnerships probably requires reflecting on what abundance can look like for you and if there are surprises in that answer.” AND THEN, that guy from Tony Toni Tone comes in and is like, “is he really a slacker, like doesn’t care about anything, or does he just engage the world in ways that are not remunerative right now, and does it make a difference to you?” So rad.

Whatever, girl, get that busboy some Obamacare, pay for your own vacation, and wait for fighting about sex to break you up, I mean, that’s REALLY what always does it.

Previously: He Is Gross

A Lady is one of several rotating ladies. Do you have any questions for A Lady?


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