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Last fall, I met up with a friend upon her return from a two-week getaway to Paris.

In expectation of being regaled with tales of kisses at the top of the Eiffel Tower and strolls through the Louvre , I asked, "So how was the trip?"

With the smile of a giddy schoolgirl who was just given a pony, she said, "It was like all of my dreams had come true -- he paid for everything, and he bought me a $600 purse from a shop along the Champs Elysées ."

Perhaps it's unfeminine of me, but I'd rather receive a new experience or a tender moment of intimacy from my man than all of the expensive jewels in the world. I pity those women who think the measure of a man's love is through how much money he spends on them. It saddens me to overhear women at the coffee shop comparing and contrasting their husbands' financial merits and shortfalls over a latte.

I used to think that shallow, money-hungry women were the collective fabrication of writers, moviemakers, and rap stars. When I learned firsthand that they did indeed exist, my initial reaction was one of disgust and disappointment in this (hopefully small) percentage of my gender. For a while, I held on to the idea that these women simply had yet to learn the truth of what matters, that living a superficial existence, in which one prostitutes one's looks, company, or services for money, can only last so long.

From a more jaded stance, I now assume these women are sad, miserable people, lacking the drive to develop any redeeming qualities. I will never comprehend the gold diggers' "I'm gonna get mine" mentality, nor their sense of entitlement for a man's money simply because it's there. If there's anything I "get," you can assume it is something I earned. If I didn't work hard to pay my own bills, I could never look my father in the eye, or myself in the mirror.

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