This week the news was announced that Austrian construction billionaire Richard Lugner, 81, has married his Playboy model fiancée, Cathy Schmitz who is 57 years his junior.
It is of my understanding that both parties involved were consenting adults (him most certainly) and fully mentally capable and aware.
It won’t surprise you to hear however, that despite this, she has been branded a ruthless gold digger and Lugner an ageing fool who’s allowed himself to be taken advantage of by a women only interested in his big wallet and weak heart.
What a total injustice to them both.
To my mind, there’s not been a union quite so spectacular since the marriage of Anna Nicole Smith to 89 year-old J Howard Marshall back in 1994 and not only do I not condemn these women for their marital choices but I positively applaud them for it. This is who we are, this is what we want and this is how we’re going to get it and two fingers up to the lot of you – how deliciously refreshing.
Marrying for money is still a taboo subject with ‘true love’ being considered the only reason one should ever tie the knot in a western society. Those who choose a life (albeit short – damn that dodgy pacemaker) with a person because they’ve got a few quid in the bank are seen as ruthless and manipulative.
Not only does this stereotype women – He’s old and minted of course she can’t love him! But it also stereotypes men – He’s marrying a beautiful woman half his age? Poor fool, he clearly can’t think for himself.
It’s nonsense. It’s not my relationship so who am I to judge? To make assumptions about a couples sincerity towards each other based on their financial position is as bad as condemning any couple for any reason that they chose to be together.
Aside from which, why does society applaud a women for falling in love with a man because he is, say, tall, dark and handsome, yet condemn her because she is attracted to a man who can give her a nice lifestyle? Because money can go … and looks can’t? Or because clearly the women is attracted to the bank balance and not the man? I disagree. Unless inherited, wealthy men are often intelligent, motivated, powerful and successful, all attributes which are, to some, seen as extremely attractive – I’m no gold digger but give me an ugly guy who knows his shit in the work place any day over a pretty boy working in a dead-end job.
I’d like to meet the person who makes the rules up about what people are and aren’t allowed to find attractive in one another. She likes his power and his money, he – her beauty and youth. I see this as no less valid than two people who are together because they are both vegetarians and enjoy island hopping in Croatia.
When researching the subject I asked my Twitter followers what they felt was wrong about mixed age/financial relationships and the most common response was that when you marry for money you are in essence owned, or rather ‘bought’ by that person and should, in turn, not be surprised when you’re tossed aside when you are no longer of use to them.
I hear that. She is an object of beauty and he, an object of wealth, and I’ll bet they both bloody well know it too. I doubt either care much about being tossed aside – both, I suspect, are fully aware of each others most resounding assets and are enjoying them for what they are. They are living in the now, more than most of use can dare to dream about, taking full advantage of each other and saying a big fat fuck you to what society thinks of them and what is considered appropriate behaviour for a man of his age, and a ‘respectable’ lady of hers.
So he’s got 5 years left in him at best … good on him. Sit in a big castle on his own, counting his money while a team of hard-nosed nurses wipe his arse or wake up with a blow job from 25 year-old Playboy bunny every morning – I know what I’d choose. Of course these men know the score and even if they don’t and are blinded by the delusion that a nubile young blonde still finds them sexy … even better! do you think they give a shit? The man’s getting laid at 81 by a woman 57 years younger than him, now that’s what I call an exit.
I don’t applaud the marriage because it’s what we should all aspire to do, I applaud it because two consenting adults have found one other and, for whatever reason, have decided that they enrich each others lives right here and right now. If it lasts a short life time fantastic, if it lasts a few months fantastic too. Because a few months of seizing the moment, throwing caution to the wind and saying bollocks to the lot of you is better than none, they’ve found each other and they’re happy and it’s this which should be celebrated.
So next time you think about judging an old billionaire and his Playboy bunny, ask yourself this much … what do you want to be doing in the last few years of your life?
No fool like an old fool … and no fun like one last roller coaster ride of love with a woman young enough to be your daughter and a bank balance big enough to buy you a f***ing awesome farewell.