First he starts asking another guy, "Ben" about banking. Carlos has never had a bank account, so we're starting from scratch. Ben says the most important thing is to pick a branch with the most ATMs, which in NYC is Chase. So I pipe in my $.02. I'm like, no, the most important thing is that your checking account has no minimum and no fees, and it is close to your home/work. Which is Washington Mutual or Commerce Bank. So then Carlos starts asking about debit cards. I mention overdraft fees and he is surprised that you're not allowed to spend more than what is in your account. I say something like, Carlos, I'm going to tell you something very important and you better memorize this- whether it is your cash or your credit, you never ever want to spend more than you have. There's a conversation stopper...
But the conversation, sans Carlos, turns to mortgages and credit fraud. And this is where I wanted to pull my hair out. I swear to god, every time I said something I was completely ignored. I'm not being sensitive or weird here, it was the strangest thing. I felt like I was that person on TV in the coma with everyone talking around them like they're not there and I'm the voiceover saying $h*t like "I'm here, I'm here!" And then they would pause and move on like nothing happened, even though they sense something else was said in the room. But sometimes they did address me, and then they would talk to me like I didn't know anything. Does this happen to anyone else??
I find that men speak to other men as financial equals, assuming that they are from the get-go. They may not assume to know everything, but they assume intellectual equality enough to converse. But then they'll talk to me like I'm dumb and dumber, slow and deliberate, explaining everything they say like, you know what a sub prime mortgage is- it's blah blah blah until I interrupt and say I know, but one can only do that only so many times before you seem indignant. Which is exactly what one is at that point.
Oftentimes I'll leave a social setting with M and we'll be talking about certain exchanges that had happened, and she's like, god if they only knew you read the Wall Street Journal every morning. And I think, god, if they were only reading the same blogs by both men and women I read they would be many times the wiser.