The L Word: The Last Word on Money
Last Sunday was the series finale of the beloved lesbian Showtime drama The L Word. Whether you loved it or hated it, each week these ladies brought some real stories of life and love into our living room and even passed along some money lessons along the way.
Here at Queercents, I have written about some of these money lessons like Helena and the lifestyle trap and Alice and Tasha moving in together. Nina has written about it as well through the years including “Million Dollar Bets about Kelly McGillis” and “Helena, The L Word, and The M Word” just to name a few.
Well the series finale had its share of money lessons as well. Two in particular stand out to me.
The first brings us back to our favorite L Word character when it comes to talking about (and exuding) money – Helena. Over the six years her net worth has been up, down, thrown in jail, and flitted off to the islands to hide away and live like a vagabond. Recently, however, Helena has finally come full circle from a money standpoint and managed to get it all together. She put her money in a worthwhile project in which she actually shares in the sweat and toil and while she still lives in luxurious digs (I covet her beach house!) she has finally learned how to put people first, then money. Suze Orman would be proud.
So what is the loud and clear lesson Helena offered us in the finale? That money does not solve your problems and it in fact can be a burden. In a heated conversation with Dylan she yells something to the effect that “the problem with having money is you never know if someone likes you because of who you are or just because of your money”. Rachel Shelley is a great actress and I felt every ounce of her character’s pain from the last five seasons in that one statement. Here Helena has finally shifted on the inside and wants a real relationship just woman to woman and once again money gets in the way (or at least feels that way). It is worth remembering that while building wealth and attracting money is a wonderful thing, it doesn’t make all your problems go away. It simply creates different challenges. And, whoever you are as a person on the inside will not change when and if you suddenly come into money. Money just amplifies what is already within you.
The second money lesson comes from our central couple, Bette and Tina. To me the biggest full circle of the series was seeing Bette and Tina in very similar circumstances (changes in careers, considering having a child) but really seeing how they have grown individually and as a couple. Finally we see them as equals in terms of confidence and presence. The lesson they teach us in this finale is that sometimes the decision you most need to make for YOU flies in the face of any money logic you can throw at it. Consider spending tons of money to expand and remodel your house and entering into a large partnership (Bette as partner in the art gallery) only to decide to move 2,000 miles away for a new start and a new career for your partner. I am sure Nina and others here could write volumes about how the numbers just do not crunch. Not only do they not get an ROI on their remodeling investment but more than likely will lose a bundle trying to sell because of the housing situation. Yet, in the end, does it really matter? I’m not talking about throwing financial smarts to the wind here. I’m saying that sometimes the very thing we most need to do for our highest good will not make sense in terms of dollars and cents, at least not immediately. Yet, when a voice from deep within tells you the choice is right, you need to trust and make that choice. Remember the people first, then money mantra from Suze? That holds true for your relationship with yourself as well.
I for one will miss these women, the stories they have told, their courage for telling them, and of course the vicarious look into the lives of the super beautiful and relatively well-to-do. So, thanks to all of The L Word team in front of and behind the scenes for the last six years and thanks for leaving us all with just a few more valuable lessons in money.
Paula Gregorowicz, owner of The Paula G. Company, offers life coaching for lesbians to help you gain the clarity, confidence, and courage you need to have success on your own terms. Get the free eCourse “The 5 Steps to Turn Your Fear Into Freedom” at her website www.thepaulagcompany.com.