A girl’s parents are against her marrying a nice young guy who they think is poor, so his millionaire father pretends to be broke and teaches them a lesson.
Once upon a time, all stories were about true love, and about how people found each other against all odds, and often they were poor. Nowadays, stories are about getting rich or marrying someone rich.
When Sam Sutton discovered a way to make an unbreakable sealant for engines that everyone wanted, he never imagined that it would one day affect the love life of his then-infant son, Will.
As it happened, Sam’s discovery brought immediate improvements to the family’s life. He started making a lot of money on that sealant’s patent. Sam, his wife, and his baby son moved to a lovely house and got a new car.
As the years went by, there was more and more money — much more than Sam had ever imagined. His little family was comfortable, that’s all he cared about. The extraordinary sums his lawyer kept reporting on seemed not quite real.
Then something terrible happened to Sam and his family, and all those millions piled up in the bank made not a stitch of difference. Sam’s wife, Rain, became very ill. Sam kept telling doctors money was no object but they just shook their heads.
There are two things in life that money just can’t buy, and that’s love and good health. Sam found out about the first in the most painful way when Rain passed away, and he’d find out about the second when Will started to grow up.
It wasn’t easy being a single dad to a growing boy, and so maybe Sam made a few mistakes. Will was so kind, and loving, and unspoiled that Sam lavished everything he could afford on him — and Sam could afford anything.
So in high school, Will’s colleagues quickly realized that his dad was very rich and very generous — and so was WIll. Quickly WIll became the most popular guy around — not because of his kindness, or his amazing good looks, but because of his dad’s money.
Girls, in particular, swarmed around WIll like bees around a honey pot. At first WIll sort of liked it, then little by little, he realized they didn’t want him. They wanted his dad’s money and all the luxury it could buy.
Will told Sam, weeping that the girl he was in love with didn’t really care for him — she just cared about going along for the Sutton family trips to Aspen, and Veil, and the Bahamas on their private plane.
Sam comforted his son and encouraged him to break up with that girl. The rest of WIll’s senior year in high school was pretty lonely, but he had a plan. “Dad,” he said, “I have a plan.”
Sam grinned. “OK! What’s your plan?”
“I’m going to Yale in the fall, but I want to go as a scholarship student.”
Sam blinked in astonishment. “A scholarship student? You? But why?”
“Well.” Will said, “if I’m poor and I wear scruffy clothes, people won’t be my friends unless they really like me. Girls won’t want to date me for our money.”
“That’s very true, Will,” Sam said. “I think that’s a brilliant plan!”
And so they put the plan in motion. Will and Sam bought all his clothes and equipment second-hand, and Will was the scruffiest, poorest-looking student you ever saw.
Money can’t buy love and good health.
The plan worked too, because Will quickly found lots of great sincere friends, and he even met a girl he really liked and she liked him too. By his third year at Yale, Will was very much in love with that girl.
Her name was Eddy — for Edwina — and he decided he wanted to marry her. Sam was a little worried that WIll might be too young, but he married young too, and he’d been very happy.
So Will proposed to Eddy and she said yes. That Thanksgiving, Eddy took Will home to meet her parents and it was a disaster. Eddy’s parents, Marta and Farlow, were well-to-do and very proud of their social position.
They wanted their beautiful daughter to marry a rich man, not a scruffy third-year science major, no matter how smart, handsome, or funny. They were subtly unpleasant to Will, but not enough that Eddy could complain.
In fact, Eddy had accepted WIll’s proposal and proudly displayed the tiny diamond he’d given her as if it was the Kohinoor. And she insisted that WIll and his father should join her family for the Christmas celebrations. Marta and Fallow were horrified, but they smiled, agreed, and made their own plan.
So Will and Sam took a Greyhound from their home in New Hampshire to Eddy’s family’s beach house in Narragansett to join the family for Christmas.
Eddy’s dad picked them up from the bus terminal and the fun began. Farlow looked Sam up and down and sniffed. (Sam had gone shopping at the local goodwill store and he’d gone a little overboard.)
Sam didn’t look just poor, he looked almost homeless. Farlow drove them to their big house, and he talked about his wealth, his houses, and his cars. “I’ll have you know,” he said to Sam, “that I’ve done very well by my family. We live in comfort — to be honest, we live in luxury.
“Not everyone is used to that, of course, and we understand that, but we hope you and WIll will be able to fit in. Christmas is very important to us.”
“It’s important to us too,” Sam said. As it turned out, Marta and Farlow’s idea of Christmas was to splurge on towers of expensive presents and show everyone they knew how successful they were.
The next few days were a nightmare. Farlow and Marta didn’t miss a chance to show Sam that they believed their daughter was way out of his son’s league.
“Eddy is a wealthy young woman, Sam,” Marta said. “And her husband must be able to give her the same lifestyle. I know you’ve not done as well for Will…”
Eddy became aware of her parents’ campaign to humiliate Sam and she was furious. So she had a talk with her parents. “I’m going to marry Will,” she said. “And Sam’s going to be family, so get used to it.”
“But darling,” cried her mother, “the man is a derelict! Have you seen his clothes? He’s an embarrassment.”
“Believe me, mom,” Eddy said angrily, “you are much more of an embarrassment than Sam could ever be!” What Eddy could not have known was that Sam was listening, and he smiled. She loved Will! He’d found his one-in-a-million girl.
That night was Christmas Eve, and when the family gathered around the tree at midnight to exchange gifts, Marta said with an unpleasant smile, “You mustn’t feel bad, Sam, we know you’re struggling!”
Marta and Farlow handed Will a box with a car key inside. “It’s an early wedding present,” Farlow said. “We thought you needed a better car. Your old clunker is at least twenty years old, WIll!”
Will smiled and thanked Marta and Farlow and they all went outside to admire the Porsche sitting in the garage with a big red bow on it. Farlow threw Sam a triumphant look and smirked. He knew that Sam could never top that gesture, could he?
Then Sam took an envelope out of his pocket. “Eddy,” he said. “Will told me you two plan to move to New York when you graduate.”
“That’s right, Sam! You know he has an offer from a New York research facility, and I have an internship at the Met…”
“Well, finding a place to live in Manhattan isn’t easy, so I hope this helps…” Sam gave the envelope to Eddy.
Farlow sneered. “What’s that? A list of homeless shelters in the Upper East Side? A guide to the Best Brooklyn soup kitchens?”
Eddy opened the envelope and gasped. “Sam!” she whispered. “Is this for real?” She showed WIll the sheaf of papers inside the envelope and Will ran to embrace his dad.
Farlow and Marta looked from one to the other in surprise. Then Eddy turned to her parents. “Sam’s given WIll and I the deed to a brownstone in Tribeca. He’s given us a home.”
Marta and Farlow looked at each other, their mouths hanging open. “But…but…but…” gasped Farlow. “You’re POOR…The way you dress…You took the bus…”
“Well, Farlow,” said Sam gently. “I want my son to be loved and accepted for himself, not for the $570 million he will eventually inherit from me.”
There were no more objections to the wedding from Eddy’s parents. In fact, they became Will’s biggest fans and were very polite and respectful of Sam. The following summer, Will and Eddy married and moved to New York.
When they welcomed their little daughter Rain three years later, Sam bought himself a house next door so he could be close to them.
What can we learn from this story?
- Money can’t buy love and good health. Sam knew that if people knew that he was rich they’d get close to his son for his money.
- Dont’s judge people by their appearance. Farlow and Marta despised Sam for his scruffy clothes and never imagined he was a millionaire.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a young widower who refused to allow his dead wife’s family to have contact with her daughter.