Good points, ladies. Normally, I would accede that I was looking too far into it. (I have a history of that!)
However, there is a lot more to it that would be too much to detail (in short, the partners in question tend to be well beyond showy in manner and speech), but it suffices to say that there is absolutely no doubt as to the fact that my financial status is being evaluated as I speak (it has happened every
time, with utter awe, when the occasion arises, going on five years now). Basically, I abhor being evaluated according to my perceived means (I, not my pocketbook, am the person with whom you would be associating, should we pursue this rel@tionship).
This is a very small town, not unlike the Twilight Zone, and unfortunately, everyone is in everyone else's business. It is to the point that if you don't play along, you simply don't play, and I have reached that point. I just find it very annoying that someone else's lack of restraint results in me becoming viewed as something I am not (ie- extraordinarily wealthy or in-debt-up-to-my-eyeballs). I forget the name of the poster that mentioned being egged on to purchase a Mercedes, but I cannot tell you how many times my DH has been harassed by educated, grown men
for his choice of car (9-year-old domestic with a Kelly Blue Book value of less than $2000, last we checked). His fed-up response has finally become: "Oh. That thing? It's paid for. Can you say the same?"
I agree that I have no place divulging others' financial information (although, knowing the bankers here, I'm surprised it's not on a billboard somewhere), and would never do so.
Out of curiosity, do you really think I could make the gilded bean dip comment & get away with it??
Anyway, thanks for your responses & for letting me get it off of my chest.