Rohit's Realm

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August 08, 2008

My Romantic Quest: From Cynicism to Nihilism (Part 2)

Almost three years ago in a seminal entry commemorating the fourth anniversary of the venerable Realm, I set forth this site's (and consequently, my own) life plan for the decade to come. Invoking both Faulkner and Byron, I reasoned that the only way to move beyond the petulant and aimless attacks upon Berkeley bums that dominated this site was to embrace a path of unchecked self-destruction, in turn becoming a better writer. And how exactly was I going to destroy my life? Simple: meet the woman of my dreams, fall madly in love, be overwhelmed by hope and joy, and then have the said woman break my heart beyond repair, leaving me in a state of ever-worsening despair, unable to find love or happiness ever again (emphasis original).

So, why do I bring any of this up on this day of all days? Well, today is August 8, 2008, which means I only have a little over four years in which to get married. Needless to say, shit has gotten real.

Those of you who are scratching your heads and wondering if I just dropped a non sequitur cannot be blamed; what I just wrote really does not follow—unless you know the following. A while back—I think it might have been June 6, 2006—I decided that since I needed to marry to live (beyond the age of thirty), that it would be totally awesome (and sweet and radical) to get married on a triplet of a date such as, for instance, July 7, 2007—07/07/07. The more I thought about it, the more I came to the conclusion that indeed I could not marry on any other date; nothing else would be awesome (and sweet and radical) enough.

The first problem with this hard-line perspective, of course, is that I was both late to the game (five of the potential dates had already passed) and born too late in the last century to realistically get married within the highly constrained twelve-year time frame. I was only twenty-two in June 2006, and I will barely be twenty-nine in December 2012; considering my (necessarily futile) career plans, being married before thirty is looking increasingly unlikely.

The other problem with this commendable goal I realized only much later: though breakin' up [may be] hard to do, at least according to The Carpenters, getting heartbroken ain't that easy at all.1 And believe me, I have tried!2

What is the long and short of this sorry state of affairs? Simple. Although I might have had time to screw around back in the rockin' days of fall of 2005, with only four years left until 12/12/12, I got to get my shit together ASAP if I hope to fulfill my life plan. If this wedding—and subsequent heart break—is going to happen,3 the ball needs to get rolling soon.

Luckily, with the when established, much of the hard work is already done. While a December wedding is not ideal (I like summer or fall, personally), it is a sacrifice that will have to be made. As for the who, what, where, why, and how, the answer is simple. As I noted in my (much-touted, plainly ill-informed) economic analysis of interpersonal relations, most people are commodities, and there is no reason why this line of thought should not extend to potential spouses. The key, as always, is to focus on the all-important criteria of dual income and brand management.

What is more difficult at this phase in my romantic quest is luring potential dual incomes/desirable brands into a nuptial transaction. My balance sheet has rapidly deteriorated since 2007 as a result of returning to academia, and I am no longer in a position to offer a potential acquisition target anything she wants (with the anything underlined twice, obviously). Indeed, I do not even have business cards to pass along my not-so-subtle message.

Consider what I offered in 2005:

In return, you will receive:
  • My sizable annual electronics and alcohol budgets reappropriated for you during the course of our relationship.
  • My undivided attention, loosely translated as romance—flowers, candy, love letters, and all kinds of other stupid shit sappy people care about.
  • Dedication as the person I owe it all to if I ever become rich and/or famous. There would, of course, also be monetary compensation for the former.
  • The warm, fuzzy feeling of having played a vital role in my romantic quest to ruin my life.

In 2008, with an annual electronics budget of nothing, and an annual alcohol budget of very little, my prime selling point is gone! The second point might have a negative value (Who wants any attention from me, let alone attention that is undivided? Even I probably couldn't stand that and I have to spend a lot of time with myself as it is.); the third is highly unlikely to ever happen; and the fourth is at best of only marginal value. What dire straits!

The daily question for me the next few years is going to have to be this: what have you done today to ruin your life? I may be down in the count, but I am not out yet. I may still ruin my life yet!

As always, suggestions are welcome from you, dear readers. Let me know if you have any ideas!

^ 1 Though, for some reason, a lot of self-professed hopeless romantics do not seem to find any difficulty getting their heart broken at the drop of a hat. But the explanation for that is simple: clearly they are just (hopeless) idiots.
^ 2 I will spare you all the drama; it is not that compelling. If you are really interested, ask me some time and I will tell you.
^ 3 The underlying premise here is that a marriage falling apart would be much more likely to result in heart break than a relationship, even if long-term. I have to think it is true since I would probably be heart broken over the financial losses incurred in a divorce alone, independent of any concomitant emotional considerations.


I will marry you on 12/12/12. You know I have the brand, but sorry, no dual income. You're just going to have to choose: getting married on a triple to a desirable brand, or nothing at all. Two of three ain't bad.

I would love to break your heart, but I'm going to need more than flowers and candy. Jewelry is necessary, preferably from Tiffany's. kthxbye.

It's important that you rework your sales pitch now that your economic profile has changed.

Since you can no longer offer an immediate return on a potential mate's investment, you must make yourself an attractive futures commodity. Just like people who buy wheat and corn before the seeds have been planted, your hypothetical law degree from a top school and your dedication to the free market can make you an attractive prospect to prescient investors. Of course, you run the risk of being re-sold before you accrue the requisite amount of emotional attachment necessary to ruin your life.

Perhaps you should simply seek out venture capitalists? I mean, if people were willing to buy into, why wouldn't they invest in you?

"a triplet of a date such as, for instance, July 7, 2008-07/07/07"

In addition to acquiring my future sister-in-law, learning to type properly will also further your quest to be a better writer. But perhaps she will also function as your typist.

Okay, fixed it. Wow, that was embarrassing.

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