Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Heart Market News: SLTR Dips on CZX Surge

Turns out that, as with Microsoft and Yahoo stock, relationships with folk of the male persuasion are really vehicles of investment. So, at least, says a consensus of women, often expressed in a sentence such as "I'm investing in the relationship."

That's not how a small, admittedly unscientific poll of men felt at a recent discussion group I attended. When in a relationship, we men argued, men rarely have a particular end result in the future.

From what I have heard, however, a woman has almost certainly been thinking of marriage at the first kiss, or at least a stable long-term relationship (ticker symbol: SLTR*).

In the quest to amass shares, some women will entirely modify their looks, behavior, readiness to engage in sex. They will smile benignly at behavior that they abhor and sacrifice preferred entertainment in the quest to buy more shares at an increasingly ascending price.

Using this dollar-averaging approach, the female romantic investor aims to acquire a controlling interest in SLTR, with claims to a majority on the board, and an eye to reaping sizable dividends.

Men usually hear of the entire investment scheme when it goes sour: "I invested umpteen years in this relationship." (So that's why the curlers came out and the rolling pin got wielded and the bedtime headaches popped up as soon as she had the ring on her finger!)

To be fair, as women point out, men all have getting to bed in mind, or a friends-with-benefits arrangement, in other words, casual sex (CZX). However, the men counterpose, that's not a long-term goal or an investment strategy.

Yes, I've heard about the guy who argued that he deserved a romp in the hay because he paid for dinner. Frankly, I've never met him. Guy: if you have to argue that you bought the right to sex, you've already lost the argument.

What man is so utterly incapable of sparking an interest with strategic romantic timing in mind that he is reduced to unlikely barter? And when did the language of the stock market and the meat market merge into romantic thinking?

Did Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher have the 1987 movie Wall Street subliminally pumped into the bedrooms of women all across the United States and the former British Commonwealth? I recall hearing that the gerontocrats in the Soviet Politburo cheered during the end credits at their private screening of the movie.

Did Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky replace Gideon Bibles in every hotel room with a copy Candace Bushnell's novel Sex and the City? I found the book so horrifically cynical I could not stomach reading it through to the end.

Silly me, I thought a relationship had to do with a state of connectedness, closeness or even family relatedness. A state that simply is, because one cannot help it. Not a set of stepping stones to the altar or to bed.

It is a state of being with another person that, sadly, sometimes ends. Or is interrupted. Or sours. Other times it happily brings people to physically coalesce or marry. It's not a game, with orgasm or marriage as the goalposts.

On first dates I have paid for dinner because I like to eat. Also, because I have hated to deal with either the math of check splitting or the risk of ruining my digestion with the discovery that she is a greedy, conniving chiseler. I like my romantic evenings free of unpleasantness.

To my mind, sex expresses feelings of affection and attraction. Moreover, weddings make the most sense when the couple intends to raise a family together (see here).

Whereas investing involves the outlay of money or capital in an enterprise with the expectation of profit, there's no profit in romance and relationship. It's all loss. You lose your head and heart to someone else's charms, real or imagined.

Love is its own reward.


* I was unable to find an actual company with the ticker symbols used here; if one exists, no reference to it is intended.

12 comments:

Geneviève said...

If your observations on female species are right, this concerns the American ones only. Are they spoiled by god dollar? by men's machism?

Anonymous said...

Believe me, we're not all like that! (Or maybe I should move to France.)

To be continued...

Anne

Anonymous said...

Many of us are, though, and proud of it. Give me one good reason we shouldn't be.

Cecilieaux said...

Well, Anon, I gave you a whole blog-full of reasons why not. What do you think of them?

Anonymous said...

You listed a bunch of naive and foolish notions about connecting and relating, but you also seem well aware that it's just a marketplace, nothing more. Oh pardon me, I guess that's just Americans. Women abroad it appears wouldn't know about selfishness, the one thing men and women have in common.

Geneviève said...

To translate Cecilieaux' terms, let's say simply that a woman who proposes her body and soul with art in bed in private and good manners in society could be called a prostitute. What is wrong with being a prostitute? Nothing in itself, this is a market, with fresh products that push away decrepit ones, nothing to do with selfishness and moral. Just a possible loss of self-esteem perhaps, overall when the race is a defeat? That's true, with your high rate of divorces since decades (a more recent phenomenon here in France), the rivalry may be harsh, and the situation may be desperate for plenty menopausial (just before or just after menopause) walkyries working hard on the market who are no more Juliets or Iseults, for whom to catch an husband accompanied by a white dress, a ring, a name, a status in society, an insurance against poverty and loneliness, becomes an emergency. So yes, brave women, you may be "proud of it" - when you win.

Geneviève said...

PS As to men fitting with these women, I suppose they are like little boys who live in the present ( no future, no past) enjoying their new toy. They want Christmas every day, without unpleasant things. Why foolish naive women persist to give them what they wish? This kind of market is corrupted from the beginning.

Cecilieaux said...

My argument is that it's not a market at all, Genevieve. Moreover, I think you have a very skewed impression of things in America.

The divorce rate, for example, correlates perfectly with prosperity. France was very poor after the war -- and previously it had been very traditionally Catholic -- and tthe standard of living didn't get anywhere near that of USA until relatively recently. That's when divorces skyrocketed. The same thing is now happening in (at long last) prosperous free Ireland.

In societies in which economic survival is no longer a factor in mating, the "market" approach seems wrongheaded and backward. As the women's movement put it, a women need men like fish need bicycles.

Geneviève said...

I perfectly understood your point, but you didn't understand that my response was a cynical and ironic response to the Anonymous who claims to be a product of the market mixing within it a piece of morality. Don't read me literally!

However, I don't believe the "women's movement" at all.

PS you would notice that "free Ireland" is one of the rare countries in Europe where abortion is not allowed at all.

Cecilieaux said...

The Republic of Eire is "free" from Britain, not its past. But divorce is common now and the churches are emptying.

Perhaps you should play it straight in English. The irony did not come through.

You're against the women's movement? Then get back to the kitchen, woman!

Geneviève said...

I give up and won't interfere any more into American policy. Continue your civil war without me. That is too heavy a world.

Last comment: I meant I do not believe what women's movement says about women needing men like fish a bicycle. Is it straight enough?

Anonymous said...

The British Commonwealth still exists.