Monday, December 28, 2009

Is 98 Too Much?

One of the classes that most influenced my life was "Literature and the Law." I learned more about Equal Protection, the Commerce Clause, and Due Process from reading Hawthorne, Melville and Richard Wright than I did in law school. But a memorable quote that I remembered was one that had nothing to do with literature, or the law. My professor was lecturing about the importance of labels and group thought, and in the middle of discussing the importance of Liberia in Uncle Tom's Cabin, he ejaculates what would be unthinkable for an Associate Professor reaching for the golden rod that is tenure (but would lead to an automatic promotion for a school like Vanderbilt), "We are all racists in bed."

It is an interesting notion really. Recently I asked a dear friend if she agreed with this comment. She answered, "Absolutely not, I am a slut." I can actually vouch for her. She is quite the harlot. But I really thought about this situation. In the time when China is ascendant, a Black man is president, and Rick Bayless has made Latin comida all the craze, maybe the 14th amendment has hit the boudoir. But reality hits. In attempt to bring enjoyment to you Dear Reader, I decided to engage in an intellectual exercise and went on At a random search, I pulled 600 profiles in Chicago. In the profiles I check the box for a preference for Asian. Of the 600, less than a 100 registered. I may also like to illustrate that many of the profiles that populated were also included for not listing a preference (perhaps brothers of my friend). Sadly enough, many of us may be racists in bed.

But even beyond the issue of race. We do screen out mates. We all have lists. Recently I have been derided by some good friends, and best hags for my list for a potential mate. The list, in its third incarnation totals 98 items. I don't have things enumerating race, but I do have: (20) Can manipulate the Keynesian Cross; (26) Can filet a fish; and (70) Knows who Tom Ford is. In those three items I have effectively screened 90% to 95% of the population (think of my plight if you read Kinsey). In those three items, what was once many fish in the sea, becomes a guppy in my proverbial fish bowl. In order to hit all three, one would likely have gone to college - Keynes is unfortunately not taught in high school. Holding all things equal, one would have to be in a significant tax bracket - Tom Ford's cologne goes for $160. Lastly, one would have to be a foodie - because who really wants to gut a fish. Dear Reader, you are probably thinking, bullshit. What about the college kid at the Art Institute working at Red Lobster? Surely he has heard of Keynes in macro, knows Tom Ford through GQ and can filet a fish when the diners roll in. Excellent point, but I would also like to point to (2) Read the NYT (I am generous to add in Version 2), (12) Name 10 DOW Components, (75) Hates Summer blockbusters, (80) Read Lord of the Rings, and (93) Does not have a hard drive worth of porn. I am pretty sure the sous-chef has been knocked out by #2 and #12. But surely, #93 knocked out the college student.

I want to point out, not all my items are focused on the material. I do not look for a mate because he can buy me an island. What I want is someone who has similar values that I have. I stipulate, many are focused on business and finance. (98) Know the difference between an IRA and a 401(k), (11) Watch CNBC and (1) Read The Wall Street Journal. Why? Because I like talking about business, and money. Not because resources buy nice things, its just of interest to me. My relationship with CNBC is akin to many at a bar. This Sunday I passed by a bar, where many crowded around the Green Bay game. None of them have the body or potential to participate in such sport. But they were screaming and jostling like zombies after the last starlet in a mall. Similarly, I just like watching a stock ticker. But even with dealing away with the 20-25 items that revolve around Peggy Noonan, Milton Friedman, and Ayn Rand, I also have many for my own personal convenience. For example: (44) Doesn't drink much - I can't process alcohol very well, or (77) is ok with reading in the bathroom - not since Alexandria has a room housed so much material.

The crucible of all this is, 98 seems like alot. But is it really? We all do it. Some do it with religion; "I will not marry outside my faith." Others do it with finances. And some, yes some do it on race. This list does seem excessive, and admittedly, nobody will ever hit all 98. None of my ex bfs even hit 30.

Over the weekend at brunch, several brilliant fellows argued that I am seeking someone like myself. Hogwash. (86) Spontaneous, (77) Compassionate, (92) Good Listener. Well I am 92, but 86 and 77, I think not.

So why, why do I keep it? Am I a romantic. I presume items 1-67 prove I am not. My friends are right, maybe I should reduce it from 98. Maybe Tom Ford is not all that important. But (43) Order Appetizers are.

For Wednesday: If Fish were Cute, I would Be a Vegetarian.

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