Snarky Behavior

If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life…

October 3, 2007 · 2 Comments

… never make a pretty woman your wife.

This post will be long, but wah-woo-wee-woo worth it!

The following was posted on Craigslist in the “Women-Seeking-Men” section:

Okay, I’m tired of beating around the bush. I’m a beautiful (spectacularly
beautiful) 25 year old girl. I’m articulate and classy. I’m not from New York.
I’m looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I
know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in
New York City, so I don’t think I’m overreaching at all.Are there any guys who
make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could you send me some tips? I dated
a business man who makes average around 200 – 250. But that’s where I seem to
hit a roadblock. 250,000 won’t get me to central park west.

I know a woman in my yoga class who was married to an investment banker and
lives in Tribeca, and she’s not as pretty as I am, nor is she a great genius. So
what is she doing right? How do I get to her level?Here are my questions
specifically:- Where do you single rich men hang out? Give me specifics- bars,
restaurants, gyms-What are you looking for in a mate? Be honest guys, you won’t
hurt my feelings-Is there an age range I should be targeting (I’m 25)?-

Why are some of the women living lavish lifestyles on the upper east side
so plain? I’ve seen really ‘plain jane’ boring types who have nothing to offer
married to incredibly wealthy guys. I’ve seen drop dead gorgeous girls in
singles bars in the east village. What’s the story there?- Jobs I should look
out for? Everyone knows – lawyer, investment banker, doctor. How much do those
guys really make? And where do they hang out? Where do the hedge fund guys hang
out?- How you decide marriage vs. just a girlfriend? I am looking for MARRIAGE
ONLYPlease hold your insults – I’m putting myself out there in an honest way.
Most beautiful women are superficial; at least I’m being up front about it. I
wouldn’t be searching for these kind of guys if I wasn’t able to match them – in
looks, culture, sophistication, and keeping a nice home and hearth.

THE ANSWER

Dear Pers-431649184:

I read your posting with great interest and have thought meaningfully about
your dilemma. I offer the following analysis of your predicament. Firstly, I’m
not wasting your time, I qualify as a guy who fits your bill; that is I make
more than $500K per year. That said here’s how I see it.
Your offer, from
the prospective of a guy like me, is plain and simple a crappy business deal.

Here’s why. Cutting through all the B.S., what you suggest is a simple
trade: you bring your looks to the party and I bring my money. Fine, simple. But
here’s the rub, your looks will fade and my money will likely continue into
perpetuity…in fact, it is very likely that my income increases but it is an
absolute certainty that you won’t be getting any more beautiful!

So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning
asset. Not only are you a depreciating asset, your depreciation accelerates! Let
me explain, you’re 25 now and will likely stay pretty hot for the next 5 years,
but less so each year. Then the fade begins in earnest. By 35 stick a fork in
you!

So in Wall Street terms, we would call you a trading position, not a buy
and hold…hence the rub…marriage. It doesn’t make good business sense to “buy
you” (which is what you’re asking) so I’d rather lease. In case you think I’m
being cruel, I would say the following. If my money were to go away, so would
you, so when your beauty fades I need an out. It’s as simple as that. So a deal
that makes sense is dating, not marriage.

Separately, I was taught early in my career about efficient markets. So, I
wonder why a girl as “articulate, classy and spectacularly beautiful” as you has
been unable to find your sugar daddy. I find it hard to believe that if you are
as gorgeous as you say you are that the $500K hasn’t found you, if not only for
a tryout.

By the way, you could always find a way to make your own money and then we
wouldn’t need to have this difficult conversation.

With all that said, I must say you’re going about it the right way. Classic
“pump and dump.” I hope this is helpful, and if you want to enter into some sort
of lease, let me know.

My take:
1) Seeing how I float from class to class only dealing with numbers (economics, statistics and accounting), I can’t help but evaluate this exchange with a utility/efficiency lens. From that angle, the respondent hit this e-mail out of the park. $50,000 bonus for you.

2) The orginal poster states that she can’t understand why she’s “seen really ‘plain jane’ boring types who have nothing to offer, married to incredibly wealthy guys.” I think this highlights the central confusion in the male/female (Venus/Mars) dynamic, at least from the women’s perspective: women confuse men’s short term interests with their long term goals. They then market themselves to match men’s short term interests, and are angry and upset when this does not yield their desired expectation (marriage).

3) Men take the opposite approach: they recognize that wealth is a conduit to power, and power to sex (the Scarface Theory– “first you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the women!”)

All things being equal (in college, when self-generated wealth does not factor into play), lacking striking physical attractiveness, men can either capitalize on their self-projected potential for wealth-generation (i.e. “the douchebag factor,” which women frequently misconstrue as “confidence”), or they can forgo sex altogether, invest in themselves completely, and become wildly successful in five to ten years… having sacrificed their sexual prime, waistline, and hairline.

By such a time (the accelerated mid-life crisis) men are looking to settle pragmatically, not cash in on a trophy wife based on a relationship that is completely disingenous and will undoubtedly result in the divestment of half of his earnings via the inevitable divorce settlement. He worked hard for that money, sacrificed a lot, and intends to keep it.

Meanwhile, the douchebags (like the respondent) are, in the early stages of their careers, only looking for bigger and better, to flip women like a real-estate investor might flip condos. The end-goal of such a venture isn’t a ritzy-apartment overlooking Central Park West (the hot chick), although it certainly might be desirable to have that on the side, if you can afford it (and get away with it). The end-goal is a secure mansion that you can lock up with your worldly possessions and off-spring (the “plain jane”), providing him with safety, security and an anxiety-free life-style where he can kick up his feet and read the paper.

4) I don’t have the necessary analytical tools to give this e-mail exchange a proper feminist critique (or quite possible it’s what I possess that makes such an interpretation unrealistic), but this e-mail exchange REALLY highlights the assymetrical dynamic of the sexes, does it not? Maybe it is because women are on a clock, and are the first to cave into the constrained institution of marriage, that they are more responsive to the demands of men’s preferences than men are to women?

In any event, many women (such as the above poster) continue to see their best avenue to wealth, happiness and security as elbow decoration to a wealthy, happy and successful man. This is despite the fact that women are entering professional careers and obtaining degrees of higher education at a higher rate (and number!) than are men. I’m too lazy to link, but the New York Times just ran an article about how wealthy women in the city find it difficult to date men who are not as wealthy as them. Simply put: men aren’t as proportionally attracted to wealth in women, as women are to wealth in men.

5) All of this discussion really highlights why you should marry for the right reasons instead of the wrong reasons. And I’m not necessarily saying the right reason is “true love”… that is the lazy, default answer. You are delusional and unreasonable if you believe that “true love” will substantiate your existence… if you rely on “true love” to guarantee your life’s happiness, the only gurantee you’ll get in dissatisfaction, except in very rare instances.

No, the “right” reasons to marry are: trust, responsibility, mutual respect, companionship, love (as a component, not as the only component)… maybe even dual income, caretaking considerations, etc. So unless these were the “matching things” the original poster was referring to in her original post, then the respondent’s evaluation of the offer as “crappy” — seems appropriate.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • ellen // October 4, 2007 at 7:36 am | Reply

    I think it is not difficult for wealthy women to find the men who are not rich as tnem. I heard that there are many dating website can offer some services for these wealthy women. My friend is a member of sugarmommymeet.com. She said that she didn’t feel difficult

  • One more thing: « Snarky Behavior // October 11, 2007 at 3:56 pm | Reply

    [...] 11, 2007 by Jon I’d like to apologize to the JP Morgan banker who was improperly implicated in this Craig’s List exchange.  I’ve since removed his name, but as this Yahoo! article states, he was simply a victim of [...]

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