Sometimes when I write about past romantic experiences, I likely come across as more adept at romantic interaction than I think I am. So here’s a story about not getting it.
I was, for a while, on a dating site with religious overtones. Though I still wasn’t exactly devout, I was at the height of my religiosity. And hey, try something new, right? Well, I was on a meet-date with a nurse. Things were not going remarkably well when she tried to fill the silence with a hypothetical. What would I do if I won $220,000,000 in the lottery (that was the prize, getting a lot of headlines).
My first answer was that I don’t really do the lottery. Play along, she urged. Which I did. So I said that it would be hard to say without a spreadsheet handy and an idea of what the interest rates would be for regular payments on a long-term, low-risk investment would be. But it would probably involve setting aside a million dollars from the first annuity check (and I would definitely go that route rather than the all-at-once route) and then put the rest in some sort of low-risk investment account. At the end of the first year I would put howevermuch was required to get the account back up to a million dollars and then put the rest of the second annuity check in a similar investment. That way I could live off a maximum of a million dollars a year, but I would have growing principal that would lead to growing interest payments. At some point, I would probably switch it from one million to two. Or if I had an ambitious something-or-other I would have to consult a spreadsheet and determine a timeline so that I could have maximal investment while at the same time be able to do whatever it was I wanted to do.
She said that she would get a boat. And buy her mother a house.
The correct answer, if I’d actually understood the question, would have been the ambitious something-or-other I had in mind but was too embarrassed to come out and say.
“I would take some directing classes and make a movie.”
I don’t know if that answer would have come off better, but it would have at least answered the question that she was really asking. It would have given her some insight to my hopes and dreams and stuff. Of course, my answer gave her insight into two core aspects of my personality: I am practical, and I can be socially stupid.