The following are approximately the first 1000 words from Chapter 6 of Jonar Nader’s book,
How to Lose Friends and Infuriate Lovers.
How much is that darling in the window?
Buying love on the cheap
It’s too bad we can’t buy love. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if we could? Here’s an interesting plot for a movie: imagine a rich person who not only hires gardeners and housekeepers, but also professional lovers to create the perfect household. The movie would revolve around an eccentric millionaire who commissions a scriptwriter, a producer, and a director, as well as a brilliant casting manager who finds just the right talent. The actors would enter the house, make conversation, make dinner, make love, and make believe that everything is rosy. What bliss. This would be the ideal agreeable relationship where fantasies and feelings are selected from a menu. I’m beginning to warm to the idea myself. Lights… camera… attraction.
I doubt if such a lifestyle would be any more expensive than the cost of real love. Although we cannot buy love, we do end up paying dearly with physical and emotional assets. So much so, that the astronomical price of love ranks alongside the expense of betrayal and the cost of injustice.
If love is so costly, wouldn’t it stand to reason that we should conduct careful analysis before we commit to a relationship? We engage lawyers, accountants, and a myriad of advisers before we sign a commercial contract, yet we do not draft any clauses for the most expensive purchase of all.
Notwithstanding pre-nuptial agreements, some might well argue that relationships are not commercial arrangements. But they are so costly. Wouldn’t it make sense to apply some due diligence? For example, when employing someone for a new position, we conduct reference checks, and we call previous employers. Why then would we not call our new friend’s previous lovers and ask for some advice? A job application asks for a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, yet spouses, years later, are shocked to learn that they married an alcoholic, or a gambler, or a former bankrupt, or worse still, a violent selfish inhumane leech who indulges in all of the above! When the truth eventually emerges, the innocent spouse cannot believe that those horrid characteristics existed at the time of marriage. How could anyone hide so many undesirable traits so well, for so long? Perhaps we need new laws that will require lovers to disclose perti-nent details about their lifestyle and their history. The marriage certificate will become a binding contract, assessable under a new Marriage Act that would penalise misleading advertisers.
Even if two people are flawless and honourable, what about the minefields of personal preferences? If we do not clarify these during the early stages, we stand to taste bitter disappointment. This is why some people do not wish to commit to a relationship. They do not know what they would be locking themselves into. And given that they are not good at expressing their desires, they back off. We might never fathom why a person, who seems just right for us, and so perfectly suited to us, and who has proved, time and again, to enjoy our company, suddenly resists our invitation to dock in our heart.
Have you stopped to analyse what some clients are doing when they engage the services of a prostitute? They might be lusting for something more than a sexual act. They are looking for an un-encumbered, un-negotiated interaction where the logic is as basic as any human motive can be — me want, me have, me take. Very simple in urge, albeit complex in execution. Some devout partners break down when they can no longer cope with the domestic obstacles that hinder their lust. Their appetite is strong and insistent; much like the demand for air is strong and insistent to the asphyxiated.
So what’s all this deviation in aid of? It points to something potentially good. It drives home the most beautiful love of all. Yes, I am talking about pure, golden love — the kind of innocent love that we all would be blessed to experience, if only a lover would allow us the opportunity to express our emotions completely, and to enact our desires wholesomely. Can you imagine the joy of being in love with someone, adoring them so much, that we can embrace them, kiss them, pamper them, and melt into them, whenever we felt the urge; whenever we needed a recharge; whenever we wanted to express our feelings? Would you not surrender all your assets for a lover with whom you can perform any act at any time? Expression without negotiation. Affection without encumbers. Devotion without hindrance. Surrender without fine-print. Passion without mood-swings. Worship without taboo. Zeal without stern warnings. And rapture without excuses or lies or resistance or… what did you say? You have a headache? Well, I’ll try again later… maybe… and here’s hoping that you won’t crush my soul next time. I am not sure how many times I can suffer that electric fence. I gave you my heart, but now you want me to retreat and sit on the bench and wait for your invitation. Fine. I shall sit outside and wait, but not only for your invitation. There are many invitations in the sea. If I were to drift towards a throbbing heart, you would no doubt brand me the betrayer.
Can you imagine the magical sparks between two people if they were both genuinely and reciprocally able to express themselves to each other without negotiation, without encumbers, without hindrance, without fine-print, without mood-swings, without taboo, without stern warnings, and without excuses or lies or resistance? It is this innocent fantasy that drives our imagination, and it is this pure imagination that fuels our hopes, and it is this unsullied imagery that colours our dreams. Above all else, it is this undiluted reality that secures our sanity. Such completeness would be an elixir that heals any and all ailments. Oh, how fresh we would be if those whom we loved, did also love us in return. Oh, how liberated we would be if those whom we wanted and needed, did indeed appreciate our yearnings and made us feel that our heart’s desires were music, nay, serenity, for their spirit.