Ben Franklin Schumpeter VIII
I can hear many saying that money can’t buy happiness or buy love. Well, sure you can buy happiness or buy love. I am doing just that right now.
I was driving my Maserati to my office in Beverly Hills when a story about the marital tribulations of Arnold Schwarzenegger, yup, The Terminator, came on the radio. It occurred to me that Maria, his wife, was a happy woman up until the second that she learned of his infidelity. One minute she thought that she was happily married and the very next second, shattered. How was it possible to go from one extreme to another in a second? I will tell you: Arnold was acting the part of a happy husband and Maria believed it up until that fatal second. Clearly she did not know that he was acting, she did not know the truth. It was in this second that I knew happiness could be bought.
To insure my happiness I need to hire an actress to play my wife for life. It will not be easy, but if you stop and think about it you too can do this -- if you have enough money. It is only people who do not have enough money who say that you can’t buy love. Find a woman who, for a share of your money, will pretend to love you and will marry you. If she is a good actress, you will not know that she is acting. The more money you have, the better an actress you can buy.
Are you insulted? We have names for such women, gold diggers or trophy wives, depending how charitable you want to be. In days of old, the wealthy used to marry for a social advantage such as a title, or just to make the family fortune bigger. We called those women daughters or heiresses. Today, if you are wealthy, there may be a lady looking at your wallet and wanting a piece of it. You will be pursued and eventually marry this person. You think it love and for you it is but for her it is dollars and her good sense. Does make me wonder about some of the rich athletes and their wives.
My requirements are simple but difficult to meet. First, the actress must be good looking. Second she must be an interesting person to talk to. I am undecided when to test out the sex part but I guess we will first see how we get along. I should hire a casting director to help me, someone who can tell who is a good actress. Ohh, you must pardon me, I have to go. I am holding auditions today and I can hear the first actress pulling up in the driveway.
She was my height. We would bump noses if we were to bump into each other. She wore a white blouse with a gunmetal blue jacket and an above-the-knee skirt of the same color. Her hair was up in a bun with bangs that almost touched her aviator sunglasses. It was a striking look. Her skin was a medium chocolate and had never met a blemish, and as far as I could tell, was the same tone all over her body. Felicia Lindstrom, a stage name?
"So," I began, "What makes you think you have what it takes to be a trophy wife?"
"Well, there are two parts to that answer, a public one and a private one. We will stay with the public one for now. You can see that I am beautiful. More than that, I am glamorous. I have style. When I enter a room on your arm, men will wonder what have you done in this life to deserve me. Women will pull back on their husbands. I also like people and like talking to them. I am knowledgeable on many subjects, enough so that expert show-offs will fulfill their ego telling me all they know. When I leave them, they will think me charming and lovable and even if they did not think me beautiful before, they will then. But," and she leaned forward, "The most important thing of all, above all else, is that I am interesting and never boring."
Leaning back she continued, "This is a selection process. You pick me, I pick you. What makes you think you have the wherewithal to be the husband of a trophy wife?"
"Despite what you see around you here in this house, I am extremely wealthy. I can afford an extravagant lifestyle and I have chosen not to do so. I maintain the appearance of being an influential man and a man of high social status. I endeavor to maintain relationships with men of my like so that I can call them at any time and expect to be answered. I am welcomed at all events and at all strata of society. Truthfully, my money pretty much does this all by itself without much help from me. You say that you leave everyone around you thinking you charming and lovable. Isn't that just a show?"
"You noticed that, did you? Yes it's a show, but we all put on shows. I, however, do more than that. Anyone can be charming and lovable for a few hours in an evening. Who can do it longer: I can. Invite your friends or business associates to a Caribbean resort for a week and I can be charming and lovable all week long."
"How can you do that? Won't you be tired of it and your regular self show through?"
"I make it a lifestyle. I have an inner image of what I think a trophy wife should be. I layer that on and it stays. I might add, just for you, that I also have an inner image of what a trophy wife is like in private. Then there is the inner image of me who coordinates all this. Sounds schizophrenic I know, but that is what makes me a great trophy wife."
"Not a great actress?"
"No, I do not have the acting range for that. Many actresses are successful in a single role, repeating it over and over. Becoming a trophy wife is a better use of my talents. Maybe it will be clearer to you if you tell me why you are so successful in your investment business?"
"I am able to look at a company, to see the ingredients of the company, mix of talents, the people there, the product, the market timing, the stew if you will, and I can see it work, whether the company makes screwdrivers or movies. It's really a best judgement decision if a company will work but I seem to be able to make a better guess at it. Some people get rich, many now have good jobs, and I leave the world a little better off."
"Exactly! That is now my trophy wife talent works. I see ingredients in relationships, the stew as you put it, and I am able to make better decisions than most about the relationships."
"A witch's brew, eh?"
"Hahaha, yes, if you like. It is time to speak of private matters. It's in the private part of our lives that you will see my true talent as a trophy wife. You do not have to worry about the sex and the passion at your end. It will be there, I will see to it. You get me but I must get some thing out of this too. My passion for you it is still an open question. I am willing to put that decision off as we get to know each other.
"But more than that, what will our lives be like outside of physical intimacy? I see myself as your partner as well as your trophy wife. I will back you one hundred percent and you will never have reason to doubt me. Where you need my strength, it will be there. Honesty is important to make this work. I will always trust you as you will always trust me. You will always hear my opinion. You may not like it but it will always be the best there is. In short, there needs to be something more in this for me than just an unlimited expense account and lifestyle. The value I bring to support you will far exceed anything that you have thought about in a trophy wife. I will need ..."