Reasons to Marry Me

Several years ago a college graduate, Jamie Varon, wanted very much to work for Twitter. Unable to get a job, she started a website Twitter Should Hire Me, listing the reasons that the site should add her to the payroll.

I was reminded of this when Cheeky sent me a link to an article about a guy with a blog about why to marry him. The blog is actually kinda cute, in a super-self-deprecating sort of way. Also sad, because he obviously has such a low sense of self-worth, and you wonder why, and if anything can be done about it.

But his site got me thinking. Why should anyone marry me? Naturally I believe I’m a wonderful person with lots to offer. But getting down to it, could I list 38 reasons? (Okay, he can’t either. Most of those sound like reasons to stay away. But the basic idea…) What about, oh, eighteen reasons? And would my friends agree with that list, or would they cough, glance sideways at each other, and say something polite but noncommittal?

And then of course there’s the supply and demand thing: what you’ve got has to be what people are interested in marrying, and those people have to also be people you’re interested in marrying… has anyone ever tried doing an economic theory on committed relationships?

It could become a big deal. We could have dating actuaries to tell us how much we can demand for our package of traits and how to raise our market value by developing new talents, hobbies, or characteristics. There would be quadratic and differential equations for dating! [eyes go shiny and excited] C’mon, how cool would that be?

Okay, maybe not. But still.

Then we could have business cycles for daters, with the “Shidduch Crisis” relabeled as the “Great Dating Depression” of the 21st century. We’d be historic figures, and all our attempts at finding The One using speed dating, online dating, Shidduch Vision, singles events, End the Madness, and goodness knows what else, will go into history books in bold letters like the PWA and the New Deal and all the related programs. Instead of being jaded singles, we’d become historic characters. How cool would that be?

Okay, I’d rather just get married. But still.

Fine. Time to stop theorizing and come up with my 38 reasons. I think I’m going to have to call in the reserves on this one.

Ding-aling-aling… “Hello? Grandma? I have a question…”

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20 thoughts on “Reasons to Marry Me

  1. For the record you’d probably want an operations research person for that sort of thing not an actuary. Actuaries are kind of lost when there are no cash flows involved.

  2. People’s marriage prospects might be bought or sold on the market based on the public’s perception of eligibility and “desirability,” combined with the likelihood of imminent marriagehood. A person’s “stock” could be trading high one day and down the next; lugging the garbage curbside in one’s pajamas, hair unkempt, could be a drag on the portfolio…but it might perk up if they dazzle the women in black at a wedding the next day. Instead of money changing hands, maybe it could be IOUs for ice cream or something. A “crash” of the market would be a reliable barometer of a real shidduch crisis.

  3. shatzileh – yeah, exactly.
    Leibel – so what did it, the unlabeled axes? Talk about a crash in my market value.
    Ari – now I have a headache.

  4. In response to Ari, who’s up for petitioning for a futures market on shidduchim? Parents could lock in their share of wedding costs for their children and depending on how much future in-laws are looking for in a wedding investors would win or lose. You could add a clause that if a child doesn’t get married within 5 years investors get 10% of the contract and parents lose out (a great way to add pressure 🙂
    Well let’s petition the SEC!

  5. “Leibel – so what did it, the unlabeled axes? Talk about a crash in my market value” – I’m in business school and actually enjoy economics, yes you’ve got to label the X and Y values and provide a complex mathematical formula that no one can understand.

  6. Ari: Wouldn’t that be closer to an option where there is a delta function calculated into the price wherein the closer to “expiration” the less valuable the commodity as well as built in function for risk… for well… risky shidduch behavior…?

    Also a crash in the market wouldn’t necessarily pinpoint a flaw in the market, but in the physiology that dictates the market, which is already self evident in the current market.

    Tombstone: a resume picture?
    Red Herring: Meeting with a Shadchan?

    Leibel: And what happened to elasticity?

  7. There are already been quite a few studies carried out on the mating market both on humans and non-human subjects (even if I haven’t heard of any study specific to the jewish community) and they have shown that both sides are quite well aware of the laws of supply and demand. Unfortunately, I’m on vacations so I don’t have the references (but the names of Louise Barrett, Peter Henzi and Ronald Noe must appear somewhere…) at hand but if anyone feels interested please tell me and I’ll try to send them to you when I go back.

  8. Stock tips — ill-informed but well intentioned shidduch set-ups

    Hedging — dating more than one shidduch prospect simultaneously

    Quiet period – just prior to engagement when you’ve disappeared from the social scene

    Earnings announcement – the l’chaim / vort

    Dividends – financial reward when you’ve made a successful match

    Stock split – broken engagement

    Trade – referring an eligible friend to someone you’ve unsuccessfully dated

  9. In the movie “A Beautiful Mind” John Nash, the mathematician postulates about choices in relationships. I think he actually did something like that in real life. Also many of the mathematical economists of my youth did work on rational choice. So, if you really want to see work on that it is probably available.

    But, really, marriage is only one part rational. The other part or parts are chemical/biological, psychological, and sociological/religious.

    If who you marry is nothing like what you thought you would marry, please let us know.

    I never had a “type” in mind, many of my friends who did, did not marry their “type”. So go know!

  10. I was reading a study recently about having people list either 3 or 10 risk factors for heart disease. Then they were asked how vulnerable they were. The ones who had to list 10 were less likely to feel vulnerable because coming up with that many is harder than you think, and therefore they cognitively believed less likely to get it. So instead of coming up with 38, try a lot fewer

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