Daniel Gingras

Famed rapper Mase spat that “Love Ain’t Cheap.” Sir Paul McCartney screamed that “Money Can’t Buy Me Love,” and then this one time in Canada my high school buddy boned a hooker for a hundred bucks.

I can’t speak for the three of them, but the dollar bills I keep in my wallet have this natural tendency to escape and gravitate towards women. In fact, as a man in the meeting, dating and mating game, it reminds me a lot of what it was to be a little boy in the video game arcade, blowing my allowance. First, I step into the arcade, become paralyzed in place, and stare at different choices, drooling over the possibilities. I carefully consider which arcade game I want to play first. Then, across the room, next to the Ms. Pacman machine with the long legs, I spot her: Space Invaders. But I can’t just cram dollar bills in it, they’ll get stuck and break the machine. First, I’ll have to find a token dispenser and convert my hard earned dollar bills into a currency more useful to the game, and much more worthless in real life.

Speaking of real life, you will find you have marginal success thrusting raw-dollar bills into the faces of real women. Though it works just fine once you are in the stages of a committed relationship, until then you must court them with things. Girls love it when you wander about on your own and make the appropriate exchanges for them. Once you convert your dollar bills into something useful to them (i.e shoes, purses, flowers, chocolates, candies, drinks, gifts, dinners, tickets, but certainly not power tools) they will allow you to have some “credit,” or “lives.” Then you must play by the rules of their game. Be wary of the handful of women that, like malfunctioning arcade games, will eat your tokens. Unfortunately, they do not wear “Out of order” signs.

Also, remember that different games require more or less tokens, and yield longer or shorter turns depending on their quality. Some of the best games take more tokens, but some of the highest priced are short-lived and stupid. Sometimes you luck out and find that candy machine in the corner that lets you play until you win for just one coin. Sometimes, you really suck at a game and you can’t win any tickets, no matter how many coins you pump into it. And then, rarely, you find that game where, as if it was built for you, tickets roll out in endless streams. As you leave the arcade for the day you claim that mini-moped on the top shelf for 350,000 tickets.

Sorry, analogy out of control. Jokes aside I’ve also known a lot of great women that hardly care about money or things, and even some that refused to let me pay more than half the time. Many men worry about being perceived as cheap, so there’s a good chance that when they can, they’ll try to incorporate generosity with money into their charms. For those who actually are cheap, or just plain broke, never forget that most women will respond positively to your handmade gifts or special (free) plans as long as it’s obvious you’ve put effort into it. Also, don’t be careless and scare a nice girl off by buying her a multi-thousand dollar tennis bracelet or wedding ring if you haven’t known her for long enough. Gifts and dates should mirror the strength of your bond. And while money habits alone do not create love, the ways two people choose to deal with money do affect their compatibility, and can often make or break a relationship.

For questions, comments or to engage in two-player “Space Invaders” with Daniel, write to dgingras@calpoly.edu.

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