But that's me. Every time I hear about a hundred thousand dollars, it occurs to me that I would be a worthy recipient of it. Unlike many activities that can be rewarded with a hundred grand or more (Nobel Prize receiving, lottery winning, getting a signing bonus) I was qualified to win the Plenty of Fish $100,000 Wedding Contest.
My Significant Other and I met on Plenty of Fish, which is a computer dating site. That was one condition of winning the hundred big ones. Four pictures together had to be submitted. Easy, although I noticed that all of our couple pictures were either taken in Mexico or at baseball games. A sweet, witty account of our courtship had to be composed. Had it done before lunch. Only one obstacle had to be overcome. I had to get on my knee, my eyes misted over with ardor, and say those words I hoped she was longing to hear:
"My only love, will you marry me for a hundred grand?"
Currently we have no plans that lead to the altar. This is more her idea than mine. I served two years of marital duty a while back. It was a black hole of unrelieved misery, but it was long enough ago that I could be excused for giving matrimony another shot. She spent twelve years in the connubial trenches. She is violently opposed to going back. It is one of the things I find so attractive about her. Through my years of singlehood, I met many women who wanted to be married, several of them to me. I have finally found a woman who loves me and is unalterably opposed to making me her husband. Perfect.
The Plenty of Fish people were threatening the fragile ecology of our relationship by polluting it with big bucks. When I hit her up on the subject of winning the contest, she was enthusiastic about it. "Write something nice," she said.
"It's going to be voted on by everyone who belongs to Plenty of Fish, but I imagine it will be the girls that vote, mostly. That's where we scoop up votes big-time. Young women think that people in our age group who are in love are unbearably cute. They think, wow, their lives are over, except for the inhaling and exhaling part, and they still have romance."
"Good analysis," she said, "but you're missing something."
"Guys will vote for you because you're a major hottie. And a sociology professor. You got the Hot for Teacher demographic sewn up."
That scenario satisfied her. "What do you want to spend the money on?"
"Well, I think we have to spend at least part of it on the wedding."
She looked at me as if I had suggested spending it on black-market kidneys.
"We're not getting married," she said.
"I think we have to if we want to collect the cheese. I'm sure Plenty of Fish is on the watch for people trying to win without getting hitched. They're going to want a marriage license."
"Can't you forge one on the computer?" Life is full of challenges you don't really anticipate, I thought. There's one of them. "And you have a friend who's a minister," she added.
"He's a Dudeist priest. He's not quite as legit as your average pastor. We could get divorced afterwards."
"Well, that's just pointless," she snapped, and left it at that. Fortunately, I got the flu and missed the Plenty of Fish deadline.
The pressure's off.