For the world has changed, and left me here.
I’m terrified. I never answer my phone anymore. Last time we talked, I admitted to her that I didn’t know whether or not my skin was oily or dry. I think she thought that was cute.
We met when I was selling sponges. Given my sponge demo, she said, Mary Kay would be a snap! A snap, I said! Well, then…
I thought I’d meet with her just for kicks. I know that I’ll never use any skin care products that aren’t organic, or at least chemical-free. And I know that I’m trying to avoid pyramid schemes. Mary Kay lady, I don’t think this is going to work out. But let’s give it a try anyway. You give me a facial. I make fun of you in my blog. It’ll work itself out.
When I threw my back out just before our scheduled rendez vous, I knew it was fate. God hates Mary Kay! Or maybe Aristotle does. Either way, it was time to call in sick.
Riiiiinnng. Riiiiinnng. Riiiiinnng. Riiiiiiiiiiiiinnng. Click.
“Hi, I’m so EXCITED you called! This is Marsha with Mary Kay Cosmetics. I’m so EXCITED to announce that Mary Kay will be giving away a five thousand dollar shopping spree. I’m so EXCITED to tell you how this could be yours! Please leave your name and number, and I’ll get right back to you!”
It’s not funny anymore. She keeps calling to reschedule. I’d call her back, but I fear listening to this answering machine message again. My alternative upbringing has left an indelible fear of subliminal messages.
But, after all, aren’t we all? At least at some time or other. Except for those who either decline to consume, or consume alcoholic drinks entirely in moderation. And it all comes back to Aristotle.
He’s not really my type. I normally go for brunettes. And he’s older, and very shy. I don’t know what we’re going to say to each other. (No matter, really, since he has yet to call to arrange it.)
I hear he wants a girlfriend. To be a millionaire’s girlfriend!!
Showered with expensive gifts. Taken to the best restaurants a city has to offer. Flown to Sweden on a whim.
And never to have to work again, come marriage, should marriage come.
And never to have to work again, come divorce, should divorce come. And come it must! Especially if we have nothing really to say to each other. (I don’t think I’d marry him if he made me sign a prenup. Then what would be the point of the whole thing at all?)
So here’s the thing. If he wasn’t a millionaire, I wouldn’t go out to lunch with him. (I think) I know he hopes it will be romantic, and (I think) I know I’m not interested.
But he is a millionaire, and I am broke. And I would like millions. Marrying him is probably as likely as winning the lotto, but at least I won’t have to spend any money on the way.
Oh, Aristotle! Please advise!
Now, I never thought that Aristotle would talk to me, given that I’m a woman and all. But here he is, reminding me of my goal to be eudaimon, and how I must be both disposed to be virtuous, and act virtuously, in order to accomplish that goal.
Here’s where I pull out my copy of Nicomachean Ethics (in lecture note form, of course), and cite the section on the virtue of openhandedness. My conclusion: I need these millions in order to truly be openhanded. Aristotle laughs at that. Since he’s dead, he sees right through me, he knows that I know I’m skirting the issue.
Ethics always comes down to friendship, I think, and Aristotle agrees with qualifications. On this particular occasion, he’s just launched into his lecture about how one must model their relationships with others after their relationships with themselves. About how you must love and respect the other for their own sake. And how you owe it to them, just as you owe it to yourself, to consider what’s best for them and always act in accordance with those goals.
I’m looking at Aristotle like, what are you talking about? And what does this have to do with my millionaire? Aristotle realizes that I only heard half the lecture. Since he’s dead he knows I was thinking about how much I want a cigarette. This launches him into a lecture on moderation. Ugh.
But then he brings it back. He says that I can have lunch with the millionaire, but that I should in no circumstances mislead him in any way. He recognizes that although the virtue of charity was not around in his time, it may be applicable here. He suggests that if I am to be both a charitable person, and a friend, I should have lunch with him. But as a friend, no sex.
No sex! Oh, Aristotle. Fine. But what about marriage?
No marriage! says Aristotle. Marrying for money is definitely not in the virtuous section of the Venn diagram he has etched in the clouds. Of course, Aristotle reminds me, if it turns out that I love him, then I can marry him. And, yes, that definitely would facilitate openhandedness. But he doesn’t seem to think I have much of a problem with that particular virtue, given what he’s seen. This brings him back to moderation. Jesus!
Argh. Jesus is back now too and he and Aristotle are arguing over Aristotle’s interpretation of charity. And sex, and procreation. Jesus seems to think I can have sex with him if I have his child, cause that would be charitable. Or maybe I heard him wrong. I leave them to argue, confident in my decision to have lunch with the millionaire, and if we don’t fall in love, hopefully I can set him up with one of my less ethical friends.
…I am dead right now.
We both had the right of way. It must not have occurred to the driver that there might be a pedestrian crossing. When I finally realized he didn’t see me coming, I screamed, and ran. He swerved, but it was too late. I floated above my body, and watched the paramedics desperately try to revive me. I saw the look of horror on the driver’s face. He hadn’t meant to take me out.