BRYNIARSKI: Marry rich

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Photo by Thao Do.

Valentine’s Day is an annual reminder of a few things. One: Edible Arrangements are the perfect synthesis of form and function. Two: Winter wreaks havoc on my body — hot chocolate and hibernation are not the best combination. Three, and perhaps most important: It’s not about love — it’s all about the money.

I mean, you’ve definitely heard at least one conversation crusading against the consumerism and commercialization of Valentine’s Day. Your trip to the Walgreen’s pharmacy counter brought you into contact with a sea of red and pink and chocolate — what I think can most accurately be called “single shaming.” Everyone hates Valentine’s Day because the only “love” going on is material in nature. This finding, I think, is ripe for extrapolation.

Now, if a holiday emblematic of “love” has literally nothing to do with it, then neither should anything else. Leave real romance — the Monica/Chandler or Elizabeth/Mr. Darcy kind  — to the nineties and Jane Austen. Maybe our collective misery stems from spending too much time looking for that special someone, when we’re basing “special” on the wrong premise. If we apply this theory to the sacrosanct institution of marriage, we come to a shocking conclusion. That’s right: Everyone should just marry rich.

As the wise songstress Lana del Rey once said, “Money is the anthem of success.” Unfortunately I’m not interested in anything financially lucrative. What if I want to go into public interest law or the nonprofit sector — who will fund me? Who will put me through graduate school? My current lifestyle has me completely accustomed to study breaks of Caseus cheese platters and that’s not a habit I plan on retiring post-graduation. Furthermore, I made this informal agreement where my parents would fund undergrad, and I would pay for anything extra. So my situation is the direst, to say the least.

I’m a student in the Ivy League, so every decision I make is obviously calculated based on what I learned in AP Micro. This carries over to even the most mundane decisions — slice of pizza now, or hot Myrtle pic later? Let me get back to you after some number crunching and cost-benefit analysis. It seems to me, though, that marrying rich is the rational option. Sure, there are some benefits to marrying someone I love, but the opportunity cost of doing something that risky is just too great. This is Economics 115, people. It’s basic.

This is also an equal rights issue. If women make less pay for equal work, what’s so bad about doing no work and just living off of Mr. Right? Yale doesn’t have the best MRS program in the country, but with our new president and an incoming new dean, I’d imagine they’re considering expanding it. I’m sure “leaning in” is an effective way to change the system, but you can also reap benefits if you exploit the system. That mom from Princeton Susan Patton was on to something: never again will we be in a school of so many eligible fish, so we better make the most of it. I might as well hold interviews for my prospective spouse at UCS — I’m banking on an investment banker.

The News’ opinion section would not be itself if I didn’t mention something about being gay. Since my Facebook friends changed their profile pictures to equal signs, I can now legally marry another dude, and that’s great. I’m pretty sure there’s no requirement that I have to love him though — right? If I can get all of the wonderful things that come with the right to marry like tax breaks and visitation rights, then I should be able to take advantage of all the negative aspects, too. Like marrying for money.

It might seem like there would be a power imbalance in an entirely finance-based relationship. But that dynamic wouldn’t just be a one-way street. I could tell my prospective mate some fun anecdotes on what it was like to go to a public school (I’m so worldly), and he could describe to me the blazer, tie and khaki combination everyone in his class wore as they smoked cigars at graduation. He could tell me about that awkward deb ball moment he had that one time, and I could tell him how my cafeteria was decorated for junior prom. Our conversations would be varied, but they would be endless — it’d keep things interesting.

Today, don’t wallow in your singleness because you can’t find your one true love — you’re not looking hard enough. This Valentine’s Day, I’m not looking for love. I’m just looking for whoever can buy me the largest Edible Arrangement.

Austin Bryniarski is a sophomore in Calhoun College. Contact him at austin.bryniarski@yale.edu.

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