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Costly Romance

ArchieDear Archie and Angela:

Who has time for Romance? Do we need to re-define this whole “industry” from greeting cards, flowers, chocolates and just write it off to another casualty to commercialism?
I’m a 58 year old divorced male whose day begins at 6:00AM. I then spend ten hours to work, working, and then commuting back home. I have two kids and 5 grand-kids who I’m involved with in a very supportive way and I workout 3 times a week, prep for work and watch some sports and escape channel programming.
My last two relationships cost me a lot of money and time. Wouldn’t joining an on-line dating site just take more time? Who’s got time? Aren’t women expensive and time eaters? Is that what being romantic is all about?
However, I do want to meet some nice women. I just don’t think I’m very romantic because of my time constraints. Please advise.
Sioux City, IA


Dear Hank:
Archie’s going to take a “profile” guess here about you, based on your letter’s complaints, whining, and general mopery:
Let’s see…… you’re 58; an accountant who’s really into time/cost benefit spreadsheet production, and you wear a green visor and wield a mean computer award from the company’s HR division for complying with all outcome policies…….. right?
Were I to take another stab at the basis for your un-Romantic malaise, I would still be working on a paucity of information about yourself that would help me………. help You! Let’s get that straight right now! You need help!
So let’s start with square one: Let’s pretend I agree with you! You have perceived time constraints that rules out dating and, besides not being very romantic, it’s all too expensive anyway….whether in time or money or both. (and you have 2 memories to guide you). Therefore, Hank…… That’s It! Give it up! You’re doomed to live alone, count costs, and only dream of “meet(ing), a nice woman”…. as you described your core wish.
What?! You just sent me a note that you are willing to become a “born again Scrooge”….. having viewed a future life and imagined living a life eking out your time and money…….. but living it alone…….. Then let’s be on our way….. flying over tall buildings in tow with me taking a look at …….. Romance Yet To Come………. scenes.
Scene 1: Take a close look, Hank, down below seeing right through those commuting trains, buses, planes, offices and company walls……   Notice how many Women, some with kids still living with them but so many around 50-60 who are divorced, living alone or with girlfriends, working and ….. Now here we are…….
Scene 2: Ahhh, take a real good look here, Hank: Were passing over fitness gyms, park jogging and bicycling paths, and homes: These same Women in your age range, are working out, keeping up relationships with relatives, friends and………..
Scene 3: What do you see below now, Hank?……. Why these Women look beautiful! They’ve budgeted their time and have a social life that includes friends and men they’re dating. And……… looks to me like they’re having fun, being appreciated, sharing, without big cost, good times and ….. look There Hank: ummmmm, a little romancing seems to be happening……. and is that You down there laughing and having a great time with a very nice Lady, Hank?  OK, Let’s return now to the present.
You see Hank: If you don’t extend yourself and your energy; loosen up your curmudgeonly perspective, and place developing relationships over reasonable slots of time you’ve set aside, without complaint of loss, and a budget for good times in or out…… Then you’re going to wind up like Scrooge………. always counting something and looking for profit in a very self-centered way. We already know what your future life will be like from our flight there earlier……. You’ve been forewarned!

Is that what you want? Get Romantic guy! A Woman isn’t a negative balance sheet.(or one that You want), so bring an orchid to your next first date, Hank. She will always remember that Romantic gesture. What a way to begin the dance………..; )
Signed: Archie, who was graced by an orchid gift from a beautiful Woman many years ago……and the romantic memory will never fade or die.

PS With apologies to the estate of the late Charles Dickens and the memory of his Scrooge, which will live forever.

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