If you didn’t have to

A friend mentioned basic guaranteed income in passing, and it led to an interesting thought experiment. What would the world look like if no one had to work to survive?

Imagine that you have enough for all the basics: a simple apartment, utilities, medical care, groceries and a small amount for entertainment. What would you choose to do with your time when you don’t have to do anything in particular? It’s depressing that I can’t answer that question. I’m at a complete loss.

I like the idea of getting a job — any job — for only the amount of time it takes to be able to afford the next extravagance. What fun to try on jobs as you might try on hats. I could work for 3 months as an investment banker and make enough money to tour Southeast Asia for the rest of the year. If I wanted to buy a newfie, maybe I’d have to work for 2 weeks as a chocolatier. I could consider every luxury vividly as an exchange of my freedom and units of my life. How many hours of your life are you willing to trade for a BMW?

The saddest thing might be that people would still choose to stay at jobs they don’t particularly care for because their lists of extravagances are inexhaustible.

What would you do if you didn’t have to work?*

* I’ve considered that some so love their work that they’d be doing it even if they didn’t have to. Unfortunately, I’m not one of these. Unless you know someone who would like to pay me to travel, blog, write letters, hottub, cook, brush my hair, bake, do things with yarn, read, attend symphonies and operas, play with dogs, solve math riddles, learn new languages, and travel aimlessly, crying over old architecture. Anyone?

From the girl who no one likes…


This post was inspired by The Bachelor. Specifically, by that one girl in the season that no one else likes. No one but the bachelor, who likes her just unreasonable amounts. Maybe even enough to give her the final rose. Then it all goes to hell. Like Ben and Courtney, like Jake and Vienna.

This season, it’s Tierra. I am by no means defending her or any of her predecessors. I don’t like them either. But if anyone wants to understand, I’ll try and explain.*

I am one of them. Back in college I dated the sweetest guy. He was everyone’s friend because he had exactly the personality of a golden retriever. He told me that people would constantly ask him “How can you date Dolly? She’s such a bitch!” His only response was to shrug and say, “She’s always sweet to me.”

That sums it up. Does that make me (or Vienna, or Courtney or Tierra) fake? In fact, I daresay, it makes us honest. Being cold and disinterested around other girls who are vying for the same guy may be rude, but it seems much more honest than trying (pretending?) to be friends with them. Then, there’s the complaint that these girls are “completely different” around the bachelor — warm, cheerful, outgoing. Again, that’s because they actually like him. Again, honesty.

It’s tactless, socially retarded, childish, petty and sometimes downright repulsive the way we behave. But it’s never fake. It is simply truth others can’t handle. No, you’re right. It isn’t necessary to make our disdain quite so obvious. We just can’t be bothered to hide it. Too tiresome. We’re not good at social conventions because, for whatever reason, they have never been important to us. If we don’t like you or care about you, we’ll be cold or even cruel.

I’m not an apologetic, nor is this an apology. However, I hope it’s been informative.

* If you were hoping for an explanation of why men sometimes like us, let me tell you now that that is still a mystery to me. I can only explain why we act the way we do.