Archive for the 'Romance' Category

William Faulkner, Life Coach

Spoken by a character who has joined the Army in 1942, and has been issued a bombsight:

A bombsight— I hadn’t made pilot but at least I would be riding up front— allotted to me by a government which didn’t trust me with it and so set spies to watch what I did with it, which before entrusting it to me had trained me not to trust my spies nor anybody else respecting it, in a locked black case which stayed locked by a chain to me even while I was asleep— a condition of constant discomfort of course but mainly of unflagging mutual suspicion and mutual distrust and in time mutual hatred which you even come to endure, which is probably the best of all training for successful matrimony.

—William Faulkner
—The Mansion (Volume 3 of the Snopes Trilogy)

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Applied Economics

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China Doll

China has one of the highest male-female sex ratios in the world; as I discuss in Chapter 17 of The Armchair Economist, that means women can afford to be picky. Here (as reported in the May 14 issue of The New Yorker) are the requirements listed by a female graduate student seeking a mate on the Chinese equivalent of

  • Never married
  • Masters degree or more
  • Not from Wuhan
  • No rural I.D. card
  • No only children
  • No smokers
  • No alcoholics
  • No gamblers
  • Taller than one hundred and seventy-two centimeters
  • More than a year of dating before marriage
  • Sporty
  • Parents who are still together
  • Annual salary over fifty thousand yuan
  • Between twenty-six and thirty-two years of age
  • Willing to guarantee eating at least four dinners at home per week
  • At least two ex-girlfriends but no more than four
  • No Virgos, no Capricorns.

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