In honor of the coming holiday, I make the following pledge, should I fortunately meet a woman whose heart and attentions I capture:

I pledge to be thoughtless and neglecting; I promise to withhold my feelings and never be communicative. I shall do my best to forget anniversaries and birthdays, and in the event that I do accidentally remember, I will choose a gift with neither thought nor discretion; the woman who dates me should be prepared to receive trashy lingerie that would only appeal to a man with a limited imagination. I will do my best to make ambiguous, maddening statements when I compliment her, and when I *fail* to make ambigous statements, they shall be the most critical, unthinking comments I can make. I also swear that following any of these statements, I will do my best to deny they happened, and to treat her as if she were an idiot for thinking I would have said that.

Furthermore, I pledge to ogle other women, to be pointlessly mean, and to insure that she knows exactly where she stands by comparing her to these other women; not overall, but only on a best-case-of-the-other-woman compared to her own points. I pledge to provide no support, only show her physical affection when *I* need it, and to be suspicious and doubtful at all times, except when I myself require that she not be suspicious and doubtful; additionally, if she shows any signs of suspicion, I will increase the stridency of my denials in direct proportion to the validity of her claims.

I will cheat often and vigorously, to show her that she's wonderful by always coming back to her; I will act most offended if accused of this, and will be deeply hurt if she doubts my sincerity of adoration by cheating on me.

I make this pledge based on a year and a half of observation, and the recognition that i have acted in the completely opposite way and gained nothing in the way of relationships, happiness, or romantic companionship. -- A friend of a friend of a friend.... blaa blaa blaa

"Nothing is so wretched or foolish as to anticipate misfortunes. What madness it is to be expecting evil before it comes."- Lucius Seneca

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