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What is love
-- romantic love, tempestuous love, love both
pure? Subject of countless stories, object of a
million hearts, love is
a passion unknown to those never touched by cupid's
The lovelorn daydream of love, attempting to
capture an emotion they
have never experienced. To fantasize of love is
like imagining the feel
of silk, or the smell of a rose, or the taste of
ambrosia, or the sight
of a purple potato when one has never felt,
smelled, tasted, or seen
such things. The loveless multitude know nothing of
passion, a passion impossible to describe to the uninitiated until they
fall, and one does not fall until one meets the
object of their desire.
John Rambold had never met the object -- the right
one. Lucky are those
who find love, those who discover that special
excitement which is at
once uplifting and deflating. John's friends and
colleagues tried love
as if it were a style of dress, in vogue one
season, tossed out the next
when tastes changed. "Had my friends ever really
been IN love?" John
People everywhere played at romance, falling for
movie stars and
entertainers they had never even met. "They fell
for images -- how
absurd," he thought.
"Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art... Oh Juliette, my
Juliette... Why... why
can't I find love?" said John Rambold to his
computer monitor, which
displayed an Ask Jeeves search engine.
Could he find the romance that would last forever?
He was depressed
because he had no one with whom to share his life,
nobody who could
console him in tragedy and bolster him in failure,
nobody who would
celebrate with him in success and triumph, who
would bear his children,
and remain with him until death-do-us-part.
Ready to give up on ever finding the Juliette to
accompany his Romeo,
John, in a nasty mood, leaned back in his chair and
stared at the
monitor, his hands on the keyboard. John pounded
the keys, and "love"
showed up in the appropriate box on the search
He sighed theatrically as he clicked Search. He
then scrolled down the
numerous listings that appeared. Number forty three
caused him to pause.
It said: HEY MISTER LONELY GUY, find love,
experience love, at
John was just over six feet tall, not bad looking,
healthy and in good
shape, bright, caring, had a pleasant personality,
was employed, and had
no outstanding idiosyncrasies, although he did have
a habit of saying,
"What's it all about?" at odd times, sometimes for
no reason anybody who
overheard him would understand.
He had had sexual encounters with more than one
partner, but was not
promiscuous, and had been married once -- for a
year. He had not been in
love with any of them, not even his ex-wife. "Had
any of them been in
love with me?" he thought.
He was frustrated, for wherever he went he found
companionship but was
unable to find love. "What's it all about?" he said
to the empty room,
and thought, "How do people find true love?"
John clicked Loveforeverlove.com, and the Home Page
clicked on the First Time Visitor button.
Hello John Rambold, please fill in the following
1. Age? 38
2. Have you ever been in love, real
3. Are you ready for it? Yes.
Thank you, John. Please press Enter.
John thought: why am I wasting my time? With
nothing better to do, he
clicked Enter, and the following message appeared:
A series of pages
will flash on your monitor, each will remain for
ten seconds. Quickly
scan each page and Click on the picture of the
person(s) you are
significantly attracted to on each page. If
strongly attracted to
nobody, don't make a selection. You have ten
seconds to make your
selection(s) before the page disappears and the
He began to relax. "Just maybe if I keep my mind
open something good
will happen." Please press Enter when you are ready
to begin. Now
serious, John clicked enter.
For the next two hours, pages paraded onto the
screen, each remaining
for ten seconds, and John scanned each as if he
were searching for a
precious diamond among scattered stones. After
looking at hundreds of
pages that contained every conceivable variation of
humanity, both male
and female, John was exhausted. He had selected
twenty pictures, twenty
female candidates among the thousands of images
that crossed his vision.
The following message appeared: After you take a
one hour break, click
'Continue' and you will learn more about the women
you chose. John was
eager to continue, but as instructed he broke away
to visit the bathroom
and have a snack.
When John returned to his computer after the hour
had passed, the
following appeared on the screen: Each young lady
will answer two
questions of your choice from the following:
1. Are you religious, spiritual, or rational?
2. What is your ambition in life?
3. Are you athletic or intellectual, or both?
4. Do you like your father and why or why not?
5. What is more important, a person's physical
appearance or what is in
their heart? Explain.
6. Could you become romantically involved with
someone of a different
race or religion or social standing, or of your
7. Are material things important to you and which
ones and why?
8. Do you want to have children, and if so how
9. Do you enjoy sex? Explain.
10. Do you like housekeeping and cooking?
John thought about which three questions would most
reveal qualities and
traits that were important at this stage of getting
to know someone. He
knew he could learn more when they met face to
face, but he wanted to
eliminate any candidates that were definitely
incompatible with ideals
he cherished. He chose numbers 1, 2, and 7. The
pictures became animated
as the women responded, giving them an added
dimension. The questions
had been prerecorded so John could not interact
with the women.
After listening to their answers, John narrowed the
list of women to
twelve, a dozen potential partners. After clicking
Enter, a prerecorded
video of each woman ran on the monitor. Each
candidate wore various
styles of clothing and performed activities like
riding a bike, dancing,
shopping, and cooking. John narrowed his selection
to the final five.
John clicked enter, and the monitor told him he
would have to wait two
days while all five he had selected viewed a video
of John and asked him
their choice of prerecorded questions. Then John
could ask them out for
coffee at Starbucks.
Two days passed. John was excited, and nervous as a
called each of the women he had selected. One by
one they refused his
invitation. None of them wanted to meet him.
"What's it all about?" said John to the empty room.
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