Monday, December 10, 2007

How Much Would You Pay for Love?

One of the more interesting conversations that I had while in Maui concerned the "price" of love. I know, an odd and already cynical-sounding conversation, but nonetheless it got me thinking. One of my Dad's friends told me that in the 80's some of the richest people were asked how much they would pay for love (not sex, or lust, or infatuation). (I have no idea if this is apocryphal story.) Supposedly, these rich folks said they would be willing to pay $1 million dollars (you'll have to adjust this for inflation).

When I first heard that sum, it occurred to me that love was not a high priority for these folks. My second thought was why would you put a sum on one of the best things that is free? My third thought is, what sort of romantic notion of love is operating here? After all, love means hanging in there with someone despite disappointments, stress, strain, illness, boredom, irritation, ad nauseum.

Now, this whole conversation started because we were discussing another friend of my Dad's who gets married quite regularly, signs pre-nups for about $200,000 and then divorces. I couldn't get my head around the idea that these women were willing to marry someone, who is a bit of a horn dog and not so loveable, in order to get that money. My Dad said (as he has my whole life): "everyone has a price." I responded, "well, then my price is much, much higher." At which point all the men at the table started to quote me a number to determine my price.

So, there are two odd things here: (1) Does everyone have a price? and (2) How much would you pay for love? To the first question, I have to say that I think that it is probably true that everyone has a price. But, I would love to be persuaded elsewise.

The second question fascinate me more when I start to think about whether or not I would pay to have my daughter's love. And, knowing what I know now, my answer is yes. But, the key is, knowing what I know now.

What do you all think?