Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Why Valentines Day is like Getting Audited

I've decided against sharing my personal feelings about Valentines Day for fear it could get me in trouble. Instead I'll talk a little about expectations. Should Valentines Day find it's way into this diatribe so be it.

There will always be one of three outcomes to any situation you find yourself in. A positive outcome, where you're better off. A negative outcome, worse off. Or a zero outcome, where you're in the same position as you were before.

Here's three examples scenarios where you're expectations of an outcome will vary:

1. Positive or Negative outcome. You would expect this scenario for most types of gambling. If you bet $100 at the roulette table you will either win or lose your money.

I usually play blackjack but for some reason I
feel like playing roulette now.
Every bet in roulette you are
at a negative 4.9% disadvantage

2. Positive or Zero outcome. This is a situation when you're freerolling (this is a poker term that means you'll either win or at worst tie). An example of this would be being a contestant on Wheel of Fortune. 

With a Wheel of Fortune reference
I felt it mandatory to put a
picture of Vanna

Pree Wheel of Foturne

3. Zero or Negative outcome. This is the the worst case scenario. You can't win. You can only lose or hope to break even. Getting audited by the IRS and Russian Roulette are examples of these. You can never win. The best you could hope for is to not lose. When you're audited you'll spend hours on end jumping through hoops and if you're lucky you'll be in the same position you were before the audit. Otherwise you will be punished.

Valentines Day is the exact same. If you have a content girlfriend that only complains a half-dozen times a week, then the Best case scenario come Feb 15th is you have a content girlfriend that only complains a half-dozen times a week. Don't be naive into thinking you can come out ahead or possibly bank some goodwill. If you disagree with me then next time you want to watch football with your friends and she says to you, "you always want to hang out with your friends and never bring me anywhere"; fire back with, "baby I brought you to that nice dinner on Valentines Day"...let me know how that goes.
You can only hope that you spend enough money and "effort" to get you back to where you were yesterday.  Obviously if you do not reach this arbitrary bar of effort you will be severely punished while the bar is continuously raised every day until you make a sacrifice large enough to propel you back into her content graces.

If you're girlfriend reads this and asks you what you think tell them you do NOT agree. I wish you luck tomorrow in successfully diffusing your ticking time bomb. Remember, it's not your fault. There are no winners on Valentines Day. Well, except for restaurants, clothing stores, jewelry stores, and florists... hmmm I wonder how Valentines Day started? 

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