Love is Stupid, Just Build Me a Robot

And other answers to questions you didn’t ask.

“How do you know when you’re really in love? And it’s not just an infatuation?” —Lovesick Louie

I have no idea. I thought we’d all be dating robots by now. Or, at least, roombas. I’ve very carefully and very specifically designed my dating life to accentuate the fun stuff and ignore the things that are hard and unpleasant. Like feelings, emotions, trusting people, intimacy, trips to Home Depot for anything. This is why I’ve stayed single all this time, probably.  I’m happy to say that I’ve never been in love, or been in love with someone who was in love with me, in my entire life. I feel like love is overrated and we’d all be better off living single and just having robots. I really do like robots, especially ones that clean up.

Someone on my Twitter feed wrote recently that “Love is Stockholm Syndrome.” And I feel like this is true. Stockholm Syndrome is like when hostages fall in love with their captors. I feel like if you put two random people in an elevator and got it stuck for a while on the 83rd floor, they would fall in love. And yet most of our literature and stories revolves around falling in love, having kids and all that. What does our biological responsibility have to do with who we want to hang out with for the rest of our lives? Can’t we just have babies, give them to the Matrix people, plug them into that whole giant thing, and then hang out with whoever we want?

I’d really only recommend infatuation. I have had the most luck with this, having a crush on Starbucks employees or something like that. You can really sustain the emotional needs of your body by having strong feelings for people who have no idea you feel that way, who think of you as just another coffee customer. You go get coffee everyday, they seem nice and happy to see you. They smell like coffee, which is kind of wonderful. You get to tip them heavily, and then continue on with your day. You will never ask them out, never see them outside of the coffee shop, and forever pretend that you’re both madly in love with each other and kept apart only by wild circumstances.

Love, on the other hand, is soul-crushing and always ends in disaster, as far as I can tell. Sooner or later, don’t both people get bored and have affairs with the nanny? Nannies should all be robots, and not sex robots. Some kind of toaster-looking robot. With no sex pieces. I know, I know, some people marry their best friend from high school, stay with them forever, never cheat and then die in each other’s arms. Those people are just unbearable. I always feel like happy people are hiding something. That their ridiculous happiness is belied by a deep and unknowable emptiness. Hopefully unknowable! Knowing about people’s dark secrets is the only thing worse than having to endure their ridiculous happiness.

I do believe in some forms of love. Self-Love! Also maternal love, that seems pretty nice, Loving pets, pets are great. I have a great fish. Trees, they are nice to love. I love my therapist,  I really love the sun, the sun is nice. People, though, that’s rough. My fantasies about adult relationships now revolve around hanging around with someone and watching TV. Maybe sometimes fooling around while watching TV. Also, maybe they smell like coffee. That is the whole fantasy at this point.

How do you know when it’s not just infatuation, when love is real? Probably when you feel miserable. Like the whole relationship situation just makes you want to build a fort out of couch cushions and never come out of it. Anytime any emotion gets real enough, it will generally start to drive you nuts. And I think it should be illegal to have every love song and every movie be about love. There should be more songs about tacos. And more movies about people who just have sex and then leave each other alone. It’s not violent video games that are ruining society, it’s movies and songs about love, love, love that makes everyone think that the only way to live life is to be in some kind of half-assed relationship with someone else. When all you really want to do is be alone and play violent video games.

But also, do you know of anyone who is cute and nice that works at a Starbucks? I really like the whole white shirt/green apron look.

Jim Behrle lives in Jersey City, NJ. He drinks coffee and quietly sobs most of the time.