When the recent letter exchange between a young woman looking to marry and the response from a guy who’d read her post on Craigslist first hit social media, I thought the whole thing was a hoax and didn’t pay much attention to it.
In her letter, the woman claims to be beautiful, classy and articulate. She asks straightforwardly how she can go about meeting men who make $500,000 or more per year who might be potential marriage partners. In his response, the guy tears her to shreds for her request.
As her letter and his response continued to go viral, I started to get intrigued. What caught my interest wasn’t so much that the exchange had gone viral, but rather that both men and women were almost universally cheering the guy’s pistol whipping of the young woman.
What if the whole thing wasn’t a hoax? As the father of three daughters myself, the young woman’s letter struck me as sad, yet weirdly innocent and heartfelt. She acknowledges that what she is asking will sound superficial. She wonders aloud what she may be doing wrong, and she talks about her ability to “keep a nice home and hearth”. Based on her letter, she sounds like she's from relatively humble beginnings, probably not very well traveled or exposed to the world, and unclear on how to better her circumstances by using whatever assets she believes her upbringing or genetics may have given her.
The guy’s response is of a different kind altogether. The thrust of it, which in stark contrast to the tone of her letter is malevolent in the extreme, is that her beauty will fade and that as a result he is unwilling to buy (read marry) her but is willing to lease (read use) her until her beauty is gone. He goes to unusually great lengths to underscore that he is the sort of man she seeks. He talks about making more than $500,000 per year. He insists that his net worth will continue to rise. He assures her he’s not “wasting her time”. He drops financial terms like “pump and dump” and “efficient markets” to prove his financial street cred, although he uses terms in such a clunky and rudimentary manner that I started to think he wasn’t an investment banker at all, but rather some guy who googled the phrase “is it better to buy a car or lease one” to pick up some financial terminology.
Maybe he is who he says he is. For his sake I hope so, because his venom and vitriol makes me suspect that he hasn’t had success with women, especially beautiful ones. And with his personality he’ll need every dollar he can make to find a woman who’ll tolerate him. The good news for this young woman is that he reveals himself to be the ultimate tool, so she can cross him off her list.
Which ultimately brings me to efficient markets, the concept with which he verbally rapes her. And since this guy’s social media cheerleaders haven’t asked the question, I will.
Why was this self-proclaimed rich and powerful investment banker trolling the Craigslist personals to begin with?