it ain't about the money

The romantic euphamism is doing a Kickstarter project related to his comic, and it has been wildly successful, funded 1,000% over its original goal in the first 8 (out of 30) days, so you can rest assured that I’m not writing a post about it because he, like, desperately needs more support.

(If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, it’s crowdsourcing site to fund creative projects. If you’re an artist with a creative idea that needs funding, it’s a fabulous tool.)

I just wrote a post about being a highly educated woman and the impact that has on my relationships – or at least on the way my relationships are perceived. And, ya know, I’ve got a jobby job, I go to an office and I write annual reports and I sit on committees. My life looks pretty grown-up, all things considered. I have benefits. A retirement plan. And here I am with this guy who makes his living DRAWING A COMIC STRIP. And you don’t have to tell me that comics aren’t just Dilbert and Garfield, I totally know, but really. Take that one home and introduce it to your mom, who’s been worried about you for the past 6 years while you floundered in singledom. It just doesn’t SOUND very promising.

(Actually my mom really likes him.)

So here I am, with my jobby job and my biweekly paycheck, attached to this person who, let’s face it, doesn’t have a retirement plan. And then along comes Kickstarter, with its financial exhibitionism….

Kickstarter looks like it’s about money, right? With its percent funded statistics and its system of pledges and rewards.

But the money part of it is a mask for the substance of the experience.

And I’m telling you, the substance of the experience has been kind of a turn on.

His creativity, his humor, his excited commitment to the project are all things I love about him, and there they all are, posted in public. And there are 700+ people in the world ready to pay for that creativity, humor, and excitement, to get something they would eventually be able to get for free. Why? Well there are people who commented along the lines of, “I have no idea who you are and never read your comic, but your Kickstarter is so funny I had to back it.”

They all share a little fragment of what I experience every day.

I have watched the Kickstarter for 7 days. I have created Excel spreadsheets to analyse the performance of various incentive levels relative to Kickstarter’s averages. It’s been a fun project to work on together – me doing all the mathy part, him doing all the creative part. And I’ve been dazzled all over again, brand new, like I was when we met.

It’s not the money, it’s the brilliant. It’s the funny. Long before we met, I wrote that humor is my number one mate choice characteristic. Well, now I let a professional comedian walk my dog.

Thinking about sex and relationships is part of what I do for a living, so I can’t help considering the larger meaning of my individual experience.

Could it be that the narrative that women are turned on by money be a misconstruction (by the men, who create the narrative), boiling the intelligence, humor, social abilities, and creativity of a guy down to the monetary reward that might, but doesn’t usually, go with it?

Could the standard “evolutionary” thinking that female humans are seeking a “provider” for their offspring be totally off-target, and actually what female humans want is not a provider of food and shelter, but a provider of inspiration, intellectual engagement, insight, humor? (Could it also be that what women want is context dependent? Why yes, I think so.)

My brother is a creative genius too, but only recently has he been able to make any kind of a living out of that work. And my dad, in his way, has that arty vibe. And both of them were supported by organized, intelligent, and (cultural conditions permitting) educated women.

No no. It’s not about the money. It’s the brilliant. It’s the funny.