Price of Admission

Most of us love roller coasters. They toss us around, flip us upside-down, and drag us through rivers and jungles. And instead of being rewarded for our endurance, we are charged an entry fee. We gladly pay it. We plan for it. We commit ourselves to spending a whole day in exhilarating peril. We line up for hours just for a quick lap around the track. And we do it over and over until we are literally sick.

For the things that truly drive us, the experience is worth the price of admission. For the opportunity to make out in a parking lot with a pretty lady, we will wait for hours outside a department store fitting room. For the chance to feel her snake her hands around the bed, so she can hold your hand while you sleep, we will wait through weeks of ambiguous silence. For that moment when she lets you into her heart, you will forgive all the times she pushed you away.

The only difference between the lover’s dance and the theme park is our expectations and belief system about hope. We know that at the end of the day, the park closes. We know we can come back tomorrow and the rides will be the same; still exhilarating, with minimal variation. We have no hope of buying the theme park or building our own theme park. Only with lovers do we find ourselves seeking to negotiate exclusivity contracts.

I wonder how the world might look if we all thought of lovers in the same way we think of theme parks. It’s easy to envision, actually. The price is permanence.

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