So in case you’re wondering, the word hypergamy means “the action of marrying a person of a superior caste or class.” Generally, it’s a word used by pick up artists, men going their own way and a wide range of other bitter a-holes who can’t get laid, to explain why they’re still single and why that’s not their fault. As in all the evil women want to trade up and because of that, no man can ever truly be happy in a relationship. I think a lot of the reason that it’s attributed as primarily a female trait is that girls don’t ask guys to marry them. We know better.
Anyway, that’s not what this post is about. Instead, it’s about an email I got today from a potential agent. During my hiatus from my blog, I was working on my Masters. My thesis for my Masters was a novel and after the program ended, I figured “what the hell, let’s submit it.”
So I dug up a list of five of the fanciest agents I could find. I received four rejections and one request for a partial. I sent it, checked my email every 15 minutes for about two weeks, then got drunk and forgot about it.
Until this morning, about seven months later, when that last agent contacted me and asked me “are you married to this MC?” They liked the story, liked the world building, liked just about everything but for the main character. I wrote her as a straight woman in her early forties.
They wanted a black, gay man in his early twenties.
That annoyed me. I mean, the story is first person, present tense. Obviously, I’m writing it from a white, middle-aged chick’s point of view because I am currently, a white middle-aged chick. I know next to nothing about being a black gay man that I haven’t seen on Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
Love that show.
But after my initial annoyance, I got annoyed with myself at being annoyed. Who the hell was I to turn down a chance to get published with a Big 5? Fuck, when I started this blog 5 years ago, I was working in insurance litigation and writing articles about penile enhancement for $5 a pop in my off time.
I had this fantasy where I didn’t have to do insurance anymore. I didn’t have to talk to anyone on the phone or go to an office every day. I just got to write. Granted, in the fantasy, I was a bestselling novelist but still, the end goal was the same. No more phone calls. No more negotiations. No more getting yelled at. Just me, writing.
The dream happened, but not the way I expected it would. My first novel floundered and disappeared. Same with the sequel and a short novella. I kept writing but I switched it up to an easier to compete in category. I went with erotica and the sales came in. I hated it. I made enough money but it wasn’t money I wanted to talk about. I was writing fiction for a market I didn’t care about, creating stories that I didn’t want to continue.
Honestly, once you’ve written one sex scene, you’ve written every sex scene.
I went back to tech writing. At least with that, I can still learn something new every day. It was only the other morning I was thinking “What I wanted to happen, it happened. I make enough money to survive. I don’t have to go into an office. I don’t get yelled at on the phone or attend pointless meetings. I get to do what I love. So why aren’t I happy?”
The fact is, I’m not happy because we’re never happy. None of us. Humans are hypergamous by nature. Not women, not me, humans. It’s why we can win the lotto one year and file bankruptcy the next. It’s why someone like Harvey Weinstein can have the world at his feet and ruin it all with a nonsense sex addiction. It’s why athletes run through million dollar signing bonuses that should carry them into their golden years, in like four years.
We’re always looking for the next big thing. Every dream that comes true is laying the groundwork to yet another dream.
When I got that email this morning, I said to myself “this could be my big break”. The story I wrote, that story made me happy. The one thing I actually looked forward to writing, it could be my big break.
All I needed to do was change everything about it.
And I realized that even if I did, even if it was my big break, I’d still never be satisfied. The story would get published, disappear from the world after a year and then, I’d be in the same damn position I am now, hating myself for trying to trade up when I was perfectly happy where I was. I’m already living my dream. I just need to realize that.
So, like any professional, I responded “new phone. Who dis?” and moved the fuck on.