The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by Josh Nossiter
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Love, or a Ham Sandwich?
Saturday, February 27th, 2010
Science has done it again. Medical research proves that
Tennyson was talking through his hat. Far from being
"better to have loved and lost than never to have loved
at all," the evidence shows that you live longer and
prosper if you are single and manage to  stay that way.
All the data point to the conclusion that love is bad for
your health.

It was in Psychology Today, so it must be true. The
question is, why? Theories abound. Love is demanding
and stressful, and stress is a well-known killer. Singles
retain networks of friends instead of spending all their
time with the one they love and socializing is good fun
and good for you, at least in moderation. Being with the
one you love on the other hand, as most couples will
attest, can be (and often is) no fun at all. Singles have
to fend for themselves and cope with all the challenges
of daily life rather than relying on a partner. With
nobody else to fix the garbage disposal and balance the
checkbook, the single acquires valuable survival skills
that can only promote longevity.

These hypotheses are all plausible, but I believe there to
be a simpler explanation. Consider a scale that measures
sanity, with bat-shit crazy at one end, and stone cold
dead at the other. Now put love on the appropriate spot
on the scale. Surely it can't be near the dead end. No
less an authority than William Shakespeare maintains
that compared to a lover, "all the world besides
methinks are dead." And reflect on the crazy things that
love leads to, from young Werther putting himself out
of his misery, to old Abelard being made about as
miserable as a man can be. On our scale, love as a state
of being is much closer to bat-shit crazy than stone cold
dead. And, with rare exceptions, craziness really is no
good for you at all.

In conclusion, the next time you see someone across a
room and get a funny feeling in your stomach, walk the
other way and grab a ham sandwich. That'll give your
stomach something else to think about, making it, and
the rest of you, very grateful in the morning.


©Joshua C. Nossiter, 2010
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