“Men are all the same, just pick the richest one” seems like a solid framework for the jaded urbanite interested in dating men. I’m not classist, I went out with starving artists left and right, but sometimes a girl needs more than hard dick/clit and Späti beer.
I have toyed with the idea of dating someone with a thick bank account and a thin thread of life after an ex-partner suggested that “the lifestyle would suit” me. And of course I’d love to be the “personal assistant” and bed warmer for Gloria Swanson’s Norma Desmond, but my chances of ending up with some Berlin (read: far less wealthy) version of J. Howard Marshall are much better.
On a good day I serve that old Hollywood glamour of helmet hair, sleek dress and coordinated movements. On a bad day, I look like Michel Houellebecq after 12 hours at Berghain (just sans the Islamophobic stuff and with more hair). I’m a woman of many talents but none of them pays well enough to never worry about money. Berlin is poor and sexy, and so am I. In a city where freelancing is nothing but an elaborate synonym for unemployment, it seems an affluent partner is hard to come by. Left with my last two career choices (village witch or areola model) I decide to give this unfamiliar idea a personal approach; I have always dated for character, so now why not try something more rewarding and profitable? After all, this is a city where men often seem to cultivate beards rather than characters.
“The Bomb” and I had gone out over the course of a summer, until once upon a hazy blue morning in his kitchen, he told me over expensive booze that he was falling in love with me. A claim I felt he was trying to prove by performing a sexual act on me that can be described as the sensory equivalent of a carp dying in my crotch. I abandoned any idea of keeping him around that very moment. Conflicted about contacting him just for the sake of this experiment, the stars aligned and he got back in touch after I had vanished from his bedroom one morning and had ignored his texts for a year.
I have murky memories of the night that followed. Lavish dinner, chased by champagne led to swanky cocktails at the most pretentious speakeasy bar in Mitte where things turned to business. As the night progressed, “The Bomb” had assured me that he still thought of me as “the ultimate souvenir” and since he was “looking for someone to settle down with” he was very pleased that I made time to see him. He also told me that I was “under no obligation” to sleep with him as we had just reconnected.
Through a thick fog of several Berlin style cocktails (six hipster liquors combined to taste like nail varnish remover) it hit me: What is love but business? It is, after all, traditional. What happened to the good old time habit of marrying for money or for a fancy title someone you met once or twice if at all? Making stiff conversation till one of you died in either war or childbirth? I know this practice would have saved “The Bomb” a lot of time and money.
I might not be the most romantic person, but I went home on my own that night. I decided to drunk dial my best friend who later told me that I had cried and refused to acknowledge it by calling tears “sad water”. The next morning, waking up, I understood that old adage money spoils character. After recovering from the human/booze-related hangover, I called the flavor of the month, a painter. And dear reader, sometimes a good shag in an unheated studio, a bottle of red and cheap pizza is all a girl really needs.
Text: Alix Berber, Artwork: Eugenia Loli
* artwork cropped
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Alix Berber is iHeartBerlin’s newest dating columnist. The Tattletale Heart tells stories of desire, infatuation and the ghosts of lovers past. They are the dating-chronicles of a hopeless romantic with serious trust issues in the capital of the notoriously unattached.