Today, more than five years since I started out with Pinky, I realise that I need a new value proposition for the relationship. So far things had been simple – I was simply the rich guy in the partnership. I was working for the Giant Squid when we met, I’ve since remodelled myself as a quant management consultant and make reasonable money out of it, and save for a short period in 2011-12, my contribution to the household finances has far outpaced hers.
However, with Pinky now pursuing an MBA from a top global (pun intended – it was she who coined the phrase “value proposition” for this post) B-school, this is going to soon change. The next two years she’s in debt of course (some of it to me), but after graduation she’s likely to get a great well-paying job which is likely to significantly cut down my advantage in terms of the family finances (I still hope that I’ll retain my lead, and I mean this in a good way – that she gets a really well-paying job and I’ll be able to outpace her).
So by this one stroke of Pinky going to get herself an MBA, my main value proposition in the relationship has been completely destroyed. What this means, of course, is that I need to find a new proposition. If I’m a dog (remember I described myself as a bakery doggie in a recent post?) I need to learn new tricks. Or perhaps I need to get back to my old tricks?
Back in 2006, when we first talked, what impressed Pinky (by what she tells me now) was this blog – my income statement wasn’t particularly great then, and she had absolutely no clue about it until we met three years later. In 2006, Pinky liked how I used to write about every damn thing here, especially about all my failed attempts at relationships. She has repeatedly told me since that she loves being written about, and that one of her great big hopes of being with me was that I would write reams about her on this blog, like I have about all those failed attempts at relationships.
On this count, though, I’ve utterly failed her. For reasons I’m still not able to put a finger on, I’ve hardly written about her. There was the usual flurry of posts in the first few days of our involvement (this one and this one and this one and this one and this one and this one and this one). By the time the last of those posts was written, I was preparing to meet her parents and things were cementing. And then, bang, boom, fizzle! I stopped writing about her!
There has been the odd post I’ve written here or there but I’ve been writing nowhere close to what she possibly expects from having been with me for over five years now. On the primary criterion – the spike – that she evaluated me on when we got together (I must say I did damn well in those initial days to sustain interest), I’ve been an utter failure. It’s almost like the reason she married me has not come to bear fruit.
In this context, I hope to get back to my old value proposition – maybe because I’m not creative enough or too lazy to come up with a new one. In the year and half that I have (before Pinky graduates) to come up with the new proposition, there might be some other good that might come out – something else I might discover about myself which would be a great value proposition for me in the marriage. You need to start your search somewhere, though.
When you break up, sometimes your first attempt at doing a rebound is by checking if your ex is still single and if you can hook up with hem (my friend and fellow-IESE-WAG Aravind told me yesterday that this is the word the Swedes have come up with as a short form of saying “him/her”, as a gender neutral pronoun). You are unlikely to succeed, and you are more likely to find someone totally new. But your ex gives you the starting point for your search.
It is similar in my case. With my value proposition due to expire, my first instinct is to go back to my ex – my ex value proposition that is (I have no other exes!!). Maybe it will succeed. Maybe it will not – in which case I’ve to find something new. But rebounding to the ex is the safest bet. So if I manage to make this work, you can hope to find a lot more Pinky in these pages.