Bianca Caampued and Aaron Small are just your average, 20-something New York professionals in love. Except that their uber-quirky, urban romance—in which they enjoy spontaneously dancing at flea markets and watching foreign films without subtitles—is carefully choreographed by their “secretary of romance.” According to The Daily, 24-year-old Small and 27-year-old Caampued were just so “super busy” being urban professionals that they had no time to plan dates. So Small posted an ad on Craigslist and found Brenndon Knox, an unemployed 25-year-old who now plans cutesy outings for them, coordinates their schedules and ultimately hopes to parlay this $12.50/hour gig into a full-fledged business. As Knox told the daily:
(MORE: The Deja Vu of Indie Movie Love)
“Not everyone is good at planning dates, keeping track of someone else’s schedule or even communicating clearly… The administrative tasks in a relationship may be small ones, but they add up to one big stress.”
But what’s wrong with this picture? First off, according to The Daily’s video, the happy couple don’t actually look that busy. Despite lamenting that she “hardly has a second” to herself, Caampued, a PR specialist, says that she typically works from 10am until around 6pm or 7pm (We should all be so lucky!). Small, whom we’ll admit leaves the house at 6am for his business consultant job and gets home late, says that in spite of the small fortune he’s dropped on their love secretary’s services he spends as much time coordinating with Knox than he would if he were actually planning his own dates. (And couldn’t he have used some of that disposable income to upgrade his shattered iPhone 3, which The Daily shows repeatedly in the video?)
Caampued, by the way, has outsourced her side of the relationship to a Wisconsin-based social concierge named Holly, to whom she delegates the task of coordinating with Knox. Is this the next modern courtship ritual, a mutual effort at avoiding intimacy, or simply a convoluted attempt to stay as busy as possible?
Perhaps Small and Caampued haven’t read that viral New York Times piece on the phenomenon of self-imposed busyness, in which Tim Kreider argues that people are only busy “because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence.” Maybe she should have her people call his people about that.