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Romantic fantasy kills. Don't take it lightly; it can ruin your life. It will cause you to say foolish and inappropriate things to strangers. It will make you pay intense attention to the most casual of flirtations. It will lead you to invest your emotions in the shakiest of futures.

Consciousness destroys the act. Or, as Yogi Berra put it, "You can't think and hit at the same time."

You meet a girl. She has nice legs; she's pretty; she gets your jokes. If you're the kind of joker who then decides, "That's it, she'll be my wife if only I can win her," you're bound to lose. Because you'll have a hell of a time being natural and spontaneous with this girl, with expectations clogging your brain. Everything will take on enormous proportions. You'll be living spun-sugar dreams of bliss, which will cause you to make insanely portentous remarks every time you speak and to stumble over your feet every time you try to take her into your arms. The girl will get away.

Or maybe she won't get away. Maybe she'll stick around and turn into a real person. That will make you crazy. She will become so prosaic! She'll get hungry and petulant when she gets her period, need root canal and have a morbid fear of tents. Meanwhile, you had been dreaming of an ethereal yet rugged gir