The Perfect Life #49

Dear Dr. Perfect,

Why won’t Ben Affleck respond to my emails? So far, I’ve been very patient with him. 

Inquisitively,

A saint

——————-

Dear Saint,

I went through the same thing with George C. Scott, but these were letters, so it was different. Back then, even the strangest correspondence at least had an air of authenticity. We used envelopes and stamps. We didn’t just tweet at a celebrity or send anonymous online threats to our local city council. 

Just out of college, I got my first computer in the early ‘90s. AOL chatrooms were all the rage.


I immediately felt the loss of genuine connection replaced by something synthetic, alluring, and troublesome. 

“But, Dr. Perfect,” the defenders said, “This is great! You can talk to anyone anywhere in the world.” I warned them that such access would amplify our carefully-guarded grievances with one another.  

My predictions were extreme, but I stand by some. For instance, I foresaw automated customer service. I also predicted that people would dress more lazily with each passing year. The modern slob, I pronounced, would barely muster the will to put on a decent pair of flip flops to emerge from his cavernous domicile for sustenance. I was only half right. Nowadays, he doesn’t leave his home. I should have started a food delivery app. 

No need to fret. Ben Affleck isn’t the same actor he once was. I mean, he’s no Dudley Moore, but there was a time he had American swooning with masterpiece films like Daredevil and Surviving Christmas.

He became an A-list celebrity overnight, and no one knew quite how it happened. Some credit his rise to Goodwill Hunting and its Oscar-winning screenplay he co-wrote. Others think he simply made a deal with the devil. 

By the early 2000s, Affleck’s romance with Jennifer Lopez made him a household name, that is, if your house is filled with gossipy tabloid types. “Bennifer” remains one of the most famous couplings of celebrity names next to “Rizabeth,” cleverly coined following the marriage of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. 

The tabloids took great pleasure in dissecting both relationships to their core. We all had a good laugh, but the joke was on us. 

In 2012, the Affleck-directed historical drama Argo won Best Picture. He eventually rekindled his romance with Lopez from the tabloid ash heap, and they were married some twenty years after the late-night shows had reduced “Bennifer” to a punchline. Affleck had proven most of us wrong. As a celebrity, he had no right. He certainly doesn’t have the right to ignore your emails. 

An email is about as personalized as one can get. I’m often surprised when my own emails go unanswered by friends, colleagues, and celebrities I don’t know. But if I can make the time to perfect the world, you can send me the damn chicken pesto recipe I asked for two weeks ago. You hear me, Bob Piero?

I’m a little testy. My latest speaking engagement just got bumped ahead two weeks ahead due to a litany of issues. For starters, the hotel I was booked at was firebombed by a group of vanguard revolutionaries in Halloween masks. Only in L.A.!

Then, my latest book release was delayed when the publisher ran out of ink. I didn’t know that such a thing was possible. They naturally blamed “supply shortages” to assuage my concerns. 

I can understand the appeal of a bygone celebrity who married Jennifer Lopez. What makes him tick? We all want to know because it would help us discover a little about ourselves. We might not star in films like Pearl Harbor and Armageddon, but we can always find happiness in that blinking cursor on our computer screen. All we have to do is type a little message and send. 

_______

Dr. Perfect has slung advice across the globe for the last two decades due to his dedication to the uplift of the human condition.