In each of us there is a longing to be with someone else. Every now and then, we men find a woman who feels the same way. After a considerable amount of alcohol and a close inspection of our bank accounts, these women sometimes agree to be our girlfriends. Now, I could talk about love and caring and all of that, but I would like to take a more financial look at the girlfriend.

There are obvious costs you must shoulder when you have a girlfriend: dinners, movie tickets, abortions, etc. However, underneath these visible costs lie hidden costs; expenses you rarely realize you are paying for.

Take laundry, for instance. Every time my girlfriend sleeps over, I hear this: "Can I have something to sleep in?" Being the generous man I am, I say, "Yes, of course, my sweet turnip pie of delight," and hand her some boxers and a t-shirt. The other day I took a huge bag of soiled clothes to the Laundromat only to find that it would cost me $45 to have them cleaned. When I got the clothes back I opened the bag up to find that I hadn't worn half of the stuff in there. Plus, I found three thongs, two bras and a pair of booty shorts reading "hottie" across the ass; those, however, turned out to belong to my roommate, Tim. My sweet girl had been deceiving me; leaving her dirty clothes at my house knowing that I would absentmindedly throw them in with my laundry. My laundry bill would be cut in half without all of the t-shirts and boxers she sleeps in. Will I do anything about it? Of course not.

But it doesn't end there. Girls seem to be cold all of the time. No matter how many jackets and shirts they wear, they always whine about the temperature at your house. "It's freezing in here," they say. "Can you turn the heat up a little?" You don't mind; maybe it is cold in your house? How would you know, you're too busy watching "Family Guy" DVDs to pay attention to such things. You'll change the thermostat from a normal temperature to one more suited to a flu-ridden eighty-four year-old. She'll smile and thank you and you'll forget all about it. Two weeks later the heat bill will arrive and show that you've been burning more oil than Iraqi insurgents. "Hmmm" you think, "I wonder how that happened? Oh well, I'll just pay it."

And there is so much more. The therapy you'll need when she tells you that "you're a worthless ass" is going to run you quite a pretty penny. The food and drink she'll consume when you convince her to watch a movie at your place instead of going to Club XTC with her slutty friends. Not to mention the extreme cost of keeping up your personal appearance. Forget shaving once a week, try every day. You'll need all kinds of body spray and cologne to hide your stench. You'll need hair gel, toothpaste, white strips, q-tips, colonics, deodorant, haircuts, back waxes and manicures. All of this to convince her that you're not the Cheerios eating, smelly, hairy beast you are. It never crosses your mind that the $112 you just spent on personal hygiene products is the direct result of your girlfriend's subtle hints that maybe it's time to take care of that cabbage smell you seem to expel when you sweat.

But girlfriends don't just cost you money, they extract quite a bit of cash from your friends too. Think about this: when she dumps you, who's going to take you out? Who's going to pay for all those drinks you need to numb the pain? That's right, your friends will be paying. The average length of post-breakup depression is two months; during that time you will go out approximately four nights a week. If you drink eight $5 drinks a night and your friends pay for half, we're looking at a two month total of $640. That is $640 that your friends will spend on you all because little miss "I-don't-like-when-you-drink-and-call-me-a-slut" had to run out on you.

Girlfriends are expensive; there's no doubt about that. They cost you in ways you never imagined. Yet we still yearn to have them. They give us satisfaction and, even though we rarely admit it, make us better people. We always have clean sheets, we never smell and our hair is always properly gelled. Now, I must run, I have a 12:30 appointment to get laser eye surgery" the ol' lady says she hates me in glasses.