Confessions of a jaded bachelor


Posted on April 3rd, by James McAllen in Uncategorized. No Comments

As a disclaimer, I must admit, I am diametrically opposed to the institution of marriage, unless you need health insurance. To me it’s an exercise in folly to think that two people are going to be able to stand each other’s presence for more than 10 years without killing each other. But there are those lovestruck fools who are convinced that their love will outlast all others, so I humor them.

When I see my friends get married, I just make the fair assumption that its becuase the dude doesn’t know how to cook and is simply tired of eating take-out. My mother hated every female that I came in contact with, so she made sure that I knew how to cook, make the bed, and become acquainted with the business end of a vacumm cleaner. But they are in love, and I’m not one to discourage love, so I smile dutifully and wish them luck. I try not to attend too many weddings; it’s a waste of my hard-earned money and the music always sucks. I have vowed to write check with a date 4 years in the future, but I haven’t had the balls to follow thru on that yet.

I did some research into marriage. Marriage sprang forth, quite literally, from agriculture. When man got tired of hunting and pillaging, he decided to plant a crop or two. He was bored while waiting for the crops to bear fruit, so he grabbed one of the local woman, usually the one with the nicest breasts, and settled in for the duration. As time wore on, he discovered that those pleasurable evenings of crop-waiting, bore another type of fruit, daughters. Now, daughters were a problem for the farmer, beacuse they attracted riff-raff; lust driven young boys who had no ties to the land, or a crop, or anything else. They were simply driven by the scent of estrogen.

Now, the farmer, saw this with opportunistic eyes.  Basically, if you want to get close to my daughters, you’re gonna have to take them and keep them. This is how the tradition of marriage spread. If the daughter was ugly, the farmer paid the young man to take her away. This is called a dowry. If she was hot, the opportunistic farmer, sold her, “you want the hot one, bring me two goats and a bag of rice”. This was known as the bride price.  You think I jest? You think I’m lying? Look it up. Start with wikipedia, then go to the old testament.

The modern day bride price is, of course, the engagement ring. Let’s be honest, the engagment ring has nothing to do with love, it’s a sign of ownership. For most of history, the engagement ring was a thimble with the top cut off, it symbolized possession. It wasnt until the 1930’s that women started wearing diamonds, or should I say, demanding diamonds. I once had a woman tell me, “If that ring isnt at least 2 karats, he better not even show up.” She was appalled when I asked her if that was the established price for her age group.

Of course, I totally understand why a woman wants the biggest, most expensive ring she can get. She wants a nest egg for when he finally gets tired of her. The bigger the ring, the longer he’s going to stick around for his investment.

Oh, please. Stop your moaning already. I can hear you from here.

When the woman gets her ring, the first thing she does is run to her girlfriends and stick it in their faces. They all ooh and ahhh, and then when she leaves, they talk trash about her out of jealously.  Trust me, I grew up in a house with 6 female cousins, you wanna guess how many times I’ve seen that happen?

You wanna hear what happens when a guy shows his friends the ring that he bought?

Jesus, how much did that set you back?”

I once had a conversation with a girl about marriage. I asked her, “Why do I have to buy a ring? Why can’t I get something practical, like a timeshare, or an SUV?”

Her: “Those things are great, but I want a ring too. I can’t show my friends an SUV.”

Needless to say, I didn’t marry her, or anyone else.

Men are so friggin unimaginative, they usually wait until Christmas or Valentines day to pop the question. Women are so friggin desperate to tell their friends they got engaged, they accept this. If I’m getting engaged, I want my own day. May 11th, June 19th, I don’t care. I’m not sharing the day with everyone else’s holiday.  And don’t even think of asking me at a sporting event. If you put your proposal on a jumbotron, the answer is no. End of Story.

Of course, given this day and age, the topic of discussion is gay marriage. I’m not sure why we even need to have the conversation; I don’t really care if it’s two men, or two women, personally, I don’t think we should let ugly people marry, but thats a political topic, not a practical one.

My question is, who gets the engagement ring? I don’t lose sleep over it, but it’s something that I would like to know. Useless information comes in handy now and then.

Wedding rings I understand. A simple token of affection between two people that have sworn eternal love to each other in the eyes of god and the state that they live in.

I used to wear a wedding ring. Its a FRIGGIN MAGNET!   I’m not even kidding. That was one hell of a summer. But I’m older and more mature now.

By the way, tonight I’m gonna cook pork chops with spinach, work on my screenplay, then watch Survivor, all while sitting in my underwear. What are you married fellows gonna do?

My married friends like to golf. I think it’s cute. It’s the one activity that their wives let them do.

A. There are no women there.

B. It happens at 6 in the am, so by the time you get home, it’s time to do the chores she’s laid out for you.

C. The golf courses in NY are surrounded by fences. It’s highly symbolic. It’s not to keep people out, it’s to keep you in.

 

And then there is the wedding itself. What a painful exercise that is. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to spend 10 of thousands of dollars for a one-day party… The guests are all in uncomfortable clothes, the bridesmaids look hideous because the bride is so self-centered that she has to be the prettiest one in the room, the music sucks, and the food is terrible.

I was at a wedding once and a friend asked me how much I put in the envelope, I told him, but then I added, “but the envelope doesn’t get sealed until after the meal.” He laughed and called me cheap, but after we got a piece of shoe leather disguised as prime rib, he was out in the lobby, asking the hall manager for a letter opener.

If I were ever to get married, it would have to be in the summer, cause I would want everyone to be in shorts. And I would want them to bring their kids. People use weddings to get away from their miserable offspring, but I want everyone to be there. We’ll have jugglers and clowns, and pony rides, and frisbee games. And then I hope it rains. Pours. And the dog chases the cat through the cake. That’s what I want. A Brady Bunch wedding. The worst day ever. It can only get better from there. Right?

Everyone wants their wedding day to be perfect. It never is. But all too often, it’s the highlight of the entire marriage.

And then there is the whole matter of divorce; the divorce rate now been somewhere north of 50 percent. Aside from the bitterness that divorce often leaves behind, and the whole generation of fucked up kids, divorce is actually good for the economy. Once the guy gets tossed on the street, he has to find a place to live. Usually it’s a ratty, basement apartment in a marginal neighborhood. This helps the landlord pay his mortgage and avoid foreclosure. And once he is out of the household, the dude has no choice but to go back to ordering take-out, since he’s spent the last 10 years begging at the trough instead of learning to cook. After a year or so of this type of survival living, the guy is usually ready to get married again, and so the whole cycle starts again.

Am I jaded? Of course I am…  But am I wrong?

 





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