There are many benefits of being married: companionship, shared resources, the understanding that someone else will plunge the toilet if you wander off, pretending you aren’t aware. Oh, and the whole love thing.
Love is something that takes many forms during the life of marriage, starting with sitting outside the bathroom door while the other takes care of business because you can’t stand to be away from each other to–I love you, but do you really have to chew on a regular basis?
I could go on and on about the many benefits of marriage and those of you who read my blog are fully aware that I can and do, but wait! Come back! Just one more thing, and it’s mind boggling! If practiced as it was intended, marriage is a natural deterrent to dating. BANG! I’ll wait until you dust yourself off before continuing.
Dating, which is the tedious shuffling through human beings to determine which of the species will not drive you into a mental institution over a prolonged period of time, is like mining for diamonds in your back yard; you may find one, but it’s most likely attached to the severed hand of a previous homeowner and you have to turn it over to the police anyway as it’s evidence.
A prolonged period of time is, of course, subjective and can seem much longer than the actual time passing if the person who seemed fabulous when you both separated to your own abodes after making kissy face, now makes you wish your beloved was a serial killer to, at least, put an end to your suffering sooner rather than later, which is probably what happened to the former diamond owner in your yard.
Here comes an adage: It’s better to live alone than to wish murder was an event wherein the murderer gets one oops before suffering jail time.
Having said that, dating is worse. No, it really is. I barely remember the activity because since June 3, 1978, I have repeated the phrase every married person should memorize when asked out for an evening of dinner and bouncy-bouncy: “My spouse frowns on my dating.” You’re welcome.
Now, I’ve never actually asked my husband if dating is OK, but it seemed implicit when I spoke the vows in front of friends and family. I don’t exactly remember what I said because it was so long ago and I was wearing an unusual outfit that made it hard to concentrate, but I got the gist, which is more than I can say about most cultural figures.
Dating is something so bad, however, that even watching other people go through the ritual is wince worthy: the awkwardness, the anxiety, the horror of finding that your coffee companion thinks the moon landing was faked. Jumpin’ Jehosophat! (I heard Katherine Hepburn say that a few days ago and made a note to throw it into casual conversation.)
I remember one discarded candidate of my youth, who considered it a charming and debonair to ring my doorbell in the morning, knowing I was asleep, so I would finally come down at yell at him. Another considered the word, “no,” to be in the same category as a yellow light; speed up and hope not to be stopped by the authorities. That person was the inspiration for the following Jeopardy answer: Your brother’s reputation as a badass who will kill anyone, even innocent by-standers, who even accidentally bump into his baby sister if she whimpers lightly after arriving home and relating the story.
Anyone want to ring in? Oooh. Sorry. The question is: What is better than birth control? I knew many boys who chose the relative safety of Wheel of Fortune to the well known-consequence of making me tell on them.
Of course, dating has become an entirely different kettle of stinky fish since I was a teenager and we all watched fish grow legs and learn to walk on land as part of the evolutionary process for fun.
Now, in the time I can injure myself while shampooing, you can be rejected by a dozen or more people you never would have considered dating before social media was invented. Not only that, but if you do find your temporary true love, you can be treated to a first row seat describing how much happier your ex is having unfriended you. Add to that the troubling idea that, while your snookieookums claims to be studying, a seemingly unending stream of photos of your beloved featuring alcohol induced tongue displaying and duck faces, testifying to the fact that your honey bunny is a douche.
So, how do you find someone to marry? A dilemma inside of a dilemma. Figure it out and then get married or agree to abide sharing an abode. It will either save you from the agony of flipping through hundreds of photos of ostensibly available mates or it won’t. I make no guarantees. Whatever works for you. But, for the love of the remote control, don’t marry someone who will drive you to disastrous acts in the future, (unless they pass that oops law, then just take your best shot, one way or the other.)