There was a little confusion about whether or not I was joking when, in “What Engagement Means to Me,” I mentioned that we would drop all of our friends post-marriage. I hope the fact that we moved about as far away as you can go without leaving the country and changed our cell phone numbers clears that up.
But. Just because I don’t want to talk to you doesn’t mean I don’t want to talk at you. I recall the old saying that goes, “Make it through the first four weeks of marriage and you’re an expert.” My advice to the singles out there: Grab someone who smells good and marry them.
Anything you’ve heard about waiting to be sure you’re “really ready” or that your prospective spouse is “the one” is a dirty lie perpetuated by selfish married couples who feel threatened when they see people who are as happy as they are. It’s just like the trick Northwesterners pull to keep people from moving to Washington—they say, “Oh it’s so rainy we’re all suffering from depression blah bleddy blah haven’t seen the sun in months…” Well a year ago I spent July and August there and it rained twice.
One way the Married Club tries to dump on your happiness parade is by telling you marriage takes work. False. Marriage is this thing where people you know and don’t know give you gifts and you thank them. And, yeah, I suppose those thank-you notes can get old, but if you divide the total cash value of all the gifts by the number of hours spent writing the notes, you’re making about as much as the CEO of a small corporation. I think you can handle that.
Marriage is getting to call your wife’s stuff your stuff. It’s using her fancy shampoo without asking. It’s upgrading from a paint-peeling, no-AC Accord with 130,000 miles on it to a new Mazda 3 with better mileage that allows you to cruise across the continental United States in style.
Marriage is a week-long Hawaiian vacation that your parents mostly pay for so you can relax after partying with friends and family every night of the week of your wedding. It’s eating all the sushi you want and then sleeping for twelve hours. It’s asking each other, “Do you want to go on a hike or something?” and deciding to just sip on some Rex Goliath merlot on the porch instead.
Yes, the Married Club says, but you also have to work on the relationship. I’m still trying to figure out what that part means. Talk about feelings? Just this morning I told Liz I was hungry, but that didn’t feel like work. Especially when she made those banana crepes with chocolate sauce that I like so much. No, I’d say that was less like work and more like lying in bed gorging myself. And here’s the thing about fights and stuff: all those get smoothed over by a raging physical attraction that—as far as I know—will never diminish.
The only true downside I’ve encountered is that marriage means moving out of your parents’ house and into an apartment with no garbage disposal, boiling water tap, furniture, bi-monthly maid, ocean view, or self-refilling fridge. But even that feels kind of rustic. I just tell myself I’m in the pioneer days. Hell, if they got by with only a big apartment in a safe neighborhood with plumbing, electricity, and a gas stove, so can we.
Most of all, marriage is playing house and having no one call your bluff. Try saying, “I’d like you to meet my wife.” It feels good. Now just think how good it would feel if you actually had one.