Me and Jenny got us a problem here. We're thinking about getting married, but our families are not exactly rich in love stories. My father's been married four times, my mother's been married three times, my brother's never been married but has three kids by three different mothers, Jenny doesn't even know who her real father is, her mother just got divorced for the second time and will be in a bar tonight I guarantee it, and her two sisters got a total of five divorces and her brother collects restraining orders like they might be worth money someday. Me and Jenny really really want things to work but we feel somewhat shortchanged on role models. We don't just want to get married. What we want is a marriage that lasts. You got any good ideas about this?
Scared but in love,
Rick and Jenny
Dear Rick and Jenny,
As your fragmented, dysfunctional families display so beautifully, marriage can get rough.
However, I'm pleased to report that I have developed a simple, foolproof, five-question quiz you can take to determine if you are good candidates for a long term marriage. So please find a comfy place to sit, Rick and Jenny, and let's begin the exam.
1. Please close your eyes. Now imagine two toilets side by side. And now imagine the two of you sitting together on those toilets, turding. Hold that image as long as you can in your head. If both of you, in that image in your head, do not begin to laugh, DO NOT GET MARRIED. I REPEAT: DO NOT GET MARRIED. I MEAN IT. I'M NOT KIDDING. THE CHANCES ARE IT WILL FAIL. DON'T DON'T DO IT. Why? Because if shitting side by side is not funny, what is?
2. The two of you are sitting on an empty beach, looking out at the sea. Now, coming from opposite directions, are an incredibly sexy young woman and an incredibly sexy young man who pass each other right in front of you. Which of the two following scenarios is CLOSER to your guess about what would happen in the very next moment between the two of you sitting there by the ocean:
A. As the beautiful people disappear down the beach, you do not look to each other. You look back at the sea. You say nothing.
B. As the beautiful people disappear down the beach, you turn to each other, pretend to chew your tongues, release a noise usually made by The Three Stooges.
If you chose A., DO NOT -- I REPEAT, DO NOT GET MARRIED. AGAIN, I'M NOT JOKING AROUND HERE. THE ODDS IT WILL FAIL ARE TOO HIGH. DO. NOT. GET. MARRIED. DO NOT. Why? Because pretending each other's ass etc. is the only ass etc. that has any attraction to you is a silly lie.
3. Try this speech out on your loved one, word for word: "I love you. And I know there will be times when I will want to make love with you and you will not want to make love with me. When those times come, and come they shall, as surely as winter turns to spring, would it be OK with you if I just go ahead and masturbate like crazy? Because that would be fantastic. And while I'm masturbating there beside you, if you would help me out even a tiny bit, which I would never require but which would be a much appreciated bonus -- no more than a couple minutes of your time, max -- that would be an extra great thing that I'd be so thankful for. My loved one, is this something you might do for me from time to time throughout our lives whenever this particular situation should come about?
If the answer to this memorized question is anything less agreeable than "Sure. What's a couple minutes?" then DO NOT GET MARRIED. FAKE A SICKNESS. GET OUT OF TOWN. GO TO PRISON. DO SOMETHING. ANYTHING. BUT DO NOT GET MARRIED. Why? Because the small details of your sex life are essential to thorough contentment. All that is required is some fairly regular delivery system of pleasure. You weed your garden. You answer your emails. The three to four minute trade-off we're talking about here is clearly a fantastic investment.
4. You are strolling down a flower-lined avenue on a lovely spring day and you hear this being screamed inside House A: "I hate your stinking filthy guts! I wish we never got married! I hate you I hate you I hate you!" You continue your morning walk and you pass an open window in House B and you hear this being said in even tones: "I have such contempt for you. Why I ever married you is beyond me." In which house is there a chance that everything will be fine tomorrow?
(Helpful Hints: Hate and Contempt are two very different things. You may say you hate broccoli, but you cannot have contempt for broccoli. You may say you hate Hitler but what you mean is you have contempt for Hitler. When you hate something, hate is a rental -- it will not be yours forever. Contempt, on the other hand, you own. Hate is a thug made inarticulate by anger. Contempt is clear-headed and well-spoken, delighted by the sound of its own voice as it explains to you the essential qualities you lack that render you so utterly contemptible. In short, contempt is what hate hopes to be when it grows up: a superstar in the big leagues of animosity).
Hating each other's stinking guts from time to time is a perfectly acceptable activity in a healthy marriage. Having contempt for your loved one, however, is not. Therefore, if you did not answer House A, FORGET IT. DO NOT GET MARRIED. RUN FOR THE HILLS. HIGH-TAIL IT OUT THE WINDOW IF YOU HAVE TO. GO. RUN. DO NOT GET MARRIED. DO NOT. DO. NOT. BECAUSE THE CHANCES ARE IT AIN'T GONNA WORK. Why? If you have to ask at this point, just please, don't get married.
5. Imagine that you come into the bedroom, and there is your loved one, the person you are intending to spend the rest of your life with, snoring like a rhinoceros. The lips of your prospective partner for the rest of your life are flapping. The eyelids of your prospective partner for the rest of your life are twitching. The mouth of your prospective partner for the rest of your life is hanging open and you can see your prospective partner for the rest of your life's tongue, and even that thing has got a life of it's own. Please freeze that moment in your head, and take time to examine it. When you're ready, which of the following choices is CLOSER to the way you actually felt at that moment as you looked down at your sleeping loved one:
A. Holy shit. Look at this thing. It's like road kill only now I'm supposed to stop my car, get out, and marry it?
B. Ok. Still. I'm in.
This is the easiest one. If your answer is not B, you do not need me to tell you which exit to take.
Rick and Jenny, I sure hope this helps. I'm rooting for you.