BEFORE THE WEDDING:6 MONTHS LATER:
I met a friend of an old friend, who I'll refer to as "R", yesterday while shopping. Naturally, I asked R's friend if he'd spoken to him lately. He said yes, and that he's MARRIED NOW. My jaw dropped. This was additionally shocking to me as I surprisingly discovered that a 23-year-old co-worker of mine is engaged to be married.
R is 24 and hasn't finished college yet. R very much loved going out and spending time with various women. I'm not here to tell people never to get married. But I AM here to tell them they are making stupid choices and that they are douchebags.
Comedian Bill Maher, host of HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher
, who is 50 and single said this about marriage in 2002:
"I realize there are millions of people who are happy married. I would estimate the percentage at around 20 to 25 percent. Half get divorced, and half of the half stay married and not happy."
Those numbers are about right. The National Center for Health Statistics in the United Staes has the divorce rate at almost half the marriage rate (3.7 divorces versus 7.8 marriages per 1,000 people). And we all know a shitload of couples who stay married but hate each other. Marriage works for some couples, but it doesn't for most
. Yet most people will get married! Hence, they are dumb-ass motherfuckers. People are playing the lottery, thinking it won't happen to them, or underestimating the likelihood of it happening to them. It is also extremely selfish, as many couples who do get divorced have children from their marriage and put a strain on them.
Marriage is unnatural. It runs counter to the male impulse to have as many partners as possible. How can you be in your early twenties and commit yourself to one person, and then spend the next 50 years looking at other women (or men), thinking 'what could have been' or 'God I want to fuck her (his) hot ass'
Marriage has been around for millenia, although in different forms. The institution of marriage has been propped up artificially by religion and 'custom'. Arranged marriages used to be the norm, where a 30 year old stranger would buy someone's 13 year old daughter. In some cultures, polygamy is the norm. As for Western culture, the Christian Church chose to keep marriage from the Romans, but declined to keep things like concubinage and prostitution. As a result, we condemn those two but embrace marriage just because some douchebag priests (who were probably violating their vows of celibacy) told us to. Dumb tradition is what it is. Now that we live in an era of unfettered personal freedom, surprise, surprise, fewer people are doing it (wisely), and huge numbers of people are getting divorced (shouldn't have gotten married in the first place!).
Cohabitation before marriage, although it can help in some cases, isn't the answer either. Hollywood is probably a bad sample to choose from, but take the example of actress Helen Hunt and actor Hank Azaria. They dated for close to 3 years, then lived together for almost another 3, then got married, then divorced after a year and a half.
Marriage inevitably leads to some level of complacency. It is human nature to think, well I don't have to shower today, because my wife won't leave me if I don't. Or, I can eat these 10 chili cheese hot dogs because if I gain 300 pounds I'll still be married.
If you're two loyal people who are genuinely bent on monogamy, fine, give it a shot. If it doesn't work--well, I warned you. And to everyone else: fuck you, assholes. (And that means you too, 'R'!)UPDATE
: MSNBC video: When "I do" means no sex