Saturday, August 30, 2008

Add to the Salamander Maxims the "Women to Avoid" section right after,
Never contemplate a long-term relationship with a woman who subscribes to Cosmopolitan.
... you can add,
Never contemplate any relationship long or short with a woman who has on her bookmark list.
When I think of the females I know who have talked with me about their aching loss of a boyfriend or husband, or their inability to find someone who will commit to marriage; or I listen as they tell another story of a bad, abusive, or dawgish-player man --- I can only think about what a narcissistic, ungrateful, and selfishly narrow minded woman this person is who has what many women would love to have - someone to share a life with.
I contemplate divorce every day. It tugs on my sleeve each morning when my husband, Will, greets me in his chipper, smug morning-person voice, because after 16 years of waking up together, he still hasn't quite pieced out that I'm not viable before 10 a.m.
It puts two hands on my forehead and mercilessly presses when he blurts out the exact wrong thing ("Are you excited for your surprise party next Tuesday?"); when he lies to avoid the fight ("What do you mean I left our apartment door open? I never even knew our apartment had a door!"); when he buttons his shirt and jacket into the wrong buttonholes, collars and seams unaligned like a vertical game of dominoes, with possibly a scrap of shirttail zippered into his fly.

It flicks me, hard, just under the eye when, during a parent-teacher conference, he raises his arm high in the air, scratches his armpit, and then --then! -- absently smells his fingers.
To be sure, there will be throngs of angry women who will decry me for plunging a stake into the heart of holy matrimony. "My husband is my lifeline," I've heard said (and that's bad news for the aorta). "My husband and I never fight" is another marital chestnut -- again, bad news (not to mention a big fat lie), since according to the experts, the strongest relationships are the ones in which people can continually agree to disagree. "My husband is my best friend," others will aver.

No. Your husband is not your best friend. Your best friend is your best friend. If your husband were your best friend, what would that make your best friend -- the dog? When a woman tells me that her husband is her best friend, what I hear is: I don't really have any friends.
Maybe one day, marriage -- like the human appendix, male nipples, or your pinky toes -- will become a vestigial structure that will, in a millennium or two, be obsolete. Our great-great-great-grandchildren's grandchildren will ask each other in passing, "Remember marriage? What was its function again? Was it that maladaptive organ that intermittently produced gastrointestinal antigens and sometimes got so inflamed that it painfully erupted?"

Yes. Yes it was.

Until that day of obsolescence, we can confront the dilemma and consider the choice a privilege. Once upon a time is the stuff of fairy tales. As for happily ever after -- see appendix.
16 years of marriage -- and to think if she would walk away from a divorce with half of someone's retirement pay ..... well ..... Skippy knows this type of woman, methinks, her name is Ellen Tien.

Let me help Ellen's world view a bit as I approach my 17th year of marriage; Mrs. Salamander thinks you are pathetic and comments,
"What were you doing walking in front of the car? Safety rule #1 .... Who is she hanging out with? No one I know talks like that... What does she mean ' I would not, could not disparage my marriage' when that is all she does? .... What she is missing is that nothing in life is perfect; gee woman, get over yourself."
--- and we both think you need to get laid.

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