Monday, June 16, 2008

Wedded world has a dark underbelly

Like Sting says, “I never made promises lightly, and there have been some that I’ve broken”. But instead of walking in fields of gold, I want to figure out what the heck is wrong with married people.

Story background: I majored in Social Work. Consequently, I now work at Jiffy Lube.

So the other day I was talking to a fifty-something customer and I told him that his oil change would be finished in ten minutes and he proceeded to freak out and babble incoherently.

“Oh no! I thought it was gonna take lots longer! I gotta get out of the house for longer than ten minutes! I just got away and I’m not going back. Maybe I could tell her I was at Jiffy Lube for two hours but go some place else. But she’ll know! She always knows!”

And then he looked me right in the eye and almost shrieked, “Are you married? Don’t ever get married! Promise me you’ll never get married! Promise me! Promise!

I hastily promised not to get married, ran like heck and never looked back. The crazy, fearful look in his eye will haunt me until I die, and some questions remained clogged in my mind: was this guy crazy, or was he dangerously sane? Most importantly, is marriage really that bad?

So I asked some other people about their marriages and was unsettled to find that, even though they all said their marriages were great, they all included some kind of disclaimer or caveat. Like, “It’s a lot of work” or “Sometimes it sucks” or “Most of the time we love each other, but sometimes we really hate each other.” Awesome. Sign me up.

I told my friend about this experience and he laughed and asked me why I haven’t gotten married yet. Feeling sarcastic, I told him that I haven’t yet found a woman who isn’t crazy. He looked at me incredulously and then burst into hysterical laughter, tears rolling down his cheeks and everything.

After he calmed down, he wiped his eyes and said, “A woman who isn’t crazy? You might as well be looking for a unicorn or a leprechaun because, like unicorns and leprechauns, sane women don’t exist! You need to save your time and money and just look for the least crazy woman. Once you find her you have to hurry and make her your wife or else you’ll be stuck with someone even crazier than she is.”

“Is your wife crazy?” I asked.

“Crazy as a loon,” he said, matter-of-factly.

“It sounds like you’re crazy,” I accused.

He thought for a minute and said, “Yeah, I guess I must be.”

Sounds like I won’t be breaking that promise anytime soon.