Monday, January 5, 2009

Chick Magnet OR Dating and marriage according to my parents OR Love and ice cream

In my family and culture, you’re expected to be married and have started a family by the time you reach your mid-20s. If you don’t stick to that schedule, you’re in trouble.

So as far as my family is concerned my wife is long overdue, and I even have a few overdue kids by this time. They don’t let me hear the end of it.

For instance, there was a party with lots of single people in attendance that my brother Brennan and I didn’t go to. We were going to go, but then we realized it conflicted with a band that was playing that we really wanted to see. Oops.

My mom heard about it and became annoyed. She said, “You guys care more about going to rock shows than you do about finding a wife! What if the girl you were supposed to marry was at that party?”

“Well, if she's anybody I want to marry, she was probably at the show,” Brennan countered.

Touché. Basically my mom thinks dating is super easy, but really she just doesn’t remember how annoying and scary dating is. She got married, like, 100 years ago and it was an arranged marriage or something. My dad gave my grandpa a cow as part of the exchange.

So I’m bad at dating. Who isn’t?

For one thing, I have the rest of my life to be boring and married, so why the rush? You can’t force it, and finding a woman who is not crazy is harder than it looks. Finding a woman who is not crazy and “loves me for who I am” aka “puts up with me” is even harder.

And I would be lying if I said the fault rests entirely with the women. Recently I’ve been accused by several people of being “hot and cold.” I accept that. I get close to being serious and then I abandon ship. I know it’s not good, I just get hung up on that word “forever.” FOREVER. That is a long time, in case you were not aware.

When I was about 14 my dad laid it out for me like this: “See, it’s like Baskin Robbins. There’s 31 flavors, right? And there’s free samples, right? Only one day you’re gonna have to buy a scoop and that’s all you get. EVER. So you better try a lot of samples and make darn sure you like Rocky Road or Mint Chip or whatever you choose because you’re stuck with it, man! Rocky Road every single day of your life. Every. Single. Day.”

Never had ice cream sounded so depressing. The scary part is I see people around me putting the same amount of thought into who they’re going to marry as they do into ordering lunch at a fast food restaurant. On second thought, I’d say a lot of them put more thought into that lunch order. Sometimes it’s hard to choose between a number five and a number seven because some days you feel like beef, some days you feel like chicken, you know?

I’ve also talked to newly married couples and oftentimes they will tell me that married life is “hard.” Seriously? I can imagine it would be a fair amount of work, but it shouldn’t be “hard.” If that’s the case then I would just as soon stay single.

So I'm just trying to find a balance between cynical and delusional. I'm hoping for "realistic" and, with any luck, "optimistic."

Let’s make a deal: I will take dating more seriously if everyone will promise to stop harassing me.

See you at the show!


  1. I reckon you'll meet the right person when YOU'RE ready! You can't force that stuff!
    Also, you've gotta totally do it your way or you'll come across all desperate and stuff!

    I'm lucky because my parents didn't want me to settle down too early...of course I ignored them and met the love of my life at 18...

    Keep doing what you're doing - I really enjoy your blog!

  2. I thought parents are fussy about finding someone to settle in this part of the wotld, it's sooo annoying..

    have fun while you can, other halfs always come unexpectedly anyway :)

  3. 1. Yah, parents get to say whatever they want. My mom gets on my case wanting me to get a boyfriend and get married already, until I finally get a boyfriend, then she makes it a point to tell me EVERY day that I can't get married. Moral of the story: Parents talk too much sometimes, such is life.
    2. A friend once pointed it out that "All women are crazy. You just have to find the one who's craziness you can put up with, or quite possibly enjoy, and then marry her before someone else beats you to it." Sorry friend, but we're all crazy.
    3. And I totally second what the person ahead of me wrote - other halfs are totally unexpected. It takes time and its inconvenient, but definately worth it.
    4. Brennan has it figured out, go Brennan!

  4. My 2 centavos: it's hard (*ahem, understatement) to find anyone worthy enough to wake up next to. My advice- which isn't worth much considering my dating history, marry the person with least offensive morning breath.

  5. I had a newly married over 30's couple at my house on Sunday and they said that being newly married is "hard", but that it has lots of benefits that make up for it.

    Other than that...
    I find that my desire to get married comes and goes like the ocean tide or a sinusoidal wave.

    Just don't give up on the idea and you'll be fine.

  6. After leaving my last comment, I came across this. This song seems particularly appropriate.

    (I hope the link works...)

  7. Marriage is only hard if you are a sissy. Life is hard anyway, but some things in life do get hard-er when you're married (although many get easier, so it works out). For example, I could go broke and be quite happy living on the beach here in honolulu. But having a wife changes that cuz she would be quite... unhappy with being homeless. So that makes being poor more stressful than when I was single.

    Other than things like that, being married is awesome. If you expect it to be fun, but just as hard as real life is anyway, then you'll be cool. It's people that think marriage will make everything happy and no problems in life ever that freak out when they get married and life is... well normal (except you get to have sex). i think the people who whine and say "marriage is SOOOO hard" (and this is a generalization) may actually just not have known the person for long enough to get used to the little things they do that may be weird. basically if you just decide not to care about dumb things and stop thinking about yourself, then it's all good. and it helps if you marry someone who doesn't care if you are a mess. or someone who goes to rock shows.

    that's the longest bit of marriage advice i think i ever have given and probably will ever give in the future again.

  8. Marriage is not 'hard'. I agree, it shouldn't be 'hard'. If it is, you chose the wrong person, perhaps?

    I ordered a husband on True story.

  9. What exactly is your culture?

  10. Um, Mormon American, I guess you could say. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and so does most of my family. It is a religion and it is also very much a culture, and the two are not always the same.

  11. Maybe you should marry someone with a multi-personality disorder, that way it'll be like you're married to a different person every day!

  12. Hee hee! Just tell your mom that your dad ruined it for you. That icecream story would ruin it for anyone I'd say.

    Although...I always want chocolate chip cookie dough icecream. It IS the best, after all. So maybe the icecream story isn't really all that bad for me. I'll never tire of chocolate chip cookie dough icecream.

  13. I married at 18, and I've never looked back. I KNEW that I was born to be Mrs. Jemaine Clement. Once I had that confirmation, nothing else mattered.

    Oh wait, no, I'm lying.

  14. Married life is kind of hard. No two people are going to have the exact same tastes, so you're going to have to compromise, probably a lot. And personality differences? Well, that happens a lot, too.

    But you've got to see that there's more to your spouse than the stuff you don't always agree with, or you wouldn't have fallen in love with them in the first place.

    Marriage is both really hard and really, really awesome.

  15. Have you ever tried black raspberry ice cream?

    Yea Pennywise. Music should always come first. Guaranteed happiness.

  16. Brennan's a smart kid. I have never once regretted choosing Something Fun over a YSA activity.
    My parents joke about arranging my marriage, but I'm pretty sure they're serious. Scary, right? :)

  17. Ha ha, loved this post. I'd have picked the show too anyday! x

  18. I wonder who made these rules for dating and by what age? Dating isn't easy and I like how you dad compared dating women, choosing a mate, and marriage to ice cream. Best of luck!

  19. Is ANYONE good at dating? and the ice cream analogy? Ouch, haha.

  20. hahaha! I do give a LOT more thought to that lunch order.

    I wasn't born for marriage.


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