Sunday Advice Column #3

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My advice to the newlyweds.

My wife and I are still down in San Diego for our friends’ wedding. It was beautiful, light-hearted, and fun. The grooms have quite different backgrounds and many of their guests didn’t know each other. Rather than act like a bunch of weird, shitty cats, they all seemed to dive right in and become fast friends. Marriages are about joining families, and this one felt like a true fusion.

I know it’s a bit gauche with you progressives to make a big deal out of a “gay wedding” these days because, other than the gender of the couple, there’s practically no difference at all. But I’m super stoked because I’ve always wanted to go to a gay wedding. I imagined it would be fun, and it was. The only difference in the ceremony was a result of how good and kind our friends are. Their rings funded clean water wells in Haiti, and there was a brief speech about that.

If people who opposed gay marriage could see how normal and happy everyone was, only the most ignorant and insecure would find issue. The only real surprise was how much pop country music was played. I figure it’s because one of the grooms is from Canada.

The guests were lovely and well-dressed in exquisitely tailored suits or stylish dresses. The couple sitting across from us were international male models. Their suits and hair had a Mad Men vibe (but updated) and thanks to a sensible dose of cannabis edibles and the classic Southern California view from the house, it felt like I was at a wedding in the late 1960s.

I wore my favorite shoes to celebrate the possibility of patching over our Canadian friend to the number one country in the world, the good ol’ US of A. My wife has lost the war on my appearance these days and I continue to edge toward the cliff of eccentricity.

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These colors don’t run. Because they have terrible arch support.

Since love is in the air, I thought I’d answer some questions about long-term relationships before I hit the random shit you folks submitted this week.

How do you know when it’s time to get married?

This is going to be different for everyone, but there are certain conditions I’d imagine anyone would want to meet before signing up for an eventual divorce. Marriage is so rad, I hate seeing dickheads throw a big ass wedding and get divorced a year later. Personally, I think if your wedding doesn’t last 12 months (for reasons other than abuse or infidelity) you should refund the cost of travel and hotels to your guests.

The first thing to answer: “do you like being around each other?” This is different than asking if you’re in love. Being in love is probably just a trick your body is playing on you with hormones. All that disgustingly satisfying animal sex you have in the first six months  will eventually cool off. If you’re happy to come home and see your partner relaxing on the couch, scratching their butt, you’re probably going to make it.

It sucks to think about money, but the number one cause of divorce is financial stress. You should have a serious talk about debt, career potential, and lifestyle goals before you even consider buying a ring. If one of you wants to vacation in Europe every year, but the other really wants to see how that whole being in a band thing will play out, there’s going to be trouble. Almost every major bit of strife in my relationship can be blamed on money. We decided to use Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover plan to get out of debt and it changed everything for us. Getting your money right allows you to really build something together and if you have kids, you need to get that shit right.

That brings me to kids. Decide if you want them and make a real plan to raise them before you get married. There are three predictors of stability in the United States: holding a job (any job), graduating high school, and not having kids before marriage. Almost everyone who checks those three boxes does ok in life.

Should I have a destination wedding?

Are you and your friends and family wealthy? If so, have at it. If not, it’s a dick move. The main reason to have a wedding someplace exotic is to weed out people from the guest list. If you plan to elope, you can go wherever the fuck you want.

Is eloping bad? 

No. It’s awesome. The average wedding costs something like $25,000. Can you imagine how fun your honeymoon would be if you dumped that amount of cash on it? A few old people might be angry you robbed them of a couple photo ops, but seriously, fuck them. Marriage is about you and your love. Plus you can get married in jeans and no one cares.

All second marriages should be done by eloping. Your friends have probably already shelled out a fortune at your first wedding ceremony and had to endure months or years of you crying about your divorce. Save us all the trouble and just get right into your happy do over without us.

RHPS-WeddingPhotoL
I saw Rocky Horror like a hundred times before I noticed Frank, Riff-Raff and Magenta in the opening wedding.

Do people even need to get married anymore? 

If you love each other and have kids, you should get hitched. If your religion has a rule where you burn in hell for putting your most sensitive monkey parts in another monkey before a witch doctor or priest says it’s ok, you should examine how gullible you are, then get married.

These days you probably don’t have to get married, but it still carries weight in society. I was very surprised to see how differently I was treated as a married man (it implies some seriousness I guess). It’s like that scene in The Departed where Alec Baldwin’s character tells Matt Damon’s character about marriage:

Marriage is an important part of getting ahead. It lets people know you’re not a homo. A married guy seems more stable. People see the ring, they think ‘at least somebody can stand the son of a bitch.’ Ladies see the ring, they know immediately that you must have some cash, and your cock must work.

Even little interactions like checking in at a hotel or asking your doctor if Oxycontin is right for you are a little different after you’re married. You might not care about an oppressive financial arrangement from an ancient culture, but other people do.

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