I would like to introduce your to a friend of mine. His name is Mike and he’s getting married this year…for the sixth time. We grew up together in Chicago cutting class and spending many a spring day at beautiful Wrigley Field, home of the Cubs. We were proud to call ourselves elite members of The Bleacher Bums. True story: I once dropped my car keys in left field and Pete Rose kept them for seven innings before tossing them back to me. I washed them as soon as I got home.
How can someone get married six times? It’s not supposed to be a hobby. The most amazing thing is, wouldn’t you say to yourself, at some point, “Gee, maybe I’m not very good at this.” If an astronaut mistakenly steers his ship onto Venus instead of The International Space Station, some NASA official would probably bring it to his attention that perhaps he should consider driving a Loop bus or something instead. Marriage is a divine institution where men deepen their existing relationship and learn many new skills in the process, like the art of laundry (never wash black sweatpants with white blouses). We learn moderation (Nascar races do not need to be watched for the entire 500 laps), and utensil cleansing (soap really does help cut grease).
In Mike’s previous five marriages, his wives were the ones initiating the divorce proceedings and there’s not a slouch among them. They were accountants, bank managers, photographers and school teachers. Most of the divorces were granted on the ever popular grounds of irreconcilable differences, but there was one abandonment issue (Mike went to the Cubs spring training in Arizona and forgot to tell her). There was also one who filed for divorce on the grounds of ‘scumbaggery.’ I think Mike invented that. I’m told that future wife #6 claims to be working overtime on the world’s perfect pancake batter and she’s surrounded herself with all the right people as she straps on the apron and cheerfully waits tables at IHOP.
How many times will you be willing to stick your hand over the open flame before you realize that maybe that’s the cause of all the skin curling up and nails falling out? “Wow! That really hurt. I can’t believe it. I’m only going to do it a couple more times and that’s it.” Besides, let’s be honest: Marriage failure is a self fulling prophecy. With each new spouse, the likelihood of calling the current one by the wrong name naturally increases, and, of course, that leads to the current wife becoming an ex-wife and the vicious cycle continues.
Mike, I’m sorry, buddy. It’s time to find yourself a new hobby. You gave this marriage thing numerous shots and it just wasn’t in the cards. Might I suggest something where you can participate all by yourself, without harming another human being. Gardening is a great hobby. Just grab yourself a hoe and have a field day. Painting or pottery would be nice. There’s no way, you could hurt anyone doing either one of those things. It’s only when you involve another person that you seem to have problems. Might I suggest a ‘starter person,’ and by that I mean a mannequin. I hear Macy’s has some really nice ones this time of year.