Marriage

I was nursing a beer, eating the Tuesday night special.

Some kind of meat over rice.

A miserable old man sat down next to me at the bar. The bartender nodded at me. This was the guy he’d warned me about- the bitter, super jaded regular who never shut up about how screwed the entire universe was.

I glanced around for an open seat, there was no other place to relocate.

Then, the old man started complaining loudly about random things and tying his best to draw me into his complaining. Somewhere around the expression, “Don’t get married. A woman will destroy your life…” he somehow pulled me into it.

“You married, kid?”

“No.”

“Good, but your engaged. I can smell it on you. The smell of defeat.”

“Ehhh.” I said.

“Run.”

“She’s an Olympic sprinter. A world class athlete. She’d catch me.”

“At least you have a sense of humor about it. No one should get married.”

“Case by case basis, I think would be fair.”

“Ha! I’ve had my life ruined by a psychopath. An absolute PSYCHOTIC. I should have seen the signs, I should have known better. People tried to warn me. Did I listen?”

I tried to go back to my plate of food, he whacked me on the shoulder.

“Alright, smartie, you want a case by case analysis. Here it comes. I’ll give you one right now! How long have you known this special lady? A year, a year and a month?”

“Seven years.”

“That long? You still like each other?”

“Yeah, I’d say so. Definitely.”

“You live together?”

“Yup.”

“Pets? Kids? Do you own a motorcycle or a speedboat? Does she have an obsession with having her toes constantly buffed and painted in a frickin strip mall somewhere?”

“None of those things.”

“Heh…okie dokie, her parents are they still together?”

“Yup.”

“Are they major league assholes?”

“No.”

“You like them? That’s what your saying?”

“A lot. Yeah I like them, a lot.”

“Your parents, do they despise each others guts down to the very core of their guts? Do they froth with hatred for each other?”

“No.”

“They’re still together?”

“Yeah. Still together.”

“Are they assholes?” He kept getting progressively louder and LOUDER. The bartender had to walk away. His ears were ringing.

“They’re fine too.”

“Shit.” he said. He scratched his head, “Shit.”

He couldn’t figure us out. Me and my girl, we were new, mysterious waters.

And then in a very reassuring and delicate tone he said, “You’ll be fine. You have my blessing. Get married.”

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