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Monday, October 20, 2008

Flying solo

An Englishman writes an ode to the joys of remaining unmarried:

Too many feeble men give in to the supposed security of marriage. They see it as panacea to their problems (including, but by no means limited to, alienation, indecision, and lack of direction and motivation). “I don’t want to be the oldest father at the school gates,” lamented one friend recently, explaining why he was getting engaged to his girlfriend, who we all know will make his life a misery.

Marriage like this is for wimps....

Incidentally, dating younger girls draws a curiously bitter response from single women my own age. I remind them that there is nice symmetry in this: every schoolboy remembers the moment at 15 when all the best-looking girls in his year decided they didn’t fancy their spotty-faced contemporaries and began dating the sixth-former with a Vauxhall Astra. It’s not revenge, exactly, but they started it.

If a man's goals in life are fundamentally hedonistic or if his character is narcissistic, there's simply no reason to get married anymore. The limitations on one's life, the financial risks of divorce and a court system that is structurally biased in favor of women, and simply having to put up with female idiosyncracies on a regular basis just aren't worth the benefits of marriage. As David Spade's character once told his married friends: "Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go do whatever I feel like doing, all the time."

If, however, one possesses moral restrictions on one's behavior due to one's religious faith or philosophical principles, or believes in the importance of continuing human society, then marriage is essential. This does not, however, mean that a man need accept life as a spineless, pussy-whipped omega male at his wife's constant beck and call. Marital faithfulness is not equivalent to female dominance of the marital relationship; if that's the case, it's a diseased marriage of the very sort that the writer is rightly determined to avoid. A happy marriage is one that caters to the needs of both parties, which usually means adhering more or less to the traditional model.

Of course, weddings are always lots of fun.

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