No warranty is given or implied

Men, we are told, live in paralyzing fear of getting involved with The Wrong Woman™, as though Big Brother might be keeping her in Room 101, just waiting for you to show up. At least part of this, suggests Robert Stacy McCain, is that the emptors just aren’t caveat-ing enough:

Everybody knows some unfortunate guy who is bitter about his ex-wife, but even after hearing the detailed (and often quite justifiable) complaints of these guys, it is sometimes a struggle to resist responding, “Yeah, but nobody forced you to marry that crazy two-timing evil vindictive bitch, did they?”

We will set aside, for the moment, the possibility of shotguns having been involved.

Now I am not bitter about my ex-wife, and I’m pretty sure she’s happier with Spouse #3. (Spouse #2 was given his walking papers after revealing that his primary goal in life was controlling the US balance of trade, to the extent that it was affected by the importation of Peruvian marching powder, and is now deceased; beyond that, I can say only that he had, um, a certain not-precisely-visceral appeal, or so I am given to understand.) Two-timing simply wasn’t on her agenda; one-timing was tricky enough. But enough about that.

And, in McCain’s words, it’s a freely-chosen transaction:

The FDA does not require a surgeon general’s warning label on crazy two-timing evil vindictive bitches. (“CAUTION: Her Butt May Look Kinda Cute in Cutoff Jeans, But She’s a Cruel Selfish Whore Who Will Make Your Life a Living Hell Some Day.”) It is up to the individual to avoid these hazards, and your failure to heed the warning signs does not make you a victim.

Then again, there’s a lot to be said for the Lewis Grizzard approach: “I don’t think I’ll get married again. I’ll just find a woman I don’t like and give her a house.”


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  1. Kay Dennison »

    25 June 2011 · 6:10 pm

    I like Grizzard’s idea. Men aren’t the only ones who feel that way. I was married 28 years and while I won’t say that, in the 13 years since our split, that I’ve never considered re-marrying but after the last offer, I’m just gonna keep on keepin’ on as a solo act. I don’t hate men — I just don’t want to commit to living with one. My favorite quote on divorce is: “Divorce. A resumption of diplomatic relations and rectification of boundaries.” — Ambrose Bierce. That sounds pretty much how mine has worked out and it’s okay with me.

  2. Robert Stacy McCain »

    25 June 2011 · 8:41 pm

    My mama told me, “You better shop around.”

    Between Lewis Grizzard and Smoky Robinson, you can’t go wrong.

  3. fillyjonk »

    25 June 2011 · 8:45 pm

    I dunno. I’ve heard enough stories on the distaff side of the War Between the Sexes to figure that I’m probably better off unattached. Hell, I’ve seen enough tension-between-close-friends the past few days to make being a hermit look positively rosy.

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  5. Charles Pergiel »

    26 June 2011 · 1:26 am

    If you want anything more than kids out of a marriage, you are expecting too much.

  6. Francis W. Porretto »

    26 June 2011 · 4:42 am

    We will set aside, for the moment, the possibility of shotguns having been involved.

    Let’s not set aside the largest of all the possibilities that would exculpate the husband: that she changed, whether for intrinsic reasons or because she “fell into bad company.” It does happen:

    – Did she love you at one point, but subsequently met and fell in love with someone else, whom she now prefers?
    – Did she collect a set of grievances, justified or not, from her experiences living with you?
    – Did she collect a set of grievances, entirely unjustified, from her association with already bitter and vindictive women?
    – Did experiences outside your home make her bitter and vindictive, and turn nicely proximate you into her whipping boy?

    I could go on.

    It’s not a pleasant prospect to contemplate — God knows, we’re all human, fallible, and subject to innumerable temptations, not just women — but it can happen to any seemingly happily married man. Given the current legal incentives (for the wife) toward divorce, the hazards (to the husband and children) are greater than they’ve ever been in American history.

  7. Tatyana »

    26 June 2011 · 5:49 am

    I appreciate Lewis Grizzard’ suggestion. I already dislike him and 2 men on this thread; when do they start giving me houses?

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