So I’m sitting here eating s’mores (whose creation involved a red hot stove burner…you know your life is pitful when a real campfire becomes a luxury…) and I am thinking about life, married life, in particular.
Here’s what no one ever tells little girls but should.
1. Life is hard and unlike Disney movies, you are probably going to have to rescue yourself.
2. That prince Charming doesn’t exist. Or if he does, it’s temporary. Sure he’ll seem perfect for 90 days or even up to 6 months, but once he’s sure he’s won your heart (or your lust, or god forbid, both) all that nice stuff will fall away. You will be stuck with working a 9 to 10 hour day and commuting a couple of hours a day. But, unlike the Prince, you will STILL be having to make dinner, get the kids’ to finish their homework, get them ready for bed and bake brownies for the next day’s bake sale while he watches “Monday Night Football” (or the Daytona 500, or March Madness, or the NBA Playoffs, or WTFEver, fill in the blank).
3. While you sacrifice your career, again and again and again, to be there for your kids, your husband will prosper in his career, rising up the ladder and earning more and more money.
4. And then when you finally realize how unbalanced it is and that you don’t want this fucked up, uneven thing, you’ll be the asshole that tries to change things. From his perspective, everything is perfect. And for him, it is perfect.
5. Once you realize you can’t persuade him to give up his perfect life so your life can be bearable, you become the uber-asshole that ruins everything and everyone by wanting to get a divorce. He’ll be able to afford the high priced attorney who knows all the judges personally and you, well you take whatever the hell you can get, even if it means filing the paperwork yourself. And no matter what you do, you will get screwed.
6. Here’s several other tidbits that mothers don’t tell their daughters but should–Being single is pretty awesome.
- You get the whole darn bed to yourself–no one to wake you up for snoring, saying “roll over”, when they, meaning he, snores to wake the dead and won’t wake up to roll over unless you take a sledge hammer to his head. You can stretch out, toss and turn and darn well do as you please (except, of course, for the various cats, dogs and children you may accrue over time)
- If you fart in bed, you don’t give a damn and you might even giggle. If you’re married (or living together “in sin”), you get embarrassed and he acts as if he was Ann Frank being gassed at Auschwitz.
- If you want to chow down on something, be it s’mores, ribs, chow mein, etc, and it oozes down your chin, no one gives a damn and no one judges you. In fact, if you have a canine companion they will absolutely worship you because they anticipate that you will share some of the divine comestibles with them and they will also be drooling.
- Which leads to the next one, if you gain weight who gives a damn. His fat is called “love handles” while you get called all manner of barn yard animals. I love myself, fat and all, and for the most part, I can still kick some serious ass (okay, okay, some average, middle aged ass).
- There is no arguing about how to raise the kids. When they are with you, they are yours to raise as you see fit. And when they are with him, you can’t control it and so long as it isn’t long-term damaging to them, you can and must let it go. And what’s more, you actually get a real break from the kids with little attendant guilt. After all, it’s his time with them and Mommy needs a break. So Mommy gets the break she never, ever got while married.
The longer I am single, the more I like it. Many will call me crazy, but I suspect a lot of you out there will call me smart. If you think you’ve found your Prince Charming, I wish with all my heart that it is true because, in the end, I am a romantic. I know that Princes exist because I know that real Princesses exist. Unfortunately, I also believe there are more Princesses in the world than there are Princes. Blame whoever you will….most likely ourselves. It was our mothers who raised the men who have and will continue to disappoint us. We will raise the boys that might let the women of tomorrow down. All we can do is try to raise boys to be the Princes we thought they could be–the ones who don’t want to rescue women but do want to be full-on 50/50 partners in every way. And we can try to raise our girls not to expect Princes at all but if they do meet one, to recognize them and cherish them all the more.