Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shopping for Husbands

I saw a story from a blogger the other day – she did not write it, but she posted it on the web. It would be considered spam if you got it in your email (I goggled a fairly unique phrase in the piece, and there were hundreds of thousands of hits).

I liked the sentiment though, so I thought I would re-write it today.

My name is Leesa, and I am a professional shopper. Instead of being good at suggesting additions to your wardrobe or saving you time and money in the grocery store, my job is to help you navigate the husband store. I know, I know, you think it is unethical to think of husband shopping, but that's what we do, isn't it. We are looking to snag the best deal possible with the assets we were given or have developed. Trouble is, we want to make but one purchase – so once we make a choice, we need to be committed to that choice.

Life has a sucky return policy. If we return our husband, we have spent some of our assets – we are older, may even be considered damaged goods. And the selection in our "size" is greatly reduced.

So here is my advice as a professional husband shopper.

When you start looking, please take your time. Try your husband on for size. I mean, date him for more than six months. This isn't because you are making him wait for something special – it is because most men can act differently for about six months, tops. Afterwards, they will reveal who they really are. So be sure to try him out for that period of time.

Some may wonder, should I try all of his features before purchasing (marrying)? If you are coyly asking if you should have sex with him, there is no easy answer to the question. Sex clouds the brain, and it clouds judgment. Before you find a good fit, this sexual feature may seem to make up for other areas in which a husband is lacking. If the husband you are trying on doesn't have a job but can flick his tongue just so to . . . well, you know what I mean, you may convince yourself that you can change him or motivate him into adding that feature (a job). Odds are, you cannot. Now that does not mean that he might add the feature once you start raising children, but it is a risk you have to take.

And there are certain features you may think are not important at all. If he has an annoying add-on feature (let's call this feature, mother-in-law-from-hell), you might think that once you purchase, you can simply discard these extraneous add-on features. You can't. Furthermore, mother-in-law-from-hell may not improve with age; it is normally quite the opposite.

So at 20, you will find lots of husband models available to you. Most will either be in school or have entry-level jobs. It is hard to distinguish from model to model. Problem is, your family (who you think are a bunch of idiots) will probably be able to help with the shopping process. But you will not let them. You think your family is dumb, has bad taste, and does not know that you can change the husband you chose. Your thinking is faulty, but you do not know it.

If you wait a few years, you will have some sort of non-buyer's remorse. Your college roommate will send you a lovely wedding invitation, alerting you that she has found a suitable model (perhaps even a model that you would have liked, or a model you tried out but passed on). Okay, if you passed on the model, you probably won't get the invitation.

So you see that you have fewer assets (not a smaller ass, perhaps one a tad bit larger) and a dwindling pool of husbands to chose from. Your cousin has her first child, and you start shopping with more resolve. You notice that some of the husbands resemble showroom models – a few scratches, a dent or two, definitely they have been tried out by others. You start to wonder if perhaps your list for your husband was a bit too restrictive.

You think perhaps you don't need someone with a Master's degree, who likes poetry, who can bench press 400 pounds and cries at romantic comedies. A steady job is still a must, but that means that you will pass on some of the exotic models – the actor who does not come into his own until he is thirty-one (Harrison Ford was in American Graffiti about that time, had mostly minor roles until then and really did not hit it big until Star Wars, 6 years later), the entrepreneur who discovers a revolutionary way to drill for oil, the crime boss that the law cannot touch. But in waiting, you also pass on the guys who can't keep a job, the people who keep getting into prison (dumb criminals), that sort of thing.

If you wait until then, perhaps you also know whether the husband is good with children, can cook on their own, can fix things around the house, that sort of thing.

If you still think you can find someone better than the men you date, then you wait. Some get snatched up by others, some get turned in but are more damaged goods. Some women start to think, "I have waited this long, I am going to wait until the perfect guy comes."

For some, it happens. For some, their time to shop passes. They may have tried on a few husband-types, but never commit to purchasing them.

You know, when I was growing up, I had a friend of the family who never married. Later in life, I thought perhaps she was lesbian, but she wasn't. She just was really picky. She was picky about a husband (never found someone good enough), picky about a job (once laid off, never worked again because no decent job ever presented itself), picky about where she lived (lived her whole life in once city, and while in that city, only in the house where her parents lived and in the apartment she had until she moved into a nursing home). She had not siblings, and we adopted her into our family. But I always thought that the reason she did not have the life she wanted was because she lacked proper decision-making ability (even ordering at a restaurant was hard for her).

I have met several people who married the first person they ever loved. Most are still with their mates, surrounded by children and in some cases grandchildren. They seem charmed, sometimes being fired from jobs, then landing on their feet with another job. Marital problems seem non-existent (how can that be?). Kids are well-adjusted. [I hate those people.]

Bottom line is that you can do everything right and still end up with a sucky choice for a husband. Or you can do everything haphazard and be eternally happy. It seems a bit random to me. I guess my suggestion as a professional husband shopper is to try before you buy, to be open to possibilities that you did not think of when playing house when you were twelve.

But once you make your choice, don't have buyer's remorse. Rip up the receipt and don't think about returning the husband unless he is truly defective (beats you mentally or physically, doesn't allow you to be who you are meant to be).

Sorry. This story does not even resemble the story I started to tell. And it is more preachy than I wanted it to be. And it is a bit girly for some of my guy readers. Perhaps I need to add something about hand grenades or jock itch or bird dogs.


Ian Lidster said...

Actually the wisdom of this blog applies equally to males selecting a wife. My biggest regret is not having waited until I was about 35 rather than making my choice in my early 20s. A body's criteria change in terms of what they want in a mate. Age 20: Oh, nice tits and she's real cute! By age 35: Hey, maybe we'll actually have something intereseting to talk about after we've fucked. So, I don't think the posting was too girly at all for a male to appreciate.

Xmichra said...

it was cute at any rate ;)

i have no idea how people pick a good mate. I concentrate on my own, and that's the extent of my guru-ness. lol...

Leesa said...

Ian: I think the best is when you latch onto someone at age 20 (nice pecs, tits, depending on the sex of the partner), then you grow and evolve together over time.

Xmichra: I always like being cute.

brown eyed girl said...

As someone who is in their 20s and about to get married, I would like to think that I've contemplated more about my fiance's pecs and our sex life. I think that there's a movement of people my age who take marriage as a serious committment and go deeper than the superficial in picking a mate.

Sometimes you're just shit out of luck and it doesn't work out or you pick a person for the wrong reasons, I get it!

I liked your post, irregardless, it does paint a poignant picture of many relationships and their origins.

LarryLilly said...

Amen to Ian. Having been married at 20 then divorcing at 48, then remarrying at 48, well the second time around EVERYTHING changed in what I was looking for and the past 11 years have been better than the first 28.

I advise single women looking for a man to try the date from hell when they are doing the road test portion of Round 2. This isnt for the first time, no, the first time is more about hormones than reality. For the rebound time, do what I call the date from hell. Tell him you want to go to a place that you KNOW he doesnt know. Especially good for when you have met online, he is from one city, you from another. Then you start having him driving to said place, then halfway through you change your mind. Then he gets lost because you tell him wrong directions. Watch his response, does he loose his cool, does he start yelling, swearing etc. If he does, you know what the future will be like. If he rolls with it all and you wind up eating at a 7-11, well, then consider that test passed. Of course the women have ways to make the night forgettable if he isnt the jerk you were glad he wasnt. If he was, nothing was lost.

Michael said...

I like this! My current fiancee and I became engaged in our 30's and dated for over a year. Its a good message that you wrote up.

Leesa said...

brown eyed: 100 years ago, out of luck meant surviving in a terrible marriage.

larry: nice test.

michael: thanks.

Malach the Merciless said...

What if I am gay?

Knot said...

This is an awesome post. If more people knew this, both men and women, there would be a lot less divorce.