Read Dave Barry's Guide to Marriage And/or Sex Online

Authors: Dave Barry

Tags: #Dating (Social Customs), #Marriage, #Mate Selection, #Family & Relationships, #Health & Fitness, #Sexuality, #Humor, #General, #Form, #Comic Strips & Cartoons, #Essays, #Topic, #Marriage & Family, #Relationships, #Self-Help, #Sexual Instruction, #Social Science, #Sociology, #entert_humor

Dave Barry's Guide to Marriage And/or Sex (2 page)

How to Get into A Spontaneous Conversation
In the old days, the way people got into conversations was the woman would take a cigarette out of her purse and pretend to look for a match, which was the signal for six or seven available lurking men to lunge toward her, Zippos flaming, sometimes causing severe burns.
Smoking, however, has pretty much lost its glamor, to the point where trying to get a strange male to light your cigarette in public would be viewed as comparable to trying to get him to pick your nose. Which is a shame, really, because men are deprived of the chance to feel bold and masculine and necessary in the hostile bar environment. It would be nice if we had a modern bar-meeting ritual. Like maybe the woman could come in with a jar of relish, and she could sit there pretending she couldn’t get the lid off, and the man could come along and offer to help, and soon they would be engrossed in a fascinating conversation. (“Are you fond of relish? Huh! I am fond of relish myself!”)
But for now, we are stuck with the system where one party has to boldly walk right up to the other party and, with no real excuse, attempt to start a conversation. At one time this was strictly the man’s responsibility, but now, what with Women’s Liberation, it is still strictly the man’s responsibility.
Men, this is nothing to be nervous about. After all, why do you think the woman came to a singles bar, if not to meet a guy like you, only smarter and more attractive? So go to it!
The trick is to know some good “opening lines” that are guaranteed to get a woman’s attention and make her realize you are a caring and sharing kind of guy who has things on his mind such as international politics and great literature, and who doesn’t just want to grope her body.
Some Good Opening Lines
* “How about those problems in the Middle East?”
*”How about those Brothers Karamazov?”
* “I don’t just want to grope your body. I mean, not here in the bar.”
What the Woman Should Do If She Is Not Interested
She should attempt to fend the male off via one of the following gently tactful yet firm statements:
* “Haha HA HA HA (cough cough cough) (spit).”
* “I’m sorry, but I just washed my hair.”
* “I’m sorry, but unfortunately you hold no more physical attraction for me than those photographs you sometimes see of a cold virus magnified several million times.”
If subtlety doesn’t work, if the man turns out to be the type who views himself as such an extreme Stud Muffin that he cannot imagine a woman who would not want to conceive a child via him, then the woman should take a more direct approach, such as Mace.
Meeting People through Personal Ads
These are those little paid advertisements that people take out in magazines or newspapers. A lot of people laugh at these ads, but in fact this is the way top stars such as johnny Carson and Joan Collins get most of their spouses.
If you want your ad to be effective, however, it must have certain characteristics:
1. It should say you are profoundly attractive. Nobody in the personal ads, nobody, is ever “average-looking.” If, for example, you had Elephant Man’s Disease, you would describe yourself as “rugged.”
2. It should be extremely specific. For example, if you’re a man, you don’t just say you’re looking for “a nice woman.” You say you’re looking for
“a 5’8” 23-year-old blonde Capricorn woman of Croatian ancestry weighing
109 pounds and having a degree in cultural anthropology from Duke University.” This lets everybody know you are in a position to pick and choose, and not some semi-desperate schlump who has to advertise for dates.
3. It should say you like “candlelight dinners and long walks on the beach.” All personal classified ads contain this phrase, not because anybody really wants to take long walks on the beach, but because people want to prove they’re Romantic and Sensitive. The beaches of America are teeming with couples who met because of personal ads, staggering along, sweating, and picking sea-urchin spines out of their feet, each person afraid to reveal to the other that he or she would rather be watching a rental movie.
Meeting People Through Clubs and Organizations
Often it seems that the happiest marriages are the ones where the man and the woman share an interest in a hobby, like bass fishing. Because of this shared interest, such couples can pass countless intimate hours together, talking bait, plus they can use their vacation time to go on long fishing trips to secluded wilderness areas where they will find time to just be alone together, hour after hour, day after day, on some scum-encrusted, mosquito-infested lake, totally alone, until finally one of them disembowels the other with a scaling knife.
To get into a relationship like this, you need to develop an interest, preferably one that does not involve sharp implements, and go hang out with other people who have the same interest. Let’s say, for example, that you have an interest in cats. Now I, personally, cannot imagine having any interest in cats other than to find out what happens when you submerge them for various lengths of time in roofing cement, but I am sure there are lots of formal pro-cat organizations in your area, which you could locate by asking a police officer. Go to their meetings and survey the crowd until you find a likely prospect to strike up a conversation with (“Hi! I see we share an interest in cats! Perhaps we should get married!”).
If this doesn’t work, you might try stamp collectors, or one of your major churches.
Meeting People at the Office
If you get an office job, you’ll be involved in a serious relationship within a matter of days. This is the good news. The bad news is, this relationship will probably involve a person who is technically already married to somebody else. This is because, to a married person, the office is a highly romantic environment, where everybody wears nice clothes and discusses important issues such as the Three-Month Sales Forecast, in stark contrast to the home environment, where people tend to wear bathrobes with jelly stains on them and get into vicious day-long arguments over who put the ice tray back in the refrigerator with a dead roach in it (see Chapter 8, “How to Argue Like a Veteran Married Couple”). So the office becomes essentially a large, carpeted pit of illicit passion, where at least two-thirds of the activity is related to motel arrangements.
Whatever method you use to meet somebody, your next step is to go on a number (174) of dates so you can get to know what this person is really like.
Tips for Gals: 13 Common First-Date Warning Signs That a Guy Might Be a jerk
1. He brings his mom.
2. He smells bad.
3. He smells a little too good.
4. He proudly carries the American Express Platinum Card.
5. He periodically blows his nose elaborately into a handkerchief, then folds it up carefully and puts it back into his pocket as though it was some kind of valuable artifact.
6. He wants to take you to a hockey game.
7. He wants to know if you know how to clean fish.
8. He always calls the waitress “Sweets.”
9. He manages to let you know how much money he makes by some contrivance such as pulling a piece of paper out of his pocket and saying: “I’ll be darned! Here’s my W-2 form!”
10. He wears wing-tip shoes when he doesn’t have to.
11. He has pictures of his car.
12. He has a personalized license plate on his car.
13. He has motivational cassette tapes in his car.
Dating
“Dating” simply means “going out with a potential mate and doing a lot of fun things that the two of you will never do again if you actually get married.” Dating is a very important part of the mate-selection process throughout all of nature. Some sectors of nature, such as insects, date for only a few seconds; birds, on the other hand, perform an elaborate Dating Dance. In fact, dancing is all that birds can do, because in order to make it possible for them to fly, they cannot have sexual organs, which is why we have to import flocks of new birds from Canada every year.
Human beings dated as far back as ancient times, as is shown by the biblical quotation: “And Balzubio DID taketh Parasheeba to a restaurant, and they DID eateth potato skins.” The next recorded date was between Romeo and Juliet, a young Italian couple who went out despite their parents’ objections, and just about everybody involved ended up either stabbed or poisoned.
After this tragedy, there was very little dating for several centuries. During this time, marriages were arranged by the parents, based on such things as how much cattle the bride and the groom would each bring to the union. Often the young couple wouldn’t even meet until the wedding, and sometimes they were not strongly attracted to each other. Sometimes, quite frankly, they preferred the cattle. So now we feel that dating is probably a better system.
Who Should Ask Whom for the Date
As we noted earlier, these are free and liberated and nonstereotypical times we live in, by which I mean it is the responsibility of the man to ask for the date, and the responsibility of the woman to think up excuses that get progressively more obvious until the man figures out that the woman would rather chew on a rat pancreas.
Four Fun Things to Do on a Date
1. Go to a restaurant and have something to eat.
2. Go to a restaurant and have a completely different thing to eat.
3. Go to a completely different restaurant.
4. Go to visit interesting places such as New York and Europe and see if they have any restaurants.
Things You Can Talk About on a Date
1. Your various entrees.
Falling in Love
When two people have been on enough dates, they generally fall in love. You can tell you’re in love by the way you feel: your head becomes light, your heart leaps within you, you feel like you’re walking on air, and the whole world seems like a wonderful and happy place. Unfortunately these are also the four warning signs of colon disease, so it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor.
But if it turns out to be love, it’s time to think about taking the next major step in a relationship: French-kissing.
Ha ha! just kidding. The next major step is to live in Sin, which we will cover in the next chapter. Of course if you belong to a religious sect that believes that a couple should get married first, you should skip the next chapter and go straight to the one about sex, unless it is a very strict religious sect, in which case you should burn this book immediately.
Chapter2. Living In Sin
For many years, it was generally considered to be wrong to live in Sin. Now, however, thanks to the Sexual Revolution (May 6, 1967), living together is considered a normal and in fact very useful phase in a relationship, a phase that is accepted and even endorsed by virtually all sectors of society except of course your parents. Your parents hate it. it doesn’t matter how nice or respectable the person is you’re living with. You could be living with Abraham Lincoln, and your parents would still hate it. Especially if you are a guy.
But, hey, it’s your life to live, and if you really want to move in with somebody, your feelings have to take precedence over your parents’. The best thing to do is confront their concerns head-on, by sitting down with them, face to face, and lying.
“Mom and Dad,” you should say, “Bill and I are not living together. He came over to my apartment this morning to help me kill a spider and by mistake he left his toothbrush and all his clothes and furniture.”
Your parents will pretend they believe you, because the truth is they really don’t want to even think about the idea of you and S-E-X. All parents are like this. No matter how old you get, in their minds you will always have the wisdom and emotional maturity of Beaver Cleaver.
Moving in Together
Moving in together is an exciting and romantic adventure for both of you, a time of caring and sharing the joys of little discoveries such as what another person’s used dental floss looks like. But this is also a time when you must try to be practical. You must bear in mind that no matter how much you love each other now, somewhere down the road you will inevitably have traditional “lovers’ quarrels” wherein one of you will hurl all of the other one’s possessions out the window and possibly kill an innocent pedestrian. This is why most experts recommend that you get a ground-floor apartment furnished mainly with lightweight, easy-to-hurl Tupperware.
The Most Serious Issue Likely to Come between a Man and a Woman Living Together
(WARNING: Those of you who detest blatant and unfair but nonetheless generally true sexual stereotypes should leave the room at this time.)
Okay. The major issue facing a man and a woman who decide to live together is: Dirt. I am serious. Men and women do not feel the same way about dirt at all. Men and women don’t even see dirt the same way. Women, for some hormonal reason, can see individual dirt molecules, whereas men tend not to notice them until they join together into clumps large enough to support commercial agriculture. There are exceptions, but over 85 percent of all males are legally classifiable as Cleaning Impaired.
This can lead to serious problems in a relationship. Let’s say a couple has decided to divide up the housework absolutely even-steven. Now when it’s the woman’s turn to clean, say, the bathroom, she will go in there and actually clean it. The man, on the other hand, when it’s his turn, will look around, and, because he is incapable of seeing the dirt, will figure nothing major is called for, so he’ll maybe flush the toilet and let it go at that. Then the woman will say: “Why didn’t you clean the bathroom? It’s filthy!” And the man, whose concept of “filthy” comes from the men’s rooms in bars, where you frequently see bacteria the size of cocker spaniels frisking around, will have no idea what she’s talking about.
So what happens in most relationships is, the man learns to go through the motions of cleaning. Ask him to clean a room, and he’ll squirt Windex around seemingly at random, then run the vacuum cleaner over the carpet, totally oblivious to the question of whether or not it’s picking up any dirt.

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