After my first marriage broke up, I spent fourteen years as a bachelor in Manhattan before getting married again.
Naturally, I made full use of this extraordinary opportunity. I dated numerous women, and in perhaps seven instances things went far enough that one party or the other started talking seriously about the possibility of getting hitched. Whereupon the other party demurred, and before long the relationships sputtered to their inevitable conclusion.
The problem, I now see in retrospect, is that the state of New York permitted heterosexual marriages. If heterosexual marriages had been forbidden – just as homosexual marriages were until recently – either my girlfriend or I, depending on which of us was uninterested in marrying, would have had an airtight excuse.
“I’m sorry, dear, but as much as I would love to marry you, and spend the rest of my life coping with your eccentricities, it isn’t permitted. Let’s continue on with our idyllic relationship, which no doubt will last a lifetime anyway, and hope for a better day. Maybe we could even band together with other couples suffering from the same discriminatory plight, and lobby our legislators for the right to marry members of the opposite sex.”
Instead, perfectly sound relationships fell apart because one party wasn’t committed enough to suit the other. Tears were shed. And both parties found themselves back in the dating grind -- which is, I can assure you, much less pleasant than having someone around that you can count on.
Some states, like New York, no longer ban homosexual marriages, but most still do. I don’t think the homosexual residents of those traditional-marriage states appreciate how fortunate they are.
Really, getting married is a terrible idea, even if it means that you get better tax treatment and qualify for other government benefits that might not otherwise be available to you. I’ve got news for you, my gay friends, President Obama has his eye on your pension and investment portfolios, and his hand in your pocket. The day is not far distant when you won’t have a penny that the government can’t call its own.
But I digress.
Nowadays, half the people who get married soon find that it was a mistake – and I’m talking only about those who go ahead and get a divorce. Nobody can persuade me that everyone who remains married is happily so.
I have to admit that homosexual marriages offer certain advantages that heterosexual marriages do not.
For example, there is zero chance of an unwanted pregnancy, so nobody has to feel the pangs of guilt that follow an abortion. (You do feel guilty, don't you, ladies?)
When two men marry, probably neither will throw a fit if the other leaves the toilet seat up, or swills beer and grinds potato chips into the rug while watching a football game.
When two women marry, and it gets to be that time of month, there will be full understanding between them, not sturm und drang. In fact, very likely their periods will become synchronized, and they can both truthfully say: “I feel your pain.”
Also, it’s unlikely that either of two women married to each other will display hostility when one of them backs the car into a wall at the parking garage, or spends four hours at the local boutique deciding which blouse to buy.
But none of this trumps the fact that mrriage is a bad idea, no matter what the combination of sexes.
Fortunately, there is still free mobility across state lines -- ask any illegal immigrant -- and you gay couples don’t have to stay where you are if your state legalizes same-sex marriage. There are lots of states that won’t let you marry your partner – list available upon request -- and you can move to one of them if you truly want to live happily ever after.