Of Marriage And Single Life

since we're on the subject of my Man-Repellant Fridge and my destiny as a single woman, i thought i'd share with you one of the greatest expositions on marriage ever written.

not, as you might think from the title of this post, by Francis Bacon (because of course all of you also studied renaissance and pre-restoration literature, right? i mean, certainly my professors must be proud of my subsequent literary feats, which have mostly come in the form of describing stick figures and/or food particles that end up in and around my cleavage. yeah. my apologies to dr. pandit.).

anyway, so this bacon guy wrote things like, "Certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men, which both in affection and means have married and endowed the public."

and you know, sure, that's something to consider.

but far more profound an exposition is one that does not come from my dusty norton anthology. no. it is instead a very special essay on love, marriage, and the ultimate failing of so many relationships.

written by a four-year old.

(click for larger)

and it reads, with some slight edits (though i have to say the original totally has a spenserian quality to it, which i'm allowed to point out because it's my post and i'll reference obscurish renaissance literature if i want to):

once a miller had three sons
and when they were old enough to marry a girl,
they set off to marry a girl.

when they married a girl,
they danced together,
they ate together,
they walked together,
they played together,
they watched tv together.

soon there came a time
when things began to get boring.
the end.

i think young allan might be on to something.


  1. And when things get boring, or "not fun", as the less sophisticated might say, grown up boys of the same name might send a break-up email. Indeed, this young man is very wise.

  2. Ahhh, out of the mouths of babes. Children are much more perceptive than we give them credit for.


  3. indeed. this "allan" might be ready to go on oprah.

  4. This beautiful and clear vision of human compassion was written by my father in law when he was seven. We have the original on our wall.

    Old man walking stick
    He can not walk or skip
    We hit him and we run

  5. If you are going to start using big words like spenserian in your blog, could you please use a footnote system or something so that those of us not being literary genius' like yourself know what the he** you're talking about?

    TYVM :)

  6. thanks for the laugh. that's great.

    to things not being boring!

  7. as it was once said "Children and fools tell the truth."

  8. i think someone famous once said (and I paraphrase), "love is when you've heard everything another person has to say and you want to be around them anyway." or something.

  9. This beautifully demonstrates something Groucho Marx once said, which I have quoted on my blog:

    "A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five."

  10. heh.. that's fabulous. kids' opinions on relationships are so refreshing. i think everyone in the world has had this forwarded to them at some point, but here's that handy compilation of kid responses to love questions :-)


    "It's better for girls to be single, but not for boys. Boys need somebody to clean up after them." (Lynette, 9)

  11. These are from some email I got once on kids and love.

    "I'm in favor of love as long as it doesn't happen when 'Dinosaurs'
    is on television." Jill, age 6

    "Love will find you, even if you are trying to hide from it. I been
    trying to hide from it since I was five, but the girls keep finding
    me." Dave, age 8

    "I'm not rushing into being in love. I'm finding fourth grade hard enough" Regina, age 10

    and my favorite (might explain a few things about me)

    "It's never okay to kiss a boy. They always slobber all over you ...That's why I stopped doing it." Tammy, age 10

  12. That's great! We need more kids like that to tell us honestly what's wrong with things.

  13. It should come as no surprise that Allan's parents are now divorced.

  14. anon of 8:23 -- that is fucking hilarious!

  15. I like the saying on marriage that goes something like this:

    It's not just about having the right partner. It's a lot about being the right partner, too.

  16. Wow, that 4 year old is a genius. My 4 year old (who up until reading this story I had thought was pretty darn smart) can only write her name.

  17. brilliant!

    and that makes me neither want to have a kid nor get hitched. ;)

  18. Boy are kids wise.

    The more I think about this single thing, the more it sounds better. But ya know, I'm stuck with my boyfriend right now. We've lived together for nearly 2 years now, and while I love him, I'm getting sick of cleaning up after him. We also do most things on our own, it's rather boring. I can't bring myself to dump him right now though, the thought of dividing up stuff stresses me out.

    I wish I hadn't moved in with him, now I'm stuck.

    -the wannabe single girl

  19. wanna be single girl you aren't stuck, you should do what makes you happy. Don't stay in a relationship because it is the easy thing to do.

  20. Nobody ever told me that relationships were easy. They are a lot of work. Wannabe, I would suspect that if you are bored, your significant other is also bored. Get out right now...before the holidays hit.

  21. i couldn't help but notice, while examining allan's original text (in photo), that that oh-so-humorous "the end" at the bottom of the retyped and "slightly edited" version of his story was appended to his work by the editor.

    this, i find extremely interesting.

    why? because i think it quite possible that, for allan, this was actually the BEGINNING of a much longer work (perhaps still in gestation). other textual factors support this hypothesis, for instance: there are three (3) sons! why? one would be enough to get across the rather simplistic message this shortened version of the story SEEMS to imply ("marriage leads to boredom and is dumb"). the only purpose of having multiple siblings in a story is so that at least ONE of them can have a different experience from the others (think cinderella, the three little pigs, etc.) also, the sons are identified as those of a miller-- why? the miller himself does not enter the story (or has not to this point), and his occupation has no seeming revelence (i.e., the sons do not make use of the miller's special grinding techniques to impress the girls they want to danse and walk with).

    for me, all signs point quite clearly to the fact that allan's "story" is merely the opening salvo (or hook) of a much longer story, probably one which compares the varying ways in which the sons react to the boredom they begin to feel after a short period of marriage. perhaps one will start looking around for another pretty young thing with whom to danse and walk, while another will go on acting like nothing is wrong, dansing and walking the same as always, but feeling nothing inside, drifting ever deeper into isolation and depression, etc., while the third will openly discuss the situation with his wife and perhaps they will go into counselling, or start wearing latex suits, or something, you know, to spice it up.

    then at the end there will probably be a big feast at the father's house where the patriarch makes a big speech in which he proclaims which of the sons acted most wisely, and the other two will be ground into a fine flour and made into bread.

  22. oh dear. I hope it doesn't get boring, because...well, because that would be sad. It's only been nine months, and it's still fun, but now I'm paranoid...maybe the secret is to NOT stop partying with your friends (single and amrried alike)?? (*crossing fingers*)


  23. Wow, I really think you're onto something, Benamuckee! In addition to having a great imagination, I'll bet you're a "glass half-full" sort of person. "the end" can be so negative, so "I give up". What if the Miller's son and his wife fought boredom together? Perhaps they took up line dancing or became bloggers and, thereby, put some spice back into their relationship. Once again, Kristy tosses out an idea and her IFFs run with it.

  24. That is the most heartbreaking thing I've ever read.

  25. It doesn't get boring. You just need to know how to find the fun.

  26. The English BA/MA in me is in LOVE with this entry. Thank you for a much needed smile and some even more needed life perspective. You are a highlight of my reading life.

  27. Allen is a very smart boy! That's a keeper for the "memory box" of stuff to show Allen's dates when he gets older! lol

  28. 'Love is when you've heard everything they have to say and you still want to be with them anyway.'

    I tell you, there's something to be said about comfortable silence. It's not boredom, it's reliability, it's security, it's the comfort and intimacy of not having to fill every free moment with 'stuff'.

  29. Does this kid live in my house???

    Spenserian to....Allanian....a new genre.

  30. Surely it's not generic and a lot depends on the partners? As somebody (I think it was Pope. Alexander, not the one in the Vatican) said, "God in His wisdom made Carlyle marry Mrs. Carlyle, thus making only two people miserable instead of four".

    I know that's not very relevant, but what the hell, I had to trot out those names after you emphasised your literary grounding.

    Spenserian, forsooth!


  31. Marriage IS hard/challenging. Committment is hard/challenging. Rearing children is hard/challenging. Running a marathon is hard/challening. Speaking French is hard/challenging. Losing weight and maintaining weight is hard/challenging. Relationships are hard/challenging. Forgiveness is hard/challenging. And love conquers all. Met a couple in london who were together now for 30 years, but weren't married. but they were thinking about it. young allan will grow up and maybe change his mind. or maybe he won't. please hang in there.

  32. Relationships do not have to become boring, but they all too easily can, and do.

    The trick is finding new 'fun' things to do. New hobbies and interests... the same thing you'd need to do if you were single to prevent life from becoming 'boring'.

    I've got so much on my "want to-do" list, I can't imagine life ever being boring!

  33. Allan is getting a new show on TNT called the Marriage Whisperer. He sees restless people.

  34. OK, first of all, where did you get this photograph? Seriously, are you related to him? Your friend's son? Who is this now-17-year-old? (did everybody note it was written in 1992?)

    Secondly, the speech language pathology student in me kicked in when I read this. All of his misspellings are wonderfully phonetic ("danst" for "danced"), which is a great thing for a 4 year old! I bet he's very literate now.

    Thirdly, I am married almost a year and a half. Most of the time, life is boring. But when you love someone so incredibly deeply, as you do when you commit to marry a person, how can it ever be truly boring? I am always fascinated with who my husband is, and I'm always trying to learn more about him. I can't imagine ever not wanting to be with him. I don't know if everyone who gets married is in love that way, and maybe that's why some people don't stay married... I could go on more about this, but I have to leave something for the other IIFs to ramble about...

  35. I've been married for 11 years now. My wife and I have gone through many ups and downs (get your minds out of the gutter you sickos) and through it all we've kept our sense of humor and love for each other. It has only made us a stronger couple.

    I can't imagine my life without her and my daughters and thankfully neither can she. Marriage should never get boring if you're with the right person. Comfortable yes, boring no.

    Sometimes you have to learn to have fun again, but it always comes naturally. (watch those gutter-minds!)

  36. i'm am alas, not married (and feel to old to be still technically single, though I have a really good boy right now). I imagine (directed at dan) that to stay married for 11 years, let alone forever, you have to let the gutter minds go from time to time, and really learn to have fun....

  37. Actually, I have an extremely dirty mind and a surprisingly quick wit which is why I've been happily married for 11 yearss and counting!

  38. um...years...not yearss.

    I stutter when I type.

  39. Nothing worth having is ever easy.

  40. Liked it so much that I made it my desktop. Meh, an idealist I'm not.

  41. I just stumbled across your blog. Actually, I read your story on the best of craigslist, "Why Yes, Cute Fireman, That *IS* My Ass". Hi-larious stuff! I especially appreciated the way you took the time to do a few illustrations. My personal favorite was the picture of your so-called "enormous ass" illustration. Good thing I wasn't drinking my Diet Coke or I might've spewed it all over my work computer and goodness knows how much I woulda had to pay up to replace it! I am currently on a diet too and I will certainly agree with you that losing weight is a bitch. And no matter how hard I try to stay positive about working out (I do Jazzercise) it still sucks. I'm thinking I may have just found a kindred spirit...thanks for the laughs!

  42. "The course of true love never did run smooth." From A Midsummer Night's Dream ... and you know who wrote that.

  43. that was danielle steel, right?



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