An Ask E. Jean Classic:
Dear E. Jean:
How does a woman (me) become the “marrying kind?” My friend, Nicole, says all men fall in love and want to marry her, and she winds up breaking their hearts.
Me, not so much. I wind up with the broken heart. Am I a woman who loves TOO much? Do I text too much? Do I jump in the sack too quickly? Is my blonde hair too floozy-ish? Should I go back to mousy brown? [Reader: I have met this woman. She’s a vivacious knockout.] I’m so bad at the games. I wear my feelings on my sleeve. How can I make love happen? What makes some women more attractive as being “the marrying kind” as opposed to being the occasional dinner-date-and-sex-romp kind?
I have my life fairly together now; been independent and self-supporting since my divorce seven years ago. I have a thriving online business and I’m also a wardrobe stylist for fashion shoots. I love what I do, but there’s so much more to me. I’m smart, loving, caring, nurturing, adventurous and overall a pretty cool chick. (At least I think I am:)
I’d love to have a “real marriage” this time—a partnership, someone to share my life with, someone to have my back and I’ll have his. But I don’t know what men are looking for! I don’t know what I’m doing wrong! I married young the first time. I didn’t have much experience dating. I left that marriage because I didn’t like what my ex-husband was turning into, namely a diddler of young beauties in my home, and wanting me to join in, too! Ever since, each relationship I have tried has been a heartbreak. I cook, clean, and I’m very domesticated, but I can also be a tigress in the sack. Am I doomed to die alone with my cat?
Signed —Want to be the Marrying Kind
Marrying, My Macaroon:
It’s a hideous joke being played on you by the gods, but a woman who desperately wants a husband is undermining her chances of getting a husband.
Luckily, there’s a simple answer to your problem, and it is this: When you meet a man you like, torture him.
Don’t reply to his texts immediately, don’t return his calls till the next afternoon, don’t care if he likes blondes or brunettes, don’t jump in the sack until he’s rolling on the floor screaming your name. This is called flirting. You call it “playing games.” Darwin called it “Sexual Selection,” and every animal on the planet does it. It’s the chase that makes the human race. It’s the aim of all life. Because the goal of flirting is love. (OK.OK. The goal is also boffing your jaws off, but either way, the future of our often specious species depends upon it.) Now pay attention—there will be a test.
The primary goal of flirting is love.
The essence of romantic love is uncertainty.
I.e. Hang that bastard over the fiery pit of anticipation.
And though you, too, are uncertain, that doesn’t mean you settle, does it? Aren’t there worse things than living with a cat? Now. Go give that cat a can of organic cod livers and boil four eggs. Good. While the eggs are boiling, make yourself a tuna sandwich. Put LOTS of Kewpie mayo in there. Excellent. Are the eggs done? Fine. Peel the buggers, slice them, apply LOTS of Kewpie mayo, and arrange them on a colorful plate with the tuna sandwich. Got any oysters? No? Alright. Alright, don’t get nervous. Just checking. Have you provided yourself with an amusing napkin? Good, now take a big bite of an egg, a big bite of the tuna sandwich, and look at these men.
The “Maybe Being Single Isn’t So Bad” Lightning Round:
Circle The Powerful and Famous Man You Would Marry and/or Have a “Sex Romp” With:
If you threw up, you passed the test. If you circled one, you are a woman who wants to be the “marrying kind” so badly you will swallow anything. If this is the case, you must stop glorifying men and marriage, and start glorying in yourself.
And, as there can never be a happily-ever-after without the Conflab riding in on a white horse . . .
The Conflab is where we hash over the questions sent to Ask E. Jean—and where our boisterous community regularly rescues mankind. Today we’re solving the problem of Ms. Marrying, who wonders if she “loves TOO much? Texts too much? Jumps in the sack too quickly?” She’s asking us why she keeps getting her heart broken. But mainly, she wants us to tell her how to turn herself into the “marrying kind.” And, in an even a more difficult ask: She wants to know the difference between the “marrying kind” and the “sex-romp kind.”
Some Conflabulists will, of course, refuse to tell her how to turn herself into anything and insist that she just be herself. Other Conflabulists may tell her, point by point, how to turn herself into a wife. Each of us will have Ms. Marrying’s best interests in mind. We want her to be happy—and that may or may not involve wedding vows.
Me? Aside from what I advised about following two billion years of evolution and holding a man over the fire of anticipation, I just want Ms. Marrying to do three little things:
Not expect a man to text.
Not care if a man texts.
Completely lower her frustration level and increase her self-esteem by never expecting a man to do doodly-squat for her, to her, or with her.
So, how do you turn yourself into the “marrying kind?" We all know women (and even men) who have done it and are happy. Are you one of those lucky people? What did you do? And isn’t it more entertaining to be the “sex-romp” kind? When’s the last time you tried that?
Ask E. Jean’s Pet of the Day
“In this photo, Beckett is contemplating how he could possibly be even more spoiled than he already is,” says Tracy Wilks about her bulldog. “His mama was rescued from a puppy mill by an organization I volunteer with, Chicago English Bulldog Rescue. Well, mama turned out to be pregnant with three pups. My husband and I adopted Beckett (we also had a toddler at the time—wow! That was a decision I regretted for a while!) Beckett’s two sisters and his mama were adopted by some of my fellow volunteers, so it’s been lovely keeping up with them over the years!”
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Photos of Snow White, courtesy the Everett Collection; photos of politicians, all Wikipedia, Public Domain; photo of Joshua Matz, E. Jean, and Robbie Kaplan walking into Federal Court: Jefferson Siegle for The New York Times.