If you clicked this link and are reading these words -- and this one -- you’re either outraged that some idiot would be so brash to belittle your own righteous beliefs about domestic partnerships OR you're hoping a stalwart champion has reinforced your stance on marriage and its important role in the future of our country.
Neither is the case. And I’m no idiot, asshole.
And, before we begin, let me say that -- while I definitely cannot support gay marriage -- I do support the right for gay people to get married. What kind of jerk would go around telling people who they can or can’t solve crossword puzzles with?
Not me. I’m no jerk either, dickhead.
… Let me level with you: During the past 10 years I’ve lost more friends to marriage than I ever did to drugs or alcohol. Once that damn ring goes on a guy's finger his outlook, actions and overall availability to party are forever altered. I’ve seen too many homies (yes, it’s meant to be ironic) lose their machismo and am here to stop your homies from doing the same.
If you know people, gay or straight, considering tainting their relationships via this binding contract -- as if they’re buying a car or releasing a laser tag facility from all insurance liabilities -- please stand and read this column aloud in a very crowded place.
Also attribute it to Jason Sereno or you’re effectively plagiarizing, champ.
… This is my friend Kyle. We went to college together, worked at the student newspaper and pretty much held it down during the twilight of our formative years. Kyle once penned a poignant opinion piece after Dave Matthews’ tour bus dumped 80 gallons of human waste onto a sightseeing boat in Chicago.
“This should surprise no one,” he wrote, “because Dave Matthews has been shitting on his fans since 2001.” We were destined to be friends.
After school, Kyle moved to Colorado and I moved to Los Angeles, but we regularly battled on Xbox Live and remained in touch via the never-ending gift that is social media.
To my dismay, everything changed later that year when Kyle called and said he’d met the one and was getting married.
“The one?” I thought. “Surely he means the first one or the next one or something like that.” He was always cracking jokes.
But he wasn’t cracking jokes; He meant the one he would spend the rest of his life with (presumably!). When Kyle asked me to attend the wedding my response was clear and concise.
“I have to work.”
“But I didn’t tell you when the ceremony was,” he replied.
“I know. I just always have to work. Good luck to you.”
And that was the last we ever spoke. Thanks, marriage!
Sure I could have dropped the $1500 for travel and lodging to watch my buddy tie the knot (and, if I stayed long enough, the noose that follows), but after seeing so many other friends ruined by this incredibly archaic idea of matrimony, I knew better.
I present to the court of public opinion Exhibits A, B and C:
A) This is my friend Casey, a gifted filmmaker, who terrorized defenders on the low block during hundreds of our now-classic pickup basketball games. Watch as he transforms from a happy 20-something to a 30-something husband.
Is this the guy I used to shoot hoops with or a principal at a local junior high school? Nice one, marriage!
B) This is Andy, who I’ve known for more than a decade. Andy is a diehard Colts fan, but that’s pretty much the only unlikeable thing about him. When I used to do standup for a beer company in St. Louis (which is now a beer company in Belgium), he’d meet me in The Lou to chase girls up and down the Mississippi River.
Now this once-bright-eyed married bastard is regulated to doggy duty (and no doubt doggy doodie). He was one of the best, marriage, and you took him from me!
C) And finally, this is Jake, who played bongos in my band when we were teenagers. In 2001, Jake and I spotted a house fire while searching for a kegger in Southern Illinois and extinguished the blaze before it spread past the kerosene lantern and curtains that caused it.
On a side note: Six years later I ran into the woman who lived in that house. Stormy (that’s what she called herself) denied that the fire -- and the peculiar sexual proposition she made to us afterward -- ever happened. Just weird, man.
But that’s not even one of our top-ten stories. Jake was the wildest of the wild; a true partying pioneer whose legend is still celebrated throughout the region. Now look at this son of a bitch!
But being in Jake’s wedding party means I’m also partially responsible for his detour down the dark road of wedlock. Below is a photo that documents his last few grasps for freedom on that dreaded Texas dance floor. I should have helped him then, but had not yet developed my rigid and blanketed stance on marriage. Some friend!
See, just as you receive that certificate -- as if you’ve been cleared to SCUBA dive or won honorable mention at a science fair -- life as you (and your friends) know it is over. And then, after a few years of domestication, the kids start popping out.
Yes, I also believe all children should be born illegitimate.
Look at these little monsters! They are literally smothering him. Is this the end game? Is this what any couple -- gay or straight -- really wants? A family, bro?
Newsflash: Most of us were born into one!
Why two people would want to soil their love with a legal document -- as if they were renting a time-share or purchasing season tickets for Arena League Football -- is beyond me. As stated before, every person’s right to marry: You have my whole-hearted support. The idea of marriage: That’s just something I can’t get behind, man.
… Nowadays I’ll sit at a bar stool, look to the empty seat next me and think about what could have been. Imagine my friends and I journeying through the same world of one-night stands and twelve-ounce cans that first fostered our friendships; We could have had it all.
If I’m lucky a woman will grab that empty seat. We’ll strike up a conversation, go back to her place (I always have relatives in town), enjoy a pleasant romp and then never see each other again. And, although brief, there can be something eternal about one night with a stranger. It’s a gift to know any person for any amount of time; much less a woman for an entire night.
The poor souls mentioned above are probably lost forever to the marred and hollow promise of marriage, but -- for the rest of us -- there is still a chance for absolute freedom, never-ending uncertainty and love unbound by the perils of law.
So don’t get married gays, lesbians and straight people, because there’s a seat at the bar waiting for you. Maybe I’ll be there too, and I can tell you some more Jake stories.
Written by Jason Sereno
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