Dear Suzanne Venker,
No, I won't marry you. Sorry. It's not me. It's you.
See, you're absolutely right that heterosexual marriage is in trouble in the U.S. Why, it’s practically dying right before our eyes! Who gets married anymore? Practically everybody? Well, that’s certainly a drop-off from the olden days when absolutely everybody got married, whether they wanted to or not. I blame the gays myself. What a dire trend!
All kidding aside, Suzanne, you’re right that women and men have shifted dramatically in their views of marriage in recent years. It’s certainly true in our case. These days, I sound like the nurturing feminist and you sound like the crusty, misogynistic patriarch.
Contrary to your thesis, that’s what drew me to you in the first place. Your whole conservative-caveman act is hysterical! I love women who make me laugh. I got such a kick out of it when you told me Fox News was sold on your persona. That’s when I knew you were committed to your whole comedy routine. And I like commitment.
As a single man, I appreciate women for who they are, no matter what that entails. I would never, ever ask a woman to change herself into someone she’s not just to please me. You are who you are, and as long as you’re always trying to make yourself better — and we get along — then we’re good. And, honey, did we ever get along.
But after reading your piece, I’m not sure what to think. “Women aren’t women anymore” and “men have nowhere to go?” I’m starting to think you’re serious about this, and it’s freaking me out. You’re not the woman I fell in love with anymore. I don’t like my women barefoot, pregnant and boring. I don’t want her to stay at home just because she thinks my penis wants to shoulder 100 percent of the economic burden. You say the urge to provide is in my DNA. I wasn’t aware that primal urges included specifically 1950s views of the American suburban family — but, as you so often claimed during our courtship, I am a mutant.
You’re right, though. I haven’t changed; you have. In your insistence to be the high-maintenance, plastic housewife you claim all men need to love, you’ve forgotten to be the retrograde crank I fell in love with.
We really need to talk.
Marriageable man (?)