She could tell I was different. “Did you get married?” She asked.
“I overheard you talking to the secretary about your mother-in-law.”
It confirmed my suspicions. Whenever there is a tasty bit of gossip, women have big flappy ears. They can tune into mars if the space opera is close enough to a soap opera.
I was reading about a character who lied for a living. He was a writer, and he started to make-up stuff. Pretty soon he couldn’t tell his lies from the truth and his life took on a whole new meaning. Normally, I’m an extremely truthful guy. I say the right things at the wrong times, and generally the truth gets me into trouble. So, I decided to try lying for a change.
“Oh yeah, it was a big wedding!”
“Well, how come I never heard about her?”
“Oh, you know me, keep mostly to myself.”
Pretty soon the whole school knew I had gotten married. Getting married is really BIG in a school. It’s mostly female teachers and they’re always having babies. They love kids, and they want the male teachers to serve out their purpose, which is to get married. If you aren’t married, there’s something wrong with you, especially as you get older.
“Why aren’t you married? Do you hate women or something?” I always thought, my gosh, if I could only get away from this, and that generally has been the mantra of my life—trying to escape.
Pretty soon, they required documentation, and one lie was turning into many. I knew that most guys got married for the social status, and the hotter, the better. So, I had to make the male teachers jealous, and the female teachers think, “I must be a catch” if a woman like that would let me put a rock on her finger.
So, I scanned sports illustrated swimsuit models. “No, too skinny. No, too fat. Wait, why is there a fat woman on a Sports Illustrated calendar? No; too much publicity. All they’ll have to do is google her. I wanted them to ogle her, and not be able to find her on the internet. Maybe, I could create the perfect wife. Photoshop could work, and I got her proportions just right, giving her the elegance of Audrey Hepburn and the sexiness of Pamela Anderson. There were a few other women I mixed together to finish off her legs and neck.
So, when they demanded to see us together, I showed them our photograph.
“Man, how did you get her to go out with you, let alone marry you? You’re not that interesting.”
I soon realized that hotness in women is positively correlated with “interesting” in men. And I wondered what caused a man to be interesting.
“I don’t know,” I said. “I’m well-read?”
“That’s my point; you’re a nerd. Why would a woman like that marry you?”
“Well, what makes a guy interesting?” I asked.
“He has to have something going on. Like, being a football player or playing drums in a band. See, here’s my boyfriend. Joey is so hot.”
I looked at the guy. He was wearing black make-up, with long hair, and leather pants. He looked like the devil’s son. I guess my mother lied to me. Clean cut did not attract women. I was what women wanted after they could no longer get Joey. I was the safe option to support them so they could live-out their remaining years with security.
Soon, my co-workers started stalking me on Facebook. “Why can’t we see your wedding?” They demanded in my messenger inbox.
“Oh, you know, I believe in limiting my use of social media.”
“Not even one picture!!!?”
“Here, hold on a second…” I had to upload a picture of myself and a woman in a wedding dress. Why was I always frowning? Oh well, it was my wedding day. What was it people said? When you’re single, your life is incomplete and when you get married, your life is over. I guess men can’t win, unless they lie.
A male teacher at my work who believed in marriage, I mean… he really believed in marriage, took me aside and asked me how it was going.
“Oh, no problems,” I said. “I’m just trying to figure out how to live with a woman.”
“No problems…?” He asked. “Are you sure you’re married.”
“Well, you’re married,” I said.
“Yes, and I have to work at it.”
“Do you have problems?”
“What marriage doesn’t?”
“Well, why do men get married then?”
“It’s the right thing to do; it’s what God intended. Speaking of which, I saw your mom at bible study yesterday. Why weren’t you there?”
It was the bible study my mother had been guilting me into for the last four years. I had to stand my ground on principle. Once a man caves to a woman, especially his mother, it sets a dangerous precedent. Then a horrible idea entered my mind. This teacher was going to talk to my mother about my recent marriage, but I wasn’t married. I had to get ahead of him, and lie to my mother. It was going to feel awful, but when I told her the good news, it made her so happy, that it made me happy. I had no idea getting married would make so many people happy. It was like they were relieved I wasn’t gay or some kind of deviant. True, I knew my mind was probably already reprobate, but I no longer felt bad about it because I got promoted at work.
“When are you going to have little ones?” My boss asked. She was very motherly.
I think she thought I was terribly irresponsible for not having kids, but when I got married, it was like I became a man. I could only imagine how many promotions I might get if I had kids. That’s when the idea rolled into my head like a bun in the oven.
“We’re already pregnant!” I said.
“Oh, I just knew you could do it! The girls in the office and I thought you were committed to bachelorhood, but I always had faith in you.”
“I thought you told me that I was replaceable.”
“Oh, I didn’t mean it. Now that your married, we expect great things from you.”
After another promotion, I began to question the meaning of it all. Could it be that society was conspiring against singleness? I mean, if you didn’t get married, you weren’t in the club, and if you were married without kids, well that was a whole different problem. I wondered how many kids a guy had to have to become a Director. I scrutinized my boss’s desk. Two kids. I made a mental note. And she has a dog. Okay. I filed that away in my brain.
I got on my computer and photo-shopped the two cutest kids you ever saw and a golden retriever. Oh, and I almost forgot… they need to think I have money, but not enough to arouse suspicion. I must be solidly in the middle class, but with a mortgage. They won’t feel bad if I’m in debt. I put the pictures onto my social media, and in only one hour, I had a friend request. And then another. It was like my past returned to visit me. They all wanted to be my friends. Things were going so well, and then I began to have worries. What if they found out? My mother was sure to visit. Her feelings were already hurt that I hadn’t invited her to the wedding. The solution? I had to leave the country. So, I packed my bags, boarded a plane, and began living in Jamaica. It was a touristy spot, with beautiful women. I started to do really well with them, due to the ring around my finger. Why is it that married guys get more attention from women than a guy who is single? I think it has something to do with what they call pre-selection. If a woman “okays” a guy, he must be okay, but what about all those serial killers who were married? Women are crazy. The world is crazy. Was I crazy for lying?
Then a teacher friend of mine noticed me on the beach with my Jamaican hotty. “Hey, I thought you were married?”
“Oh,” I said.
“You cheating bastard. I’m going to tell your mom. I’m going to tell Facebook. May your life be over!”
A guy couldn’t win. Oh well, I was lying on a beach. It doesn’t get much better than that.