As our two daughters grow perilously close to the
ripe old age of 30, I’m beginning to think that arranged marriages might
not be such a bad idea.
To put it simply, they’re moving kind of slow.
My wife and I have always counseled all our kids not to get married too
young, and they clearly listened. It all came to a head the other day.
"How’s the new boyfriend?" I asked
our older daughter, who was on the phone from New York. "Can your Mom
finally start planning a wedding?"
"It was only our third date, Dad," she
replied. "And this was the first date we’ve had in the sunlight. I
couldn’t believe how pale he was. I think it’s over."
"You’re dumping him because he doesn’t
have a suntan???"
"I’d only seen him in dark restaurants. I
That was the kicker. I informed her that I was
going to get into the arranged-marriage business. I’d try and find her a
guy with a suntan, but I wasn’t about to guarantee it.
Her younger sister was no better. Picky, picky,
picky. No one was good enough. A couple of years ago, she had a choice
between two guys. One was the nephew of a billionaire who was also very
handsome and a great athlete. The other choice was an aspiring drummer in
a rock band.
She thought the billionaire’s nephew was boring. She
opted for the drummer. True love sucks.
But we supported her. The drummer turned out to be a
great guy. He bonded with her brothers over a drunken game of beer pong,
and bonded with me and my wife when he mistakenly walked into our bedroom
in the middle of the night, in his boxers, looking for the bathroom.
We liked him a lot, and my wife started planning
the wedding. As usual, that’s when our youngest daughter, who is of
prime marrying age, decided the drummer wasn’t "the one."
They’re never "the one." Before she dumped
Paleface, our older daughter reunited with her Brazilian boyfriend, whom
she met while teaching fourth-grade in Sao Paulo the last two years. She
brought him home about a month ago to show him California and meet us.
We loved him. Bright, funny, handsome, enthusiastic,
and most importantly, tan. Perfect marriage material. Except he lived 7000
miles away. It’s always something.
Meanwhile, after she and the drummer amicably parted
ways, the younger daughter went on a rampage, dating feverishly in a
madcap attempt to beat her sister to the altar.
Within a month, she had three guys beating down her
door. I haven’t met any of them yet, but I loved them all like the
son-in-laws I’ve never had.
"How can you not be interested?" I cried when
she gave me her weekly report. "One’s a prolific entrepreneur, the
other’s a successful financial consultant and the third is a brilliant
tech CEO. They’re perfect!!!"
"I like them all," she replied.
"They’re nice guys. Maybe something will spark."
Maybe Hell will freeze over. These girls have
standards that clearly make marriage a distant dream, at least for their
parents. That’s why I’m on a campaign for arranged marriages.
I discussed it with my wife the other morning.
Initially, she was very much against it. But then I reminded her that if
we waited much longer for our daughters to marry, she might never become
the Hot and Sexy Granny that she’s always dreamed of becoming.
That did the trick. She immediately started
compiling a list of eligible bachelors whom we could force to marry our
daughters. It would have been longer, but I refused to sweeten the pot
with a dowry.
Now it was just a matter of convincing our
daughters to go the arranged-marriage route. I figured we had a chance,
mainly because they never liked dating that much.
Unfortunately, they weren’t too thrilled when I
broached the subject. They never even asked whom we had chosen.
"Fine," I said to my youngest daughter
when she rejected my idea. "I guess you’re waiting to hear those
three words that are the keys to making every marriage successful."
"You mean ‘I love you,’" she
I shook my head gently, hoping she’d finally
get the picture. "No, the three magic words are ‘Lower Your