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 was shocked."
     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 innocently replied.
     I shook my head gently, hoping she’d finally get the picture. "No, the three magic words are ‘Lower Your Standards.’"

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