Jewish World Review Oct. 14, 2010 / 6 Mar-Cheshvan, 5771
Readers get to meddle in lives of newlyweds , do they get the man chair or not?
By John Kass
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's not every day that readers are invited to meddle in the affairs of two young newlyweds.
But my friend Wings and his lovely bride, Elizabeth, have just returned from their fantastic honeymoon in
First, there's the man chair issue.
And then the related question: Should men be dragged to
As Meddler Numero Uno, I told Wings that to build a strong foundation for a happy marriage, he must get a man chair pronto.
Because if he doesn't, he might end up with the nesting tables instead. They're fine perches for violets and framed photographs and tasteful candle displays. But they're not a man chair.
And learned scientists have established that men who don't have a man chair to anchor them on the weekends often find themselves being dragged through the living hell that is
If you don't believe me, just look at the couples in that store. The men are often shuffling, broken husks, mindlessly examining pillow shams, dust ruffles and "just a few more things, honey" for eons.
"Do you have a man chair?" Wings asked me, though he already knew the answer.
No, I said through clenched teeth.
Much to my everlasting shame, I do not have a man chair. Years ago, I didn't think it was important. What a fool.
"Don't listen to him," my wife told Wings over the phone. "Do what Elizabeth wants. Do what you want to do. Don't let John meddle."
Jeepers. That's a case of blatant reverse meddling if there ever was one. So I took Wings on a tour, that he might hear firsthand from older married guys.
"I don't have a man chair," said a burly fellow at the office, as other guys crowded around to hear his tale of woe. "I used to have one. I just loved my man chair."
What happened to your man chair?
"My wife made me give it away," he sighed. "It was a recliner. And she had the cats. She was worried that I'd kill her cats by reclining them to death."
Are the cats happy now?
"Oh, yeah, and my brother-in-law is happy, too, because I gave my chair to him, and he loves it," the guy said.
There was silence all around. We stared at our shoes rather than meet the poor guy's haunted eyes.
"So I don't have a man chair anymore," he said, before biting his lips to stifle a sob.
After that, Wings was quiet for a time, wondering whether those who do not learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them.
These days, he's a newlywed still aglow with the happiness of a fantastic wedding. And he still can't believe that a woman as great as Elizabeth actually married him.
But the saga of the guy who lost his man chair over the cats had a profound effect upon him, as he realized there are but two kinds of men in the world: Those who have man chairs, and those who wish they did.
Most young women surveyed said they didn't care if their men had man chairs. But a minority were stridently anti-man chair.
"I say no man chair," said a woman, as she hammered me with her frosty gaze. "No man chair."
Why the heck not?
"Well?" she asked, her voice rising. "Is there a WOMAN CHAIR?"
Naturally, I took the only course available. I ran away.
As everyone who has been married knows, honeymoons are nice, but they're not reality. And reality is the place where married couples live.
Reality wasn't where Betty and I took our
As for Wings and Elizabeth, what's realistic about the couple strolling through ancient Segovia? Sure, they lunched on the fantastic Spanish ham of the acorns. Yes, they sipped
It sounds lovely. But reality is what happens back home, when you decide on either the man chair or the nesting tables.
If it's nesting tables, you're compelled to festoon them with various objects, which leads us to the terror that is
"I just hate it," said another guy, whose wife is impervious to his piteous screams as she drives him to the mall. "You're standing there, and she asks you if you like the towels. I don't care what the towels look like, but she asks, and I pretend to have an opinion, If there's one thing I really hate, it's having to have an opinion about towels when I don't really care one way or another!"
So, do you have a man chair?
"No," said the guy.
It's too late for guys like us.
But will my readers allow history to repeat itself for Wings and Elizabeth?
Do readers want him to get the man chair? Or will you doom the poor guy to the nesting tables and
Yes, it's their life.
But you're the meddlers. So let me know. Start meddling.
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John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Comments by clicking here.
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