Jewish World Review Nov. 19, 2003 / 24 Mar-Cheshvan, 5764

Rick Shefchik

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Congrats, Dave — now marry the girl


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | Dear David Letterman:

Please allow me to join with Oprah Winfrey and almost everyone else in and out of show business to congratulate you on the birth of your son, Harry.

That's a nice name, Harry, by the way. I know it was your father's name; it is also my father-in-law's name and my son's middle name. I think it's a wonderful sign of respect when we honor those generations who came before us by naming our children for them.

Even Oprah - whom you've often joked about on your show - has been able to put aside any hard feelings she might have to send you a nice baby present. She understands, as most of us do, how the importance of family tends to trump petty grievances. She wishes you well as you embark on fatherhood for the first time; we all do.

Now, get married.

That's right, Dave, the party's over. You're 56 years old now, your girlfriend has just had your baby, and it's time to stop acting like this is a shocking development that you just weren't prepared for and don't know how to respond to. Do the decent thing; do what your father did, what my father did, and what responsible men have done since the dawn of civilization: marry the mother of your child.

I know what you're asking yourself: "Why should I? I'm a big TV star. Lots of big stars have kids but don't get married."

Well, sure they do, but it sets a terrible example for the little people out there who are influenced by big stars like you; and you'll be telling your own son that you haven't really made a commitment to his mom.

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Commitment - and adulthood in general - seems to be a dying concept in our society. A University of Chicago survey found that we now think of adulthood as beginning at age 26; and the latest AARP magazine announces that "60 is the new 30." In other words, we can put off growing up forever if we really put our minds to it.

Well, Dave, despite your jokes about being the world's oldest dad, what you're really becoming is the world's oldest adolescent, though there's plenty of competition out there.

If this helps you, I've put together a Top Ten List of reasons why you ought to marry Regina Lasko:

10. Despite what her parents say, they think you're a cad.

9. You know all those swell baby presents? Wedding presents are even better.

8. If you can influence just one NBA player from having another out-of-wedlock child, it will be worth it.

7. All those annoying starlets you interview will finally stop hitting on you when they see your wedding ring.

6. Now, you can tell the man's man Alan Kalter, "Sorry, can't do karaoke with you tonight. The wife won't let me."

5. WWBHD? (What Would Biff Henderson Do?)

4. You can razz Oprah about still being single.

3. Instead of some lame amateurs, you could probably get the real Peter, Paul and Mary to sing "The Wedding Song (There Is Love)" at the ceremony.

2. You know that custom about a woman jumping out of the cake at your bachelor party? Two words: Drew Barrymore.

And the number one reason why you ought to get married:

1. Because it's the right thing to do, da--it.

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Rick Shefchik writes for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press. Comment by clicking here.

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