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March 25th, 2017

The Village Idiot

You had me at 'mass murderer'

Jim Mullen

By Jim Mullen

Published Nov. 24, 2014

I'm finally getting married! For a while I thought it was never going to happen; I'm 26 and the last one in my group who's still single. I was starting to think I'd never meet Mr. Right.

But then, one visit to prison, there he was: staring me right in the face. And I mean staring. Charlie's got some kind of stare. It was like he was trying to hypnotize me into doing something I knew I shouldn't. But that's crazy talk. It turns out that he's just really, really intense.

Sure, he's a little bit older than I am, but what does age mean when you love someone with all your heart? Besides, he's so suave and sophisticated, so worldly, so smart and clever, that you hardly notice he's 80. He could easily pass for 78.

I couldn't wait to tell Mom and Dad. They were always so worried I'd fall for some psycho that I'd met on the Internet. "There are a lot of crazy people out there," Mom would say. "You have to be careful." Well, she doesn't have to worry about that anymore! I didn't meet Charlie online; I met him in prison.

But instead of being happy for me, Mom hit the roof.

"Why do you think an 80-year-old man is still single? Because he's such a catch? Because he never met the right girl? Or do you think it's because, oh, I don't know, he's doing life in prison?"

Oh, puh-leeze. We all make a few mistakes when we're young. Who hasn't come home drunk one night with a shaved head, a ring in their nose and a "YOLO" tattoo on their neck and lived to regret it? You can't hold that against them for their whole life.

"Yes, you can," Mom said. "He didn't just get a tattoo. He killed a bunch of people. And he wasn't young. He was 35. You couldn't find a nice burglar or an embezzler to marry? You had to find a mass murderer?"

She's, like, so judgmental. I just knew Mom wouldn't like Charlie. Sure, he's not really a people person, but she's never liked any of my boyfriends. She kept turning them in. And for the littlest things, too, like stealing her car or forging her checks.

Well, she can't turn Charlie in. He's already in. Mom always says there's more fish in the sea, but I don't know what that means. Who wants to marry a fish?

I know what people are saying about Charlie, but that's because they're jealous. Just because they haven't found their own happiness doesn't mean they have to step on my dreams. If only they knew Charlie the way I know him. He's so smart! Why, I never knew what all those Beatles records really meant until he explained it all to me. Who knew?

Not that he's perfect.

Charlie said he'd help plan the wedding; he said he's good at planning things. But really, he's no good at planning things at all. In fact, he keeps forgetting that he said he wanted to marry me. So I just had to take charge. Now I'm so busy planning the wedding, I can't think straight. Who will be the maid of honor? Who will be the bridesmaids? Everyone I've asked so far is out of town or not picking up. I'm still waiting for all my friends to RSVP. It's as if the post office has lost all my mail.

On top of all that, Charlie's nasty old prison won't let him out so we can have a real honeymoon. He can kiss Disney World goodbye. I could write a book about how crazy it's all been.

The phone's ringing now. It's probably that reality show producer again. I shouldn't pick up, but he's kinda cute. If this marriage doesn't work out ...

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Jim Mullen is the author of "It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life" and "Baby's First Tattoo."

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