Well, maybe I won't slap the shit out of you. But at the very least, you'll get a look of Incredible Disappointment, combined with a shaking of my head. Because I just don't understand.
The source of my disdain today? A discussion on Jezebel on a book about tricking your boyfriend into proposing. The Get-Your-Man-to-Marry-You Plan: Buying the Cow in the Age of Free Milk is written by Lori Uscher-Pines, a 29-year-old public health researcher, so you know we're getting this from a very wise relationship expert.
In an New York Post article, Uscher-Pines reveals her top five dos and don'ts. The don'ts are pretty much common sense. The Do List, however?
No. 1: Do talk about expectations.
Uh, no shit.
No. 2: Do spend time with all those marrieds who seem so crazy happy in love. "You want peer pressure to work for your advantage," she says. "Men get turned on to things when they see their peers doing the same."
Oooh, peer pressure! That's bound to work. I surely don't know a single soul who has never regretted succumbing to peer pressure. Who wouldn't want to get married to a guy who wanted to get married because all of his friends are doing it? Lord knows I wouldn't want a man who does his own thing. Let's just hope for your sake sister, when he see half of your married friends divorcing he doesn't think he needs to follow suit.
No. 3: Do remove the "barrier" he's created, such as not being able to afford the ring, or the house, or the wedding, or you.
Look, if you weren't such a high maintenance bitch, we could have gotten married years ago. Those barriers? They sound like excuses. Don't you think that if you're with someone who truly knows you (and if you're marrying someone, don't you want them to truly know you?), he would know you don't give two shits about a ring or a house or a wedding? Then again, if you're buying this book and taking Uscher-Pines's advice to heart, you probably do care deeply about the ring and the house and the wedding. Sucks to be you.
No. 4: Do create some dependency, you scheming bitch. Ha ha, kidding. But really, do this. "Get him to depend on you a little bit," she says, "and then show him what life is like without this benefit." Cook him a gourmet meal every night and then stop. Pay bills and then stop. Get his car inspected and then stop. You're so bad, you're good!
Rampant inconsistency is fun! It doesn't make you look unstable at all. I swear! He'll think every day with you will be an adventure. But you have to do it long enough to make sure he's become used to your behavior and then suddenly pull the rug out from under him. It's the only way he'll ever learn to appreciate everything you do, and then stop doing, for him. And when he asks why you've suddenly stopped paying the cable/giving blow jobs/making dinner, you're going to have to lie, aren't you? Because I'm pretty sure, "I'm trying to trick you into marrying me," will not really be an acceptable response here.
No. 5: Do initiate a major life change. This means saying you might go to grad school or move to a new city or any kind of "fish or cut bait" decision-inducing measure. Basically, create a negotiation point. "An ultimatum isn't manipulative if you think about it," she says.
An ultimatum is absolutely manipulative. It is direct, for sure. But that doesn't mean it's not manipulative. How would you respond to an ultimatum? I imagine I would either say, "Okay then, fuck off," or I would say "Okay fine, I'll do X," and then grow to resent the person who gave me the ultimatum.
A few of my friends wanted me to give The Boy I Currently Like an ultimatum to ... ask me out or something last summer. I'm still not entirely sure how it was supposed to work. The World's Worst Wing Woman was the instigator, but she had backers. I threw out six weeks as the "Or else!" date because I just wanted to stop talking about it. I don't do ultimatums. They are so not my style. I really fear doing something that might cause someone to resent me down the line. So the six weeks came and went. Another sixish weeks passed and then I decided one day, "I'm just going to ask him." And I did and here we are.
If you need to manipulate and scheme to get your boyfriend to propose to you ... why on earth would you want to marry him? I cannot wrap my head around it. Why is getting married SO IMPORTANT? I'll never understand women who absolutely must get married or their lives will never be complete. Marriage is not the be-all and end-all.
Sometimes this whole discussion makes me feel like I'm crazy. Then I look back on posts like this, about awful marriage proposals, and I read the comments and I know I'm not alone, so I feel a tiny bit better. The whole situation still makes me weep for my gender, though.
PS: Blogger spellcheck recognizes "blow jobs." I never know if it's a compound word or two separate words. Blogger says it's two. Good to know.