By contributing writer Daniel Goodman

When I was a frail, diminutive lad, I fondly remember sitting on my grandma’s lap as she told me with a smile, “Don’t worry, honey, I won’t get mad at you if you’re not married by a certain age. My grandma then turned angry, her mouth frothing. “But if she’s not Jewish, I’ll murder you.”

Marriage is funny, in a real serious and committed kind of way, and every man has a different set of difficult circumstances to consider, whether it’s age, religion, career goals, money, or, perhaps, tapeworms. The list goes on and on.

Personally, I’m in no rush to wed my blow-up doll girlfriend, Judy Zimmerman, but the same can’t be said for everyone. In fact, two of my friends from high school are tying the knot this fall.

I brought this to my mother’s attention over the summer, to which she replied, “I’m so happy for them! So, when are you and your blow-up doll girlfriend, Judy Z, getting hitched?” Mom sure knows how to push my buttons.

“Get off my back, ma!” I screamed. “I’m still deciding if she’s the one, ok?” “I’m just giving you a hard time, honey,” she said. “Don’t let me or anyone else rush you—when it’s time, you’ll know.”

“Daniel, why are you always suggesting I get implants? Do you think I'm flat?”

“It’s just that,” I stammered, spilling my Diet Fanta. “I’m not entirely certain if she’s marriage material, that’s all.”

“That’s quite all right,” mom exclaimed. “A decision like this takes time. Time to think. Time apart from your girlfriend. Time to pursue sexual encounters with beautiful women whose waist sizes fluctuate naturally, and not with the aid of a helium tank or handheld pump.”

I hated to admit it, but mom was right. I wasn’t being fair to myself. I’d become so comfortable with the consistent texture of Judy Z’s synthetic skin that I hadn’t ever afforded myself the chance to caress real human flesh.

“And remember,” Mom continued, “Before you tie the knot, you should always ask yourself one important question.”

“I should ask myself if I love her or not, right?”

“Wrong again, hotshot. Forget love. Instead, ask yourself, ‘Could I have done better in the looks department?’” Mom paused to eat a granola bar, her favorite snack.

“I’m confused, ma,” I spoke up. “Are you suggesting that I should try bagging a more attractive dame?”

“All I’m saying, sugar, is that it takes more commitment than you realize for a marriage to work. Why do you think so many people get divorced?”

“If it’s because they slowly grow sexually incompatible, well,” I confidently interjected, “That’s something me and Judy Z don’t have to worry about. Whenever I’m in the mood, she’s in the mood—”

“No offense, son, but Judy Z’s face is plastic. She can only have but so many moods.” Mom stuffed two granolas bars in her mouth this time. After chewing, she continued with her lecture.

“Ok, it’s crunch time. Are you ready for the speed round?” Before I had time to answer, mom reeled off a series of questions in rapid-fire motion. “Is Judy Z. emotionally unstable?”

“Indeed! When she gets angry, look out—especially if you move her arms or legs in the wrong direction.”

“Does Judy Z have any especially nagging qualities that might grow worse in time?”

“Well, her laziness really bothers me. She still can’t stand upright without my assistance. And, I never thought I’d say this, but she’s actually too frugal, if there’s such a thing. She won’t buy new outfits. In fact, I’ve yet to see her change out of that damn nurse uniform since we started dating.”

“I hate to tell you this, son,” my mom said, “But Judy Z. is not marriage material. You need to lose that zero and get yourself a hero.”

Mom was right. It doesn’t really matter when I get married, as long it’s for the right reasons. To quote the late, great Rodney Dangerfield, “My wife wants sex in the back of the car, and she wants me to drive.” See, if you try to rush marriage, it’ll blow up in your face.