Weekly Drunk Text: "Love is in the air. Get a gasmask."

Last year I almost hung up my spurs. I expected Obi-Wan to kick me out of the Jedi Order. I would have happily given up the $1,000 (even $10,000) I gambled that this day would never happen. I prepared for a lifetime of getting ridiculed by other single men and chastised by all the others. Last year, I thought I was ready to be engaged for real.

One day during our dating time, I don't even remember if she was with me, but the thought jumped into my head, "Maybe you should consider thinking about conversing with one of your friends on how you're supposed to start planning the process of preparing to ask your girlfriend if she wants to get engaged to you." Granted, this is a long stone's throw away from asking, "Will you marry me?" But hey, it's the thought that counts.

My girlfriend and I considered this lifelong (or a few months long, depending on the marriage) commitment of commitment. We dated off and on for about a year and a half, which in "kc years" is a really long time. As a couple "we" wanted "our" time together to turn into an eternity-or until one of us found somebody cooler, died, or made nice with a divorce lawyer.

Like any terminally ill couple, we discussed it. We talked about who would be invited and where we'd exchange vows: my hometown or her hometown, outside or in a church and so on. Together we picked out honeymoon plans, thought of wedding dates and possible themes. We even named our first kid Casey Junior which works perfectly for a boy or a girl, is easy to spell, was a cool Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles supporting character, and the initials C.J. could be phonetically sounded out as "Siege" -it's an all-around a sweet name.

Now, some pathetic couples do this crap all of the time-or because condoms break or girls forget to take their no baby pills. Not me. I reckon I only know the last names of four girlfriends. One Valentine's Day I purposely ditched a girlfriend (not the aforementioned one) to see Daredevil on opening night rather than spend $35 on dinner because I wanted to not only get dumped, but also weasel my way out of buying a gift.

But the almost fiancé and I were "that couple." Our friends told us, "Oh you guys are so perfect for each other," and then tried to choke themselves on their own vomit once we left because they were so disgusted by our cutesy pet names, PDA and inside jokes. Our photos graced each other's MySpace pages, we spent time with each other's families and we almost inked matching emblems into our skin (phew! Thank Gaudio we waited, tattoos are permanent!).

We also had the type of fights Don King dreams of promoting. My friends talk about our breakups as if they were Star Trek movie sequels. "Oh, the second one, was that the one with the blue whales, incessant crying and dinosaur tattoos, or was that the one when Kirk meets Picard, a naked dude vomits into the sink and kc complains about WWF Intercontinental Championships?"

Needless to say, the relationship didn't work out. Here I am six months later thinking, "Holy shit, instead of drinking free premium booze on a private yacht full of models (which sooner or later will happen), I could be at a stationary store picking out wedding invitations. Or rather than enjoying my vacation fishing with my grandpa, maybe I'd have to be spend my free time helping her second cousin move into a fourth floor walk-up."  The crappy possibilities are endless.

However, this realization doesn't stop men from asking the big question. I'd say roughly a third of my friends are married, and soon even more are going to be down for the count of forever. I've been invited to eight weddings this year and am going to four. While I think marriage is more or less a joke, I enjoy a good party, free booze and being shitfaced in front of impressionable yet defenseless toddlers.

My buddies who are husbands give out a lot of advice. I wonder if that is because their wives and children (dogs, bosses, mistresses) won't listen to them.

During a slightly well-behaved drinking spree, I spoke with my married roommate about his somewhat lawfully wedded wife. He explains, "No. It wasn't a mistake. A mistake is something that just fucks your shit up for a while. Getting married RUINED MY LIFE!" We sat in a semi-crowded bar on a Saturday. People heard us. I heard him and took his words to heart.

One time I ridiculed all my nuptialed friends by saying, "You know you don't have to get married for pussy, right?" A dear male friend replied, "Getting married for the sex is like buying an airline for the peanuts." For some reason this phrase was really hard for me to understand, not because it's about marriage or sex, but why would you want to buy an airline?  When was the last time you got peanuts on a plane? People still have premarital sex?

Anyway, he said this when his wife wasn't present. After seeing him twice last year (we live far apart) he never said anything contrary. But of course, his wife was with him the entire time.

Hell, even the gay men I know have wedding problems. One of my friends was proposed to and it sounded completely romantic. Rose petals. Heartfelt words inducing tears from both parties. Scented candles. He described how blubbery he became after seeing his boyfriend get down on one knee (just one knee perverts). Then he opened the jewelry box. Inside was a ring made of ribbon-you know, the crap people with too much time tie around wrapped gifts. His feelings changed from "I'll love this man for the rest of my life" to "I'm going to tell my friends how big of a retard this guy is for the rest of my life."

My old editor used to tell me, "Your first marriage is for love. Your second is for money. Remember that. Dipshit." Wise words from a genius…who didn't listen to himself and married another beautiful girl who isn't rich. He works 60-hour workweeks…for love. Dumbass.

At the end of the day, both the ex and I are probably better people since we never see or speak to each other. The wedding would have been like breakfast at Denny's: cute and fun for everybody (while we were drunk) but after the sunlight of the next day you're filled with nothing but regret, remorse, and the dirty feeling inside that says, "You've made a really bad choice and are going to pay for it." Unlike a Lumberjack Slam, a crappy marriage doesn't just go away after a sick day, laxative pills and prayer.

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