Advice To A Friend On His Wedding
Prologue: I found this gem of a letter hidden in the pages of a old and mildewed book, a copy of Dickens Pickwick Papers, shoved with neglect in the back shelf of a forgotten library. Intrigued by the old handwritten pages oozing of an age long gone by, I took this home and spent a few weeks deciphering the contents. The below is an adequate reproduction, of my understanding of the writers original handwriting. Errors if any can be blamed on me. By the language used by the original author I deduce that this letter must have been written 100-120 years ago but the principles it expounds on still sounds true. Read and enjoy the lost pleasure of a hidden letter.
My dear M,
I write this to you in reply to your own letter lamenting your sorry single state on Valentines Day. Rather than commiserating in your misery I would rather advice you to rejoice. I would not tell this to anyone or everyone except such a dear friend like you for fear i may be misunderstood by the bra burning brigades. But as i have confidence in your discretion and can count on your silence, I would speak the truth to you about this most preventable of disasters called marriage. This is my own opinion and I leave it your discretion to take my advice or not on this most unnecessary of evils to befall a happy single man- the institution of marriage. This is a tough world, a competitive world, a dog eat dog world where the slightest misfortune and a single slip can lead a man to disaster and calamity. But of all the disasters to fell a man, of all the natural calamities to descend on his head, a wedding takes precedence over all the rest. You can recover from a stock market crash, you can recover from a cancer of the prostate but you cannot recover from marriage. Once you say “I do” that’s the end, you are done to death. So I say that whatever other disasters fall to a man’s lot, what mistakes and errors he does and whatever pickles he finds himself in, if he does not commit that ultimate mistake of leaving his sense behind for a wife, he can recover from those mistakes and he can still end up being happy. So i would advise you not to refer to yourself as unhappy, as you have done in your letter, for your happiness still exists without a shadow on it.
Believe me when i tell you that all the troubles which fall on a man during the normal course of life are always of small consequences and can be conquered with strength of will, courage and confidence in oneself. But a wedding is so big a burden on a man’s head, that I never saw any man howsoever clever and brave he may be to survive one unscathed and not be brought under the tyranny of a wife, to be rolled along on her little finger and made to dance to her will. Marry a woman and see for yourself that every single day for the rest of your life, you shall have a thousand little troubles, a thousand responsibilities, a thousand things to do immediately on that day itself and you will end up with a profound dissatisfaction and a repentance that you ever married which will speedily take you to an early grave. You may, as you mention in your letter, choose whatever type of wife as you are looking for, but in the end she will make you repent doing so every single day for the rest of your life, not out of any malice towards you but simply because it is in her nature and disposition to tyrannize a husband, any man fool enough to marry her. All day long, from the dawn of light your brain will be filled with cares, your body will be tired with work, your purse will be empty with spending and your mind will pine for some rest instead of always worrying about the cares of maintaining your family. And these cares will always be there even in the most happiest of marriages and the sweetest of wives. Till you yourself will proclaim to all your unmarried friends that the happiest man is an unwed man and that any woman is an angel till she turns into a wife.
Now don’t take this the wrong way and believe me to be a misogynist or against marriage. Marriage is a fine institution, a holy cause ordained by the gods to multiply the population of our earth. Marriage in itself is fine, that which makes it bad is woman. So if inspite of my advice you decide to marry, then this is the time to make up your mind. You must decide that once you marry, you will never think about anything by yourself again, that you will listen to your wife and follow her advice to the letter, never show your displeasure if she makes you turn to the east even if she had you walking all day to the west, you will subject yourself with a happy disposition to the least of her wishes, bypass all her deficiencies which suddenly you notice, satisfy all her wishes however insatiable they seem to you, approve all her plans for pleasure and laugh at all her jokes however unfunny they may be. Do this and you have slight chance of leading a tolerably comfortable married life.
If after reading this letter you decide not to marry, rejoice you happy man, for you can have more happiness in a single day as a bachelor than as a married man all your life. A single man may freely and instantly do all that his heart desires, he can travel, he can spend to the end and live luxuriously according to his own whims and delights and even do risky and dangerous things if he so desires, instead of worrying about leaving behind a beautiful widow and fatherless kids.
So, I leave you with this and commend you to make your own decision. For if you decide to marry, congratulations are in order and if you decide not to marry, then double congratulations are in order. And I will be always,