I could have been a contender.

I once had hope. I once had promise. I was a zen master, totally the center of the universe. All things were for me, done in my honor, and existence itself was a blessing I bestowed upon this so-called reality. If I looked away, you failed to exist. I was certain, I was energetic, I was invincible.

I met The Girl. What a knockout. Dressed to kill. I won't bore you with all the details, but I married her 15 years ago.

Man, has my life changed.

Just last night, it all caught up to me. My wife and I were sitting at our respective computers, drinking wine, playing silly computer games. Our son was in his bedroom, talking to his girlfried. My daughter was studying her spelling. It was quiet. Boring. Standard existence.

My wife said she was tired (reasonable, she had to wake up at 3:30 AM to go to work on that day). She wanted us to take a shower, then lay down together so she could fall asleep. She can't fall asleep if I'm not there. It was only 8:00 PM. I have to go to bed just because she says so. She thinks just because she loves me and treats me special and has been through 15 years of life with me I should do what she asks me to. My life has suddenly been decided for me. Marriage blows goats.

Getting out of the shower, I look in the mirror. Marriage has made me look funny. My hair is thin on top. I have to wear glasses now. Oh, and my belly - I just got this new pot-belly last year. I am not complaining about the pot-belly. It's funny. It sticks out like it is trying to go someplace (who knows where). It is warm and comfortable, and pleasantly round. It makes an amusing sound when I thump on it. My wife likes it too. She pats me on my new pot-belly all the damn time, which is embarassing when my friends are around. The pot-belly can stay, but the glasses and thinning hair have to go. Damn marriage did this to me.

I went to bed with my wife, and turned on the TV. It was 8:30 PM and I was going to stay awake until 11:30 to watch Nightline. Nobody but 4 year olds go to sleep at 8:30.

Cuddling was completely her idea. I don't mean it was her idea last night, I mean it has always been her idea. All she ever wanted to do, it seemed, was cuddle. I never thought much of cuddling before. It was dull. Maybe its all those years of hellish brainwashing marriage, but I like cuddling a lot more now. And I'm a guy.

Anyway, we are cuddling, and my new pot-belly makes the spoon position even better, it seems. The hollow of her back is now filled. We fit like a jigsaw. The room is dark, but splashed with the soft lights and sounds of a tiny television set, with the volume set to low. The hot shower and the wine and the hell of marriage - I was doomed. I fell asleep at 8:40. Marriage is so damn comfortable, here recently. What has happened to me?

And I wake up this morning and it all comes crashing in on me. I didn't do a damn thing last night! Marriage made me stupid, lazy and old! Don't let it happen to you!

If you missed the point, I will make it obvious for you: Marriage is the best thing that ever happened to me.

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