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Weirdvertising

I turn in the new book in on October 9th. It is finished, by which I mean, I have a DRAFT, but I am obsessively revising it. It is a love story. It is Someone Else’s Love Story, specifically. It is about mortality and marriage and miracles and other things that do not start with an M, so they can’t be in this sentence.

I am working like a crazy person, which I think is actually required by law if you decide to write a love story.

PLUS, beloveds, the PB of A GROWN-UP KIND OF PRETTY comes out on September 26th, so I am doing some travel and promo for that. You should get one. Heck, no, you should get TWO, they are small.

BUT! I had to take a break and share this because it is about mortality and marriage, too. Good Grief. File Under, ONLY IN THE SOUTH:

Yeah, this is real people. This is happening. I look at this and I think, “and if the marriage doesn’t work out, you have already purchased the solution!” A terribad cross-promo, really.

I went to a wedding on Saturday, as Karen Abbott’s plus one. They were so pretty and young and in love with each other—-you should have seen their faces. I doubt they will need the gun. I was so grinny from watching them promise things that my face hurt.

I think human brain has a built in ap that responds to ritual. You don’t have to SAY YES TO THE DRESS and mortgage a kidney on the wedding….that crap is all fluff and commerce.

What matters is giving love the respect—- offering it the ritual. Gather family and your friends. Invoke your belief system. Make solemn promises in front of everyone you love and ask them to help you keep them.

This is the part that matters.

Another part that matters: At the end, you should have cake.

Another part that really, really matters: Don’t bring a gun.

You know why? ( Why to NO GUN not why to Cake. No one needs a why to cake, cake is AWESOME.) Because marriage is not hard.

I wish we would all stop telling young people, “Marriage is hard.” It’s SUCH crap, and it makes them think, “Oh this person is very difficult, BUT I LOVE THIS PERSON and marriage is HARD, everyone says so, so I should marry it, this hard person.” And it makes it seem like marriage is a tiresome, plodding job, like litter box scooping, a chore that must be constantly performed, lest the poo smell take over the laundry room.
Marriage is NOT hard. Life is hard.

LIFE is SO fricken hard. Life is an awful, awful mess, and no one even gets out of it alive. We are all born, we die, and in between, we blunder around hurting each other.

I want to tell young people this: Marriage, if you do it right, if you decide you are a team, if you stand back to back, swords out, is one of the things that make life—which is so awfully, awfully hard—a little softer.

Instead of telling them that MARRIAGE IS HARD, tell them not to marry anyone who makes it seem like that might be true. Let the bad boy roar off on his cool motorbike to sulk and be cool and say cutting clever things to someone else. Let the beautiful but weepy-damaged-crazy princess stay up in her tower, brushing out her hair a thousand times. Marry the one who is on your TEAM. Because I think we can all agree that being married to a butthole or a narcissist IS actually pretty hard.

HERE IS ANOTHER AD, that says it is about getting a Citi Pass to see Beyonce, but I think it is TOTALLY about marriage.

Ladies, marry him. Marry him immediately. I saw this ad and did not realize I was not supposed to like him. That I was supposed to DISDAIN him. I liked him SO much, instantly—-Khaki pants DO go with everything, and they do relieve you of the responsibility of giving a single squatty fig about style. My husband and my son both own a LOT of Khaki pants for exactly both those reasons.

His not caring about style just make him seem like EVERY STRAIGHT MAN I KNOW, and I think most women have that pretty high on their husband material list.
It may even be top three: Sense of humor, kind spirit, would rather have sex with me than Johnny Depp. Check check check.

Also, WHO LIKES KHAKI BEST of all colors? People all like BLUE. Most men are blue-liking SHEEP. No one likes Khaki best. It gives this guy an underdog, outside-the-box-kind-of-aura. I am interested in a person who likes Khaki best.

I would SO marry him. But of course, I married Scott, who is DEEPLY, DEEPLY weird. My first two crushes were The Constellation Orion and Mr. Spock. So. It might just be me. Would you marry the khaki guy?

40 comments to Weirdvertising

  • Mr. Husband

    I would just like to add that at our county courthouse there is a small office downstairs with two windows/lines. The first line is for marriage certificates and the second line is for fire arm permits.

    True story.

  • I so want cake right now.

  • OH, man. Such incredibly good advice. I would marry Khaki Man in a heartbeat. I wish I had known even to do that in my younger days, instead of falling for the closeted narcissist who made marriage Very Hard Indeed.

  • Oh, man. Such incredibly good advice. I would marry Khaki Man in a heartbeat. I wish I had known enough to do that in my younger days, instead of falling for the closeted narcissist who made marriage Very Hard Indeed.

  • Ruth

    I don’t just want cake, I want the cake in the picture. Assuming that it has a raspberry jam layer inside.

    I never got married, and I doubt I ever will. But my first two crushes were Jack Lord (from “Hawaii Five-O”) and Mr. Spock, so given the confusion there, it’s probably just as well.

  • Andrea

    Thank you for hating that ‘marriage is hard’ advice as much as I do! It shouldn’t be hard! If the person you marry doesn’t want to be on your team and doesn’t treat you right and want your happiness just because that’s what’s in their heart, they NEVER WILL. Don’t jump into heartache hoping it will turn out happy! Jump into happy!! Whew. Thank you for that.
    I might marry khaki guy if I wasn’t already married to Mr Fabulous who, by the way, gave me a pistol for our second anniversary, thankyouverymuch! 🙂

  • Wendy

    Khaki guy’s khakis say “I do not live in my mom’s basement. I have a steady paying job that is not minimum wage. I like to eat pizza and kick back in my boxers but know when and how to dress appropriately. I am a responsible member of society.”

    There isn’t a lot of that out there available. Trust me.

    So yes. Where do I sign up to marry Khaki guy?

    Plus, I don’t like concerts anyway. So I’m doubly sold on this.

  • I’ve seen so many of my female clients, after dating someone for a while,worry that there aren’t any red flags–“Does that make me naive?” they ask. Total myth that relationships have to be hard. I agree with you–one of the most important questions that needs asking–“Are we on the same team or not?” It’s a helpful question to ask during arguments.

    When I was writing my relationship book I discovered 2 predictors for healthy relationships–in the research they are tied to gender but I don’t think they need to be:

    Men–susceptibility to influence. When someone is not susceptible to influence they end up becoming an obstacle to go around, thus losing all their power and relevance. Doesn’t feel too good.

    Females–the ability to do a “soft start” during conversations. Men can emotionally flood easily (again, according to research) so immediately launching an emotional attack will make it far less likely that you’ll even be heard.

    Oh, and not a khaki fan at all.

  • I DID marry the khaki guy. We’ve almost reached 29 years and he’s still on my team. I thought it was because he’s an accountant, but now I realize it’s the khaki.

  • […] checking the plot.  I already know I’ll enjoy her story and care about her characters.  In her blog post today, she says, “Marriage is NOT hard. Life is […]

  • Love that MomQueenBee! I was just thinking about the pants my husband has worn in the past week–all khaki. Guess I like the man, not the color of the pants. Stable-not boring.

  • LadyT

    Ok I screwed something up… that post up there that says “Firmly on the ground at times” logged in as a comment… i don’t know what i did. (WordPress Newbie)…

    I’m sorry… here’s the link properly http://wp.me/p2zv4x-i

  • Any guy not wearing a wife-beater or sweat pants automatically puts them on the list of Good Guys. Khakis puts them up in the top ten, as long as they are decent human beings. I love your marriage advice. I would add to the visual of standing back-to-back with weapons in your hands, being on the same team…have a glass of wine in the other hand. It has gotten me through 20 years of long hours, infertility, kids, and middle-age spread.

  • julie

    The Khaki guy is hot. My hubby wears khaki at least five days a week. Stable, dependable and predictable makes for a great marriage (almost 20 years) and a great father.

  • Yes. Yes. Yesyesyes.

    Marrying the ToolMaster was one of the best decisions I ever made. It was the foundation for many other excellent ones, all because of that teamwork bit. This despite the fact he doesn’t wear khakis. (Though my teenaged son wears nothing but.)

  • Mary

    My husband was wearing khakis when I met him! On our first date he made me laugh so much that my cheeks hurt from smiling. Khaki isn’t boring. It’s not boring to be dependable. You are so right about marrying that!

  • liz

    Yay for finishing the book!

    We went out to dinner with some of our best friends this summer. Both guys showed up dressed almost exactly the same — khakis and blue button-downs. They are both two of the nicest, kindest, most fun men anywhere, and my friend and I know we got lucky.

  • Aparatchick

    I DID marry Khaki Guy! 26 years ago this month. We are TEAM KHAKI! (or possibly Team Weird, but either way, it’s worked for us)

  • I can’t wait for the next book! Your advice on marriage is great. I’m not very far into mine, but I’ve always wondered at the notion that it has to be hard. I don’t think it is if you get the right person.

  • Lori B.

    I married Mr. Eagle Scout, so not only is he extremely dependable, he dresses in khaki often. Give me dependable over exciting or moody or uber cool every day of the week and twice on Sundays!

  • SueP

    Can’t marry the khaki guy, because I married the Dickies Jeans guy. I bet you didn’t know there was one, did you? He’s the one who thinks that Fleet Farm is where he should go to get some dressy casual shirts – you know, to go out to dinner.

    But he is completely on my team; and he’s my best friend. And he doesn’t want to have sex with Johnny Depp. Winner winner chicken dinner (because to him, it’s not dinner without meat.)

  • “…like litter box scooping, a chore that must be constantly performed, lest the poo smell take over the laundry room.” Sounds like a good metaphor for marriage to me. I see I have one day to get to Atlanta before that diamond & rifle special is over.
    Khaki shows dirt faster than blue denim.

  • Vivian Fleming

    Don’t do that! Don’t tell us how Maisy Jane has been sick and you are really worried about her and then don’t blog for almost two weeks! I’ve been worried. Glad you’ve just been busy.

  • Vivian — I am sorry. It has bene crazy. Maisy was very sick and it was WEIRD and SCARY. We got referred to a specialist at Children’s. They were thinking Crohn’s or somesuch — like a chroinic thing. It was super not great. But before we went to that, we did a bunch of tests to rule out some easy, obscure things. Wednesday the last of her teests came back and it was positive. YAY!!!! It is just a WEIRD RARE bacteria, and after a 10 course of antibiotics, she should be fine. We are all SUPER relived. I shoudl have said that — SORRY!

  • Haha I could totally go for a khaki guy. Dependable, stable, reliable … not necessarily boring – and there are ways to make your own excitement with the right person, I think 😉

  • Em

    I’m so glad Maisy Jane will feel better and I hope that antibiotic works its magic very very soon!

    As for the pants, I hate to say this but my subconscious sees Khakis and thinks: Kennedys, Harvard, boat shoes, snooty. Guess where I live? It shouldn’t. My pants guys are always in uniform. Doesn’t much matter which kind. It makes my brain say: If you are one of mine, we’ll stick together and all these other guys will back us up.

  • I married a version of Khaki Guy, 35 years ago this week. You see, khakis are his dress pants. True. Jeans are regular fare, best with a belt in mixed company. What you see is what you get with a true Khaki Guy, and in the end honesty is always the best policy.

  • Fran

    I married the lesbian version of khaki guy, and you’re absolutely right, Joss. Back to back, swords in hand, making bad jokes, and being on the same page for the important stuff. And road trips. Man, we love road trips together!

    Yay about Maisy, the new book, and CAKE!

  • Just absolutely loved this. A lot.

  • Niki V

    I LOVED your statement about this. So true. Luckily, I did NOT marry the guy that made the relationship hard work (yay me)!

    My natural curiosity piped up: What is your Scott’s favorite color? (Some tiny voice says you have mentioned this in some other post, but I don’t have enough I’m-yer-stalker-ness to go and hunt it down.)

  • I’m in the South for the weekend and right off saw a sign outside a store advertising, “Food, chainsaws, guns, jewelry”. One stop shopping at its best.

  • Elizabeth

    I thought I loved khakis and button-downs, but husband #1 (aka the batterer) ruined that for me. What I love now is the man inside the museum, symphony, and jazz club black t-shirts and Levis. He wears khakis every time I ask him to– and sometimes asks if I think he should wear khakis, particularly to gatherings of my side of the family, or to meet friends from the South who have come to visit the city. He has exactly one suit and two ties (one for weddings/happy occasions and one for funerals)–and I pick rock-solid him over all the men in the universe.

    Glad Maisy is better! Had a patient tell me his father died of a sinus infection before the advent of antibiotics…Shocking to me, as I have sinus infections like they are going out of style. Patient was 96.

    Grateful for good men and antibiotics!

  • edj

    I used to tease my husband that he had pants in every colour from sand to stone. Yeah, he likes the khakis. No, he is far from boring–in fact, his friends from high school nicknamed him the “man of epic adventure” due to his travels in a South American jungle and his pursuit and rescue, by motorcycle, of a friend’s runaway sister.
    So yeah. Khaki does not equal boring. But now to another, deeper issue: do you say it cackie or cocky?

  • My first husband cared about pants colors. Ergo, I mistrust pants-color-caring men.
    My current, REAL husband knows all sorts of things about what kinds of pants are appropriate and which socks to wear. BUT (this is key) not because he likes that, but because he heard there were RULES about such things, and therefore he memorized the rules and moved on.
    Being married to him is so so good and not hard at all.

  • Jennifer Kepesh

    @Mr. Husband: Let me guess: You live in Dekalb County, GA.

  • Brigitte

    Married to khaki guy for 20 years now, and I agree with Wendy! Since around here, most of the guys seem to be in pajamas or the falling-down type of jeans, khakis say a lot.

    Plus, he has to wear them for work, but they were his preference before that too. 😉

  • Well, Renfrew had my back . . .until he didn’t. Sadly I didn’t realize that the chill I felt was my newly exposed backside until the news he wanted out hit me upside the head. Yeah, we weren’t blindsided by marriage … it was LIFE that got us. . . thankfully, we both survived and now co-parent (with the additional of a new ‘wife-in-law’) our teenager. I’m still looking for a new backup . . .khakis, jeans, wool or even lycra . . . it is who is inside that matters.

  • Jessica

    I was just at a wedding on Saturday as well (okay, I was just IN a wedding on Saturday), and I agree. We had been talking about how my husband and I are often told how much of “newlyweds” we are. We’ve been married 6.5 years already. We have decided that just because I like him (actually like him. I’d rather sit around and talk to him than pretty much anyone in the world), it must mean that people don’t believe that we’ve been married more than a year. We still kiss when we part. We hold hands all the time. We hug whenever we can. He is my favorite of all time. It isn’t hard to be married to him at all. In fact, it’s the easiest thing I’ve ever done in my life. He makes life softer, and he’s my cushy place to land.

    I’m with Kira on this one. My husband knows that certain pants are appropriate for certain times and wears them when appropriate. (Khakis of khaki or black color and jeans, pretty much.) One of my favorite things to tease him about is his love of plaid shirts of all colors and kinds. I think I should get plaid nighties at some point. ;~)

  • Loved this post! I married a guy who hates khakis and loves concerts, but we are on the same team, and twelve years (and very nearly four children) later I am so so thankful for it. I completely agree. If you marry well, marriage makes life better. LIFE, though – life is HARD.

  • Sue

    Marriage isn’t hard, but there is definitely maintenance involved. That’s what I told my kids. You are on the same team, but sometimes you have to practice the double play so it goes smoothly when someone is barreling into you, spikes first.

    My boy got married this spring, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much happiness in one room. At the reception, they had a marriage dance — the longer you were married, the longer you danced. The husband and I danced longer than our parents, and longer than friends who are older than we are. We were never supposed to still be married because we were too young and stupid. But there we were, still dancing. And the bride’s parents were still dancing with each other — and we were among the last four couples on the floor. As the new couple watched, they knew life wasn’t perfect for those couples on the floor but there we were, still dancing.

    And there was cake. Not cupcakes. Real cake.

    The next morning, the bride had the stomach flu so bad it put her in the hospital. The boy held her hair as she threw up next to the car in the parking lot. That’s marriage. That’s the easiest part.