It is a truth universally acknowledged that most guys fear, to some degree, some notion of the old ball 'n chain dragging us under, making us bland and stealing our life forces. And most of us are very anxious to at some point say, "Let me be the first one to say congratulations to you then. You get one vagina for the rest of your life. Real smart, Frank. Way to work it through." (From 2003's Old School.) 'Running Of The Brides' Cheapens Marriage
Am I right? But before we really get into it, please watch the following 30-second clip.
It's gonna be a short honeymoon.
Since Adam or Eve invented marriage, men have always made a big deal out of equating monogamous, long-term relationships with death. And up until the last several hundred years it was reasonable. People got married as teens, did sex when they weren't too tired from churning wheat and milking turkeys, and blissfully passed into the sweet hereafter at the venerable age of thirty-four knowing that though their lives were brutish, short and painful that at least no one would remember them. And, by and large, the system worked. Men were content to have someone cook for them and women were excited to have someone to have sex without judgment. But then we invented washing our hands and people lived a lot longer. A life sentence was no longer something to sneeze at (and we were sneezing a lot less). So some guy came up with divorce and now getting out of a marriage can happen in two ways (though both are largely disagreeable outcomes.)
Digression over. We can all agree that it's in pretty crappy taste to refer to your wedding day as the worst day of your life unless the ceremony is interrupted by a guerilla attack from members of FARC or the bride says "no" and makes out with the priest. But why is such gallows (altar) "humor" so interesting to guys? Wedding Day Disasters
First, it's probably a sign that a guy plans on taking his vows very seriously. The guy you have to look out for is the one who says it's no big deal. That guy will be on the prowl (at least emotionally) in a fortnight. Second, that guy probably knows that marriage isn't a picnic and if it is a picnic it's on a day with tornado warnings, rabid pitbull sightings and a little patch of soft, fragrant grass that you may be allergic to. Third, that guy wants his friends to think that he's one of them. That's a good thing. You're marriage is going to be a major drag if you don't have friends on the outside to ask advice of, commiserate with and generally use to take your mind off the occasional problem at home.
I think we can agree that it's pretty clichéd to make jokes equating death and marriage but if we cut out 100% of all hackneyed phrases we'd be talking about the weather and Gossip Girl way too much. I'd like to nominated this joke from a family friend for inclusion in the "marriage is a major bummer" hall of fame: "Are you married… or are you happy?" Good things.
Why do you think fellas make jokes about getting hitched?