Articles

Bring Lots of Money, Honey

Bachelor Largo is willing to consider marriage offers from beautiful women who will hand him a pay cheque every Friday. He'll even take on a mother-in-law — if she has a good job

JOHN LARGO August 1 1952
Articles

Bring Lots of Money, Honey

Bachelor Largo is willing to consider marriage offers from beautiful women who will hand him a pay cheque every Friday. He'll even take on a mother-in-law — if she has a good job

JOHN LARGO August 1 1952

Bring Lots of Money, Honey

Bachelor Largo is willing to consider marriage offers from beautiful women who will hand him a pay cheque every Friday. He'll even take on a mother-in-law — if she has a good job

JOHN LARGO

I AM OFTEN asked, usually by panting women, why I am not yet married. “Look at you,” these eager fillies whinny. “Tall, dark and balding. How is it a handsome fellow like you hasn’t matched up with some cute young thing before this?”

“My standards are too high,” I usually answer, frostily. “On your way, fluff.”

Well, this answer, while true enough, doesn’t tell the whole story, not by half a light year. The plain truth is that modem marriage as a financial institution doesn’t look any too sound to me.

One lad of my acquaintance, for example, has just sold his car to finance the baby he Land his wife) expects to have this fall. Another is getting a second mortgage on his house to pay for the second baby he and his wife have just had. One baby, one mortgage, indeed, seems to be about the usual pay-off.

Welf, a small business run along those lines would

be sure to fold up in short order, or even faster.

Both the frantic fathers I mentioned above are already suffering from the consequences of their monetary muddles. The first has stopped eating lunch and takes his shoes off around the office to save boot leather. Some inkling of the correct solution has already dawned on him, but he’s not tough enough.

"Darling,” he told his wife the other day, "I wonder if, after two years of marriage, you aren’t beginning to miss the company of those interesting people you worked with in the advertising agency? I mean, it must be a little dull for you, alone in the house all day. Nothing to do but look after a single baby, and that just a little one?”

At this writing she hasn’t taken the hint. She may catch on when he faints one day from hunger she’s shoveling baby food down the insatiable maw of their economic deficit. I wouldn’t give you odds on it. Some women, you have to beat

them over the head with a hot poker before they’ll see the light.

The other haunted husband operates, somehow, on what he calls the “infinite installment” plan. When his car wears out, for example, he’ll just let the finance company have it and start paying installments on a new one. He keeps up the interest on his mortgages, but if the lease-and-loan people get nasty my friend will simply move to another location and start all over again with new hope and a fresh mortgage.

“Owning your own home is much cheaper than paying rent,” he told me.

He’s right, of course, but there’s an easier way to acquire that little shanty in the country. I tried to suggest it to him—not baldly, but working around to the proposal in a subtle fashion.

“What,” I asked him, “did your wife do before she trapped you?”

“Nothing,” he said after a moment’s thought.

“Well,” I said, “what talents has she got? Can she cook?”

“No,” he said. He laughed.

“Wash floors?”

“I wash the floors.”

I knew I was wasting my time, after that, but I’d do anything for ö friend with two mortgages on him.

“There must be something,” I said. “Can she lay bricks? Fix cars? Sweep out stables? Collect garbage? Deliver groceries?”

“No,” he said, almost proudly. “No. No. No. No. She can’t even take in groceries. I do that.”

“You mean,” I demanded, “that your wife is one of those useless women, good for absolutely nothing?”

He nodded. He smiled dreamily. “I’ve always thought she has rather nice eyelashes,” he said.

Recently I had a dinner date with another friend of mine who got married only last month. He lives in one of those attic apartments where the walls slope down to meet the floor. To stand erect you have to move into the centre of the room. In the winter the heat doesn’t rise to his floor, in the summer it congregates there.

He and his wife dealt out dinner on a card table with a short leg. Later I helped him wash the dishes in the bathtub, down the hall, first on your right.

“How’s married life?” I asked, out loud.

“Oh, wonderful,” he said, with that gleam in his eye. That gleam merely means: “Let this

sucker find out the hard way.”

So you see, girls, I’m sorry but that’s the way it is. I must insist that my wife have a good job in the first place, with a nice little bank balance that we can turn into a joint account. I must also insist she keep on working. I’ll have nothing to do with a lazy woman. If I think she merits it I’ll speak to her boss and get her a raise. That way, we can go on a honeymoon.

In taking this stand, mind you, I’m thinking only of my wife. Marriage should be a partnership. (A joint stock company would be even better—then you could have dividends.) I don’t want my wife to feel that I’m the only one who’s contributing to the support of our home.

Besides, do you think I want to come back after a hard day at the office and find her slopping around the house, unwashed, wearing an old pair of coveralls, with her stringy hair hanging down over her jowls, dull-eyed from sleeping all day? Of course not.

On the contrary, I want to be greeted by a smartly dressed young woman, bright and smiling after a pleasant day spent with her business associates, about whom I shall expect her to relate amusing anecdotes. Every Friday she will proudly present me with her pay envelope, and I will let her look at my cheque. I want us to be on an even footing.

So there you are, prospective candidates. I don’t care what you look like as long as you’re fairly pretty and have a good figure. I’m not even worried about your mother, if she’s willing to work at the job I get her. But when you put in your bid don’t forget to enclose your credit rating.

Is that too much to ask? ★