I Need a Husband!

About six months after I continued to remain happy and childless, I saw a woman sitting with her son on a blanket. Her name, I later discovered, was Lori and she was there with her friend Caitlin. It was a sunny summer weekend, and there were parents and kids picnicking nearby.

The day had been going fine, until Lori started checking out my ass in a really intense way. Which was odd, because I have an okay ass. Nothing to write home about. I guess it was an ass you could settle for. Of course, when pressed, I can shake my booty as well as anybody else. Still, it was somewhat disheartening to have someone checking out my ass without even having the courtesy to introduce herself.

“Excuse me,” said Lori. “Are you married?”

“What? Why, no,” I said.

“Do you shout ‘Bravo!’ in movie theaters?”

“Sometimes. When it’s an action movie.”

She introduced herself. She then asked if she could smell my breath. I told her that I needed one minute to suck on a breath mint. She told me that breath mints weren’t necessary. I informed her that her request was quite unusual. And she then grabbed the roll of BreathSavers out of my hand and stomped my mints into chalky powder. She insisted that I had halitosis. This was not true.

“Hey, you owe me a buck for those BreathSavers!”

“I want a husband,” she said.

“What for? What do you really long for?”

“An angle for this Atlantic article I’m writing. Well, actually, a husband. I’m very worried about that. Every single woman I know feels panic about this. I need to marry and reproduce.”

I then noticed that she was taking notes.

“You know, you don’t need a husband to be happy,” I said. “Mr. Right often comes along when you least expect it.”

“I need a husband now.”

Lori didn’t blink as she said this. I was starting to get an Ira Levin vibe.

“Yeah, and I’d love to write for The New Yorker. It’ll probably never happen. But that doesn’t stop me from writing or living.”

“You don’t understand. I need a husband now.”

“Well, if that’s the case, go get one.”

I started to walk away. I considered calling 911. Lori was starting to give me the creeps. There was a wild look in her eyes.

“Will you be my husband?”

I was unnerved by Lori. I knew many well-adjusted single women in their thirties and forties who were living fantastic lives. And they were doing this entirely without partners.

“Are you The One?”

“No!” I shouted.

She then consulted a complicated Powerpoint presentation on her laptop. There was a red text box with the words MUST MARRY MAN NOW! flashing in bright white text.

“Are you my soul mate?”

“Look, Lori, I don’t know you, but I think you need help.”

“I need to marry somebody. Someone who can help me pop out 1.2 children from my uterus. Will you marry me and help me pop out 1.2 children? I have one son. I need 1.2 more so that I can live the perfect dream. Are you Mr. Good Enough?”

“I’m Mr. Champion.”

Lori then complained to her friend Caitlin that I wasn’t cooperating. Caitlin suggested that they should go home and watch the final episode of Friends to get some additional ideas for Lori’s article. And that was the last I saw of them.

I didn’t understand Lori’s problem. If only she would stop with the whole “I need a husband” nonsense and accept that life happens when you make other plans, maybe she might get her wish.

But it was good to meet someone who wrote for The Atlantic. I was pretty sure that Lori would read a few books on the subject, talk to some noted experts on relationships and human behavior, cite a few studies, and write a very thoughtful article without a single generalization about gender. After all, The Atlantic was a respected magazine that attracted only the best writers.

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29 Comments

  1. You nailed it!

    I was worried The Atlantic might not find anyone to replace Caitlin, but it looks like Lori has happily stepped into her crippling stilettos.

  2. At which action movies have you shouted “Bravo!” ?

  3. You had me until I looked her name up – I thought I was being played! Haha.

    “I’m Mr. Champion.” That’s awesome. I’d marry you just to say, “I’m Mrs. Champion.” That rules.

    I’m 33 and I just got dumped. Sometimes we can’t even settle. Life doesn’t always let us make choices. Who’s to say settling is the answer? You could devote your life to someone you’re not thrilled about, and they can still dump you like used kitty litter. At least I can say I enjoyed the time I wasted. If I had settled, I’d be pissed.

    This woman is out of her mind.

  4. As I read that article I thought the writer must be some kind of alien from a different planet. Does. Not. Compute.

    (I didn’t know that The Atlantic was Vogue on steroids? Hmmm. I’ll stick with Harper’s.)

  5. You’ve got me yelling “Bravo” right now. Who needs movies?

  6. Definitely New Yorker material.

  7. See, that sort of thing never happens to me.
    ;-)

  8. I am the real Mrs. Champion.

  9. But only because you settled for me, Erin.

  10. He does have halitosis, after all.

  11. […] in the comedy section? Is it like the New Yorker’s “Shouts and Murmers”? I read Ed’s take on the article first, rather confused and concerned that he come a little undone […]

  12. All the other Mrs. Champions are just imitators, Erin.

  13. Ed, have you trademarked “An ass you could settle for”? I’m envisioning a line of sweatpants with that phrase emblazoned across the rear. Kind of like the sweatpants that sorority girls wore back in the 1980s (and for all I know, still wear), but for middle-aged schlubby males like myself.

  14. Oh, you are wicked, sir and I love it. This is exactly the commentary her writing deserves.

  15. Oh, very well riposted, sir!

  16. hi how are u?can u be my husbund?

  17. rupert guigan June 4, 2008 at 5:28 am

    i need a gentle ladie to marry

  18. I live in ontario canada I am fourty two I raised four children alone for fourteen years
    woman dont want a man and husband anymore they want money and sucess and career.
    I live on one income, and pay 275.00 a month rent and heat with wood. But woman dont see that as a positive thing. I am sexual that means I am selfish? no it doesnt it means i am a normal man. I am faithful and honest
    I never get drunk and I dont use drugs
    but after fourteen years of being alone
    you tell me then why if there are so many woman that want a husband I CANT find a wife.
    I am a romantic passionate sensual sexual
    honest and faithful man
    I believe in God and hate religion
    I know that churches lie through their teeth
    and how can they get away with it? cause they know that NO ONE READS THEIR OWN BIBLE.
    I think liberator furniture is fun for a couple
    I think sex should be fun and time consuming
    not two minutes at eleven oclock

    I raised a baby alone so that makes me different and yet no woman wants a simple man
    Integrity@cyg.net
    fourty two and single in ontario

  19. I need I wife

  20. me live in cambodia and me honest gril and like to tripe and hosnet and like respect all the person and bec know me !

  21. im 44 live n colorado! Any stable men out there?

  22. i can be your husband, because i just lost my wife few years ago. i want you to be my friend before we start our relationship ok.if you want this relationship to start now contact my email which is hillary49@live.com

  23. my name is williams. i can be your husband. because i need i wife like you to take good care of my child you cansend me an e.mail easywaykid@yahoo.com

  24. I am 40 year old female here in California and i am having ahard time finding the right man. SO if there are any MEN LEFT I AM AVALIBLE

  25. Hilarious.

    Lori may have been looking for an angle, but what she did and said, if she indeed did and said those things, probably sprang from somewhere in her unyuppied, untrained, unfettered core. Men and women aren’t supposed to be alone, and the evidence is as plain as Gray’s Anatomy.

    I raised three kids by myself and lived a very full life, trusting that I’d meet an adventurous guy with no modern pretense needing a fig leaf screen, but no soap. He didn’t show up. These days I wonder whether or not an approach like Lori’s might at least have given me some good copy.

  26. I liked your story and I think soon I will be doing the same thing as Lori or maybe not.

    I went out with a guy so not my type, balding, thin and ugly because I am desperate and thought it would work but he dumped me as soon as I got pregnant after 2years of begging me for a baby. I was so shattered as soon as we split up I got rid of the pregnancy. Yes I want a partner and family but being a single mother is not the way for me. The next person I date is going to have to cross all or at least majority of my boxes otherwise I shall remain alone and lonely.

  27. Closing thread on this — in large part because I have people legitimately looking for a husband and leaving personal information. Folks, this was a joke.

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