People talk about marriage being an administrative formality. I say what's wrong with that?
As my Dad never used to say, "fight admin with admin". In a world where paperwork threatens to destroy us all, a life admin partner or husband/wife is what we all need.
As someone who's now a dozen years deep into what is my first, and hopefully only, marriage here are a few reasons why I want things to stay that way:
1. For when the toilet paper runs out
Is there greater a reminder of our mortality and vulnerability than being stuck upon the porcelain throne sans a roll of tree flakes?
Luckily for those betrothed, we can simply order a new one via our spouse like an Uber Eats of bathroom supplies. An urgent shout or a revealing text and the TP is soon creeping through the discreetly cracked-open toilet door, delivering a double length of devotion.
2. For inspecting/removing things on your back
Alone, you'd never know what it is.
It could be a mole, an ingrown hair, a kernel of popcorn embedded from Gold Class the night before. Perhaps it's a spider bite, or a spider egg sac buried under the skin or an early form melanoma. Maybe it is the repressed memory of your PE teacher doing star jumps in loose fitting speedos at the swim carnival, reforming as a cyst. Or is it that unwanted thatch of hair you can't quite shave/wax yourself?
Whatever the case, unless you have been hitting those vinyasa flow classes hard, you'll need your better half to deal with anything on your back half.
3. For the social excuses
I don't know how I got out of anything before I was married. How do single people do it? There is nothing you can't get out of with a spousal-commitment based lie.
The "I'm sorry I can't. My wife/husband has a thing," line works every time. The "thing" can be interchangeable and is best left up to the imagination of the excuse-receiver. But it could include a prior engagement, appointment with the Governor General, chronic or terminal illness, food allergy, cat allergy, foot fetish, preference for man-made fibres, violent tendency towards players of golf or an extra finger.
This will get you out of everything from Sunday BBQs with work colleagues to jury duty and school canteen duty.
4. For the junk food enabler
We all have our vices, but how many of us have enablers supporting them in their vices? A addiction shared is an addiction halved.
It's pretty much guaranteed that somewhere around the third wedding anniversary you should both have a full blown sugar addiction to feed each night, underpinned by bare foot drives to the local 7-11 to score your hit. There's a twisted comfort sharing in being junk food junkies and knowing Type 2 Diabetes won't be so bad if it's the two of you together.
5. For the benefit couple branding
Nicknames have a classic appeal and a longevity. It doesn't matter what sort of man you may have become, some part of you will always be that nine year old in the schoolyard known as "Pastie Nut".
Then there is the next level of cool; the couple nickname. This can't be achieved alone. I look to those in my own circles, Benama (Ben and Amanda) , Hamily (Hamish and Emily) and the short, but not insignificant, Toe (Tim and Zoe). Two of those three couples are staying together not for the kid (or the groodles in Toe's case) but for the status of the moniker.
6. For outsourcing the purchasing of socks, underwear and milk
This is something you don't need to ever have to do again post your wedding night.
The above are all basic life necessities and you'll find it hard to go more than a few days without fresh versions of them. Just don't ever buy them for yourself again. That's what your legal life partner is for. Only problem is, you'll be responsible for purchasing theirs.
Quick tips for beginners - when it comes to underwear cuts, do unto others. If you won't wear a Brazilian Cheeky Cut, you can't expect others too as well. Also nobody outside the Tasmanian Logging Industry wears Holeproof Explorers.
7. For severance pay on departure
Should you be the one in your life partnership to one day outlive the other, you are in for a bittersweet reward - you should be getting a pay out. Of course, the size of the payout depends on how late the stage of life you are in is, and how your spouse's career rat race was run.
Either way, it's better than a participation trophy. They are good too. In fact, my wife and I have both agreed to have a large one made up and awarded to the survivor at the funeral of the first of us to pass. Too often in life we overlook the real achievements, so it's good to mark those moments.
So sit and reflect on the above before you call in the divorce lawyers. I'll agree that a housemate or well-trained dog or monkey would take care of most of the them, but there's something great in sharing life with another human and the romantic formality of marriage.
Lach Ryan is an Australian humourist and blogger. You can read more of his work here.