February 14, 2014
THIS COULD BE YOUR FUTURE. (Vyacheslav Oseledkovyacheslav Oseledko/Agence France Presse via Getty Images) THIS COULD BE YOUR FUTURE. (Vyacheslav Oseledkovyacheslav Oseledko/Agence France Presse via Getty Images)

Don’t listen to Susan Patton, who is trying to sugar-coat it. Here is the REAL, COLD, HARD, UGLY TRUTH, in BLOCK CAPITALS.

Women, if you are alone on Valentine’s Day, right now, reading this, over your giant bucket of ice cream, it is because you have Failed. You heard me.

You think a job will make you happy? THINK AGAIN — unless Job is the name of a man you might marry. But even then, think again, because you will probably die horribly with your cattle, covered in boils.

Feminists are covered in lies. I know they say that thing about women needing men like fish needing bicycles, but let me tell you, one time I saw a bicycling fish, and I have never seen a fish look happier.

Jobs are not what matter in life. Jobs come and go. But men — there are not very many men, in the scheme of things, and when you find one you need to seize him and make him yours the way a tentacle creature from the deep might grab a passing ship. Tentacle creatures from the deep are never alone on Valentine’s Day.

Let’s get real: Every day that passes, you move closer to the grave, and your womb shrivels.

Do you want happiness? I’m sorry, what was that? I couldn’t hear you over the sound of your womb shriveling.

Are you in college? GOOD NEWS! You can find a mate there. You don’t have to seize him now, but stay in touch. As time passes, he will become exactly as desirable as you won’t. That is how time works. It is what Einstein meant by relativity, I think.

Look, did you ever watch “Ally McBeal”? Remember that dancing baby? Well, if you do, bad news: YOU ARE TOO OLD TO GET A MAN. GO BACK TO GRADUATE SCHOOL AND SET UP A BIG BEAR TRAP AND PRAY.

Listen, competition in the workplace, shmompetition in the workshplace. The real competition is the competition to obtain a gentleman’s love, and the competition for that is getting younger and slier all the time. While you were reading this, they probably Snapchatted something lewd to your Dream Man. And you just sat there and did nothing.

But don’t go too far. Men enjoy casual sex as much as the next guy, but remember what Grandma said: A guy can sleep with a cow, but he would not then marry that cow.

Professional aspirations don’t keep you warm at night, unless you aspire to be an insulation specialist. And what woman does? No, what you want is a family and a man, especially if you, too, want to succeed someday. Without a man, who is going to go joust in tourneys with your favor on his helm? Who is going to come home to enjoy your meat pies and tastefully cross-stitched apron? Who will carry a briefcase around while you stare at him over your clasped hands? Who will wear things after you knit them? YOU?

If you are alone right now, you can still fix it. Just hurry up, get into a time machine, go back to college, and do things differently. (Don’t worry about killing Hitler. A man can handle that.)

Otherwise, you’re trapped. You know that giant crocodile in Peter Pan that swallowed a clock so that wherever it goes it makes a loud ticking sound, and its skin looks just awful? That is how women over 30 look to men. Everyone around you is younger and not ticking ominously, which gives them a clear advantage.

“Hi,” you will say, in bars. “I have abandoned my professional quest to focus on settling down with a good specimen of manfolk.”

“WHAT’S THAT?” the man will yell. “I’M SORRY, I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THAT LOUD TICKING. GET AWAY FROM ME, YOU’RE NO LONGER NUBILE!”

When should you start looking for a man? Nope. Younger. Nope. Younger.

Don’t make that face at me, young lady. Just 600 years ago, every woman got married in the womb, and nobody had any professional success whatsoever, so you can see the causal relationship between those two things.

Why are you wasting precious man-hunting time reading this article? Go back in time and FIX THIS!

Yadda yadda yadda, you have a great education and dreams. But, as Susan Patton writes, “Could you marry a man who isn’t your intellectual or professional equal? Sure. But the likelihood is that it will be frustrating to be with someone who just can’t keep up with you or your friends. When the conversation turns to Jean Cocteau or Henrik Ibsen, the Bayeux Tapestry or Noam Chomsky, you won’t find that glazed look that comes over his face at all appealing. And if you start to earn more than he does? Forget about it. Very few men have egos that can endure what they will see as a form of emasculation.”

COULD YOU MARRY A MAN WHO DIDN’T LIKE NOAM CHOMSKY? I THINK WE KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT, AND THE ANSWER IS: DEFINITELY NOT. Life in a marriage where nobody wants to talk about Noam Chomsky is basically like life in a barren, post-apocalyptic wasteland where your only friends are radioactive feral dogs who also do not want to talk about Noam Chomsky. No, worse.

Seriously, there is no fate worse than spinsterhood, which is what you are heading toward rapidly. I take it back: The one fate worse than spinsterhood is being wed to a man who gets a blank look when you mention Noam Chomsky. That’s — that’s — I shudder even to think of it. Imagine: You give birth to your first child, and you smile into the eyes of its father, and you want to say something about semiotics, and you CAN’T.

Lean in, but just a little bit, so that your cleavage is visible. You don’t want to lean in too far, or you might emasculate your man by accident, and that would be a fate worse than a relationship where nobody felt comfortable discussing Henrik Ibsen. And let me tell you, Ibsen comes up a lot in a healthy relationship. Like his play “A Doll’s House.” It is a great model for a marriage, if I remember correctly.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.
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