An Open Letter to My Wife

Dear Nicole,

Back in my younger days — when crack was wack, we were hangin’ tough, and I definitely couldn’t touch this — I dreamed of having a car, a house, and someday a woman in my life that wouldn’t appear on my credit card. I wanted to be married. That’s just what grown ups do.

It’s twenty years later, and I have all that. But who could have predicted that the house would be the poor house, the car would the “hit in the head with a bat” mobile, and my credit would be more frightening than AMC’s “The Walking DEBT”?

Brother, I sure didn’t.

I entered the mean streets of love wide-eyed and open-hearted. I dreamed of meeting someone nice. Like anyone in the top 10 of any given season of “The Bachelor” (I’m talking to you, AshLee). But being new to love, I was willing to settle at first. As my grandfather always told me, “If you can’t get a 10, find yourself a 6 and two 2's.”

“The idea being,” he’d say in his thick Hungarian accent. “If you pay lots of attention to the first 2, the second 2 and the 6 will exchange nasty looks. Then eventually they will excuse themselves to the bathroom and talk shit about the first 2. When they come back, pay lots of attention to the second 2. The first 2 will be like, ‘What the hell?!’ And the 6 will be like, ‘I’m SO over this place.’ But the second 2 will be like, ‘Why is it always about you, Britnee? How about doing this one thing for me?’ At this point you offer to buy a round for everyone, but instead of going to the bar, you leave and catch a cab home. Three weeks later you return to the same spot with a fake old-timey mustache and talking with an Australian accent. While the 6 and the two 2’s are pointing and talking about you from across the bar, you approach a completely different 6 and ask her to pretend to be with you because your crazy ex-girlfriend just walked in with two of her friends. Tell this new 6 that you recently retired from Google after cashing out stock options, and offer to buy her a drink. When you go the the bar the original 6 and the two 2’s will approach the new 6 to warn her that you ditched them three weeks earlier. When you return with the drinks having not ditched her, her chest will swell with pride and her eyes will glimmer with tales of Google money, and she will be yours until she realizes you are a liar.”

I love you, grandpa. But your method is long, complicated, and in many senses unethical. I had lots of relationship experience — mostly from playing SimCity, but also two real-life long distance relationships that unfortunately turned out to be Catfishes. Unbelievably by the same person. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, you’re my cousin Anthony in West Virginia.

I had to have my own plan. So I broke my lease for my studio in Hoboken, forfeited my $1800 security deposit, quit my job six months shy of being vested in our 401k plan, cashed out my Roth IRA incurring massive tax penalties, and moved to South Beach with no form of income whatsoever. The way I figured, with the $14k from my retirement savings, I’d buy a nice place by the beach in Miami. Within six months I’d meet a model shooting one of those Corona commercials, and within twelve months married — possibly to that same model.

Oh! But that’s not how it works, does it, Nicole? Only after I moved there did I learn that you can’t buy a place in South Beach with $14k and no source of income. After a while, all the realtors in Miami banned me from their open houses because I was eating all the snacks.

So I ended up renting one-fourth of a room in a two-family house. Okay it was a dresser! I rented the top of a dresser. I was only allowed to come down to enter or leave the room, or else Nelson started screaming that I was trying to steal his meth. I didn’t even argue when Dan and Jody called dibs on the bottom drawer to use as a crib when the baby was born — which frankly made late night trips to the bathroom completely impossible.

How could anyone expect me to balance unemployment and mounting credit card debt while balancing on top of a dresser? To top it off your dad threatened to kick me out! Apparently he could fit two skinny hipsters on top of the dresser and get twice what I was paying. But you came up with the great idea for us to get hitched.

I never expected this sort of kindness. The way I figured it, we’d get engaged, within two weeks I’d move into your room. In six months your dad would add me to the deed for the property. And within a year, we’d flip it and sell it to a member of the Miami Heat for ten times the value. It only made sense.

Only after we picked out your dress did your dad reveal that the bank owned the house, and my dresser money all went to getting him out of bankruptcy. How do you expect me to make a living when all our marriage provides is the shelter of an insolvent McMansion?? That’s all! Okay, it provides the shelter of an insolvent McMansion and a warm bed to sleep in. Fine, and a surprisingly dedicated wife. And a mother-in-law who makes killer huevos rancheros. And an offer to work part-time at the Golf Club.

That’s all our marriage provides, Nicole! A home, a loving wife, a nice family, and a potential part-time job. But that’s it! Can’t you see what’s wrong here?

Oh, but I see according to your Twitter profile that you’re a “happy homemaker.” Where are these homes, Nicole?? Why can’t I have one? I think it’s in our best interest that we separate. I told you that after our last fight when you told me PDSD (Post Dresser Stress Disorder) is not a thing. Well then can you explain why I keep asking you to have sex on the dresser?

We need to take a break. The way I figured it, we’d live apart for three months — feeling free of course to have sex with other people. Within six, your dad makes me an exec at the Golf Club with a signing bonus to pay off my debt. And within 12 months, he can retire, and I’ll take over — soon after marrying his former assistant. The one with the implants. Right, Gloria.

It was only then that your dad revealed his collection of Ruger pistols. I asked if the part-time job at least had benefits. He said it would benefit my ass to give him grandchildren. This isn’t how things were supposed to be. But do you care? You’re too concerned with yoga and prenatal vitamins and doctor’s appointments and DNA tests.

Can I at least move back into the bedroom? Dan’s and Jody’s baby has gotten too big for me to sleep on the dresser. Whenever one of those Wiggles songs comes on, he rocks so hard that I almost tumble over into Nelson’s Sudafed.

Your partner in unprofitable love,

Brad