Oh yeah kids. I’m back, after taking approximately the last 7 years off. You barely missed me, probably because you were busy with other stuff. Maybe there was some sort of conference. I can’t remember, since I’ve been spending my time lugging around boxes of potato chips. Well, that and playoff baseball. I do enjoy some playoff baseball.

No time for any of that talk! You don’t come here for my opinions on playoff baseball, unless you’re weird.

So after the Yankees game ended up out of reach the other night, I flipped over to Gene Simmons Family Jewels. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, it follows around Gene and his family. I found it delightfully entertaining until this last season, where Gene and longtime girlfriend Shannon Tweed started having problems. Suddenly the show got all serious, she’s crying all the time, and it wasn’t nearly as good. To make a long story short, Gene gives in and decides to pop the question to his lady. She says yes, of course.  Aww, it’s so romantic.

Now I don’t want the ladies to get any ideas here about how I’m some sort of insensitive jerk, since I hope to have sexy times with at least one of you. (I’m thinking Young And Thrifty) From a strictly romantic view, what Gene did was sweet, albeit somewhat overdue. They’re already had a nice ceremony, surrounded by all their friends all sorts of celebrities. I’m sure she looked quite lovely in her dress. It’s all so sweet that I think I’m about to enter into a diabetic coma.

Fortunately, I’m here to dispense the advice that you desperately need. So here it is. Never get married.

(As an embarrassing aside, I was going to insert the video here for KC and The Sunshine Band’s song Keep It Common Law. But, upon further research, it turns out that song is actually called Keep It Coming Love. I will insert said video, just so you can listen to it and laugh at my inability to understand the English language.)

Where to begin? Well, weddings are expensive. Damn expensive. Even a crappy wedding will set you back $10k, assuming you live in some part of the country where you can do things for a reasonable cost. There’s the cost of flowers, a photographer, a wedding dress, a tux rental and invitations, just to list a few things off the top of my head. As everyone who’s ever planned a wedding can attest, little things have the habit of popping up and adding onto the cost. The practical part of me can’t wrap my head around paying tens of thousands of dollars on a party.

Most of my readers probably paid for their own weddings, (or plan to) since you’re smarter than the average bear. But what if you’re one of those people who can’t afford to pay for their own wedding? No problem, you’ll just hit up the bride’s folks, like so many cash strapped couples before you. Well, I have two arguments against that. First off, if you can’t pay for it yourself, you can’t afford to get married. And secondly, I enjoy the irony of smart, career driven women still needing a dowry from her parents in order to get married. There’s a million better things that money could be spent on.

And then there’s the engagement ring. According to some guy in De Beer’s marketing department industry standards, I’m supposed to spend 3 months salary on my girl’s ring. If I make $5000 a month, which is a perfectly reasonable salary, I’m expected to drop $15k on a ring. Are you serious? That’s a down payment on a house. I don’t care how hot she is, she ain’t worth $15k.

Is there any wonder I’m single, with comments like that last one?

Even though divorce rates have been going down ever since hitting their peak in 1981, there’s still a pretty good possibility that your marriage could end up on the rocks. Can you imagine being in a perfectly nice marriage, only to find out after a few years that your spouse has been doing stuff with the local potato chip guy? Suddenly the moral decision of staying or leaving is influenced by financial matters. Divorce sucks. So does breaking up with your girlfriend, but at least you don’t have to give her half your money.

And then there’s pre-nups. If you’re an enterprising young individual who’s got some decent assets, you might want to consider protecting those, especially if you’re marrying someone who can fit all their assets in two suitcases. And yet, as I found out, you’re a cold heartless bastard if you even bring up the idea. You can avoid the topic all together if you just shack up with your lady friend, and since she’ll be paying half the expenses, you can use the opportunity to live cheaply and add to your nest egg.

Is it any wonder why so many couples just choose to forego the marriage thing all together? It might not be the most romantic thing to do, but your wallet will thank you. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go shave my palms.

Tell everyone, yo!