The first people my wife and I told about our plans to marry were an Indian couple we had both known for a few years. (For the sake of this story, I’ll call them “Raj” and “Deep.”) Raj had been a financial adviser to me for some time, and as such he was the first person I went to whenever I was to make a big financial decision.
(For you single guys out there, trust me when I say that marriage is the ultimate financial decision. Two incomes? Yes, that’s a good thing, but remember that when you marry, lots of previously hidden debt pops out of places you never expected.)
Although they were happy to hear the news, Raj quickly became Mr. Finance again, and plainly (but urgently) told me “Ok, the first thing you have to do is get a job that pays at least $60,000 a year.”
Say what?! I thought. I’ve never made…
“Ok, now when are you two getting married.”
“Uhm…” I looked at my wife. “In about a year. We haven’t quite deci–”
“Oh,” he said, with a sigh of relief. “I thought it was like next month! Why are you waiting that long?”
Thankfully, that’s about when Deep jumped in. “No, Americans don’t do it that way. They wait years to get married.”
“Really?” asked Raj. (We later found out that Raj had never been to an American wedding.)
Cin and Deep agreed. Deep continued. “Yeah, I’ve been working with some of the girls at a wedding show…”
The conversation went on from there, but honestly I stopped listening after “$60,000.” Why that much? Why would I need to be making that kind of money when I get married? Understand that at the time I was making about $24,000 as a technical support dweeb, and Cin was making about $22,000 working for the county.
But this wasn’t going to cut it. And why was that?
Apparently, for you single guys who don’t yet know, there’s a little word called “Provision.” Although I had seen in action — my father was always a good provider — until then I had never really given much thought to it for myself, or rather with myself being the provider.
Recent events caused me to revisit that train of thought. At my church, I heard the pastor recently talk about some of the things single folks need to know before getting married. To the best of my ability, I have reproduced the part of the speech talking about provision.
(Note: This one’s for both single guys and gals. Guys, take notes. Gals, can you believe your man probably doesn’t know what a “duvet” is?)
Single guys, listen. I want you to know right now that provision for your wife… There are not a whole lot of things on your shopping list that will suddenly find themselves on that list after you decide to wed.
In fact, let’s have a Single Preparedness Test. Let’s see if you’re ready to spend your money on a few items that you might not yet even know exist. So, just for the single men: ready?
The first word is “valence” (pronounced “VAH-lens”). Go ahead, try to say the following “I’ll need to buy a ‘valence.'”
Here’s the next word: “dust ruffle.” Get ready to buy a “dust ruffle.”
The next two words: “Pillow
And here’s another word: “Comforter” (pronounced “COM-for-ter”).
Now, for those of you guys who don’t know what those things really are, I have to tell you: my bedroom looks beautiful. When I was single I had a pillow and a blanket. Again, that’s a pillow and a blanket. Now I have all the extra stuff.
And the comforter — let me clue you in on this, guys — a comforter is a big, really expensive blanket that no one gets to sleep on or with. (It’s kind of a strange thing.) And now they even have these “duvets” (pronounced “doo-VEYS”).
Let me share this with you (it’s a ritual at my house):
My wife and I will be ready to go to bed. She stands on one side, I on the other. Then we fold down the comforter, and take it off the bed. Do you know what I paid for that?! I take it off the bed and I set it on this chest at the foot of the bed. That’s where it is for the night! In addition to that, we take all the extra pillows off the bed. Now, we have pillows we put inside covers that we will never put our heads on! So now we have several pillows on top of a comforter on top of a box…
…I just made the bed for an invisible man! And he’s got more pillows than I got! I’ve got one, he’s got three! He’s got a big fluffy comforter, and I’ve got a pillow and a blanket. That’s the same thing I had when I was single! But I paid a lot of money! What is with that?!
(It’s called “provision” men.)
Now, before you ask her to be your wife, go into Macy’s/Burdines, or one of these department stores, go into that big cosmetics section and check prices. You know, just go in there and say “you know, it’s not for me. I’m gonna get married soon… what’s lipstick cost?” Ask them what lipstick costs. Now, it’s not just lipstick. It’s also lip gloss. And also lip liner. And also lip…
You’re going to invest big money, do you understand?!
Just letting you know in advance. I’m not saying I’m bitter about this…
Again, it’s called “provision.”