Old married people know a secret that younger singles don't learn until they've made the transition to being OMPs themselves.
Young people believe that the costs of dating decline after marriage, while old married people know that the cost of dating actually goes up after a few years together, sometimes dramatically.
You see, not only do old married people have the same traditional costs as the younger cohort—digging into the wallet for transportation, dinner, a show—but there's a new hidden cost embedded in every OMP date: after a night out on the town alone, parents are faced with bringing something special home for the kids. It's an inescapable duty, a form of tithe and extortion, guilt and love.
Look at the weekend just passed.
He asks her out for a special evening, just the two of them, dinner and a show. She accepts. They do it up a bit in keeping with their lifestyle. Opera seats for the show, a special table for an intimate dinner, a car and driver, even a chartered flight and a scenic chopper ride.
Wow, its starting to sound a little like the guy who worked for Tyco and gave his wife a 40th birthday party in Sardinia for what, about $2 million? Shareholders' money, if I remember correctly? It became a totem of executive corruption during the early years of the Bush administration, a liberal mantra of class envy. What was his name? Kozlowski, maybe? A tonedeaf, arrogant, narcissist.But I digress; back to the special evening. And, it was special, a night to remember and to treasure. But there was a fly in the sorbet: What to get the kids? Going home empty-handed just wouldn't work.
Well, no, this is different. Somehow.
Fortunately, our happy couple have staff on hand pretty much 24/7, so they tasked an assistant with the chore, to find something special to buy for the kids. Being involved, intelligent, caring parents, their specifications were detailed. They wanted something that would stimulate development, be interactive, teach responsibility, and that the girls wouldn't quickly grow out of.
No, no dogs. We've already got a dog. Michelle hates the damn thing, keeps rubbing her leg, screwing up her dress pleats. No dogs.Finally, late Saturday night, their special assistant, Tim, the smartest of the bunch, came up with a truly brilliant solution. A few phone calls later, with an order and payment on the Citibank VISA card, the deal was done, including FedEx delivery to the house early Monday morning.
And that is how Sasha and Malia came to have their very own toy car company, called General Motors, and how the taxpayers came to spend $50 billion for a dinner and a show for a couple of old married people named Barry and Michelle.
Bill Buckley told the story about Lyndon Johnson meeting Marilyn Monroe. Jowl to cheek in the Oval Office, the President is said to have guffawed, "If what they say is true about you, young lady, between me and you we've managed at one time or another to screw about half the American people."
Our new president beat that record in just one date.
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