The Get-Your-Man-to-Marry-You Plan: Buying the Cow in the Age of Free Milk
By Lori Uscher-Pines
St. Martin's Press; 196 pp.
Ladies, dying to get engaged, but your would-be groom is dragging his feet? Look no further than this how-to guide to snagging your very own diamond. Culled from her own personal experience, Uscher-Pines, a PhD from Johns Hopkins, tackles the dos and don'ts of getting even the most reticent man down on one knee. There's no excuse he can give that can't be overturned with a little effort, because, as she contends, "Powerful women take control."
1. Have no shame. "Does talking a guy into an institution that will make him healthier, wealthier and happier seem wrong?" Uscher-Pines asks. Hell no, is her answer. So press on with complete confidence that marriage is The Right Thing To Do. Too many women find themselves "becoming a wife before you actually have a husband," she adds. And don't let your friends tell you the hot pursuit of a ring is antifeminist; actually, it's all about empowerment. And, somehow, the environment. "Basically, if you aren't selfish enough to get married for yourself, get married for poor, feeble Mother Earth," she writes. "She's begging you."
2. Be sure this is what you want. Health insurance, your mother and proof of his eternal love are not good reasons to get married; wanting to have babies and conform to cultural norms, however, are. As Uscher-Pines warns: "Women in good, healthy relationships can sabotage themselves with too much impatience." And whatever you do, don't even think about asking him.
3. Excuses come in all shapes and sizes. There's the "I never thought of marriage before" excuse. Or the "I don't have the money for a ring" variety. More troublesome? The "I still have things I need to do on my own as a free man" type. Or worse yet, the humiliating "I'm not sure you're the one". But good news! None of these excuses is insurmountable. You just have to exercise a little savvy. Make him hang out with married people. Offer him a bribe, such as a hairy dog, if that's what he wants. To head off any incipient claustrophobia on his part, start having more ladies' nights. Tell him you don't even want a diamond. And in a worse-case scenario, give him an ultimatum.
4. If you follow Uscher-Pines' instructions, you'll soon be engaged or single. "And although it may not seem like it now, either of these locations is better for you than where you were before," she writes.
The Get-Your-Man-to-Marry-You plan will undoubtedly be a bestseller amongst certain women. And, if they can get past the rambling clichés and hokey real-life examples, it might even help them get married. But does any self-respecting person want to be one of them? Somehow, manipulating a man down the aisle doesn't seem like the recipe for wedded bliss. Nor, despite Uscher-Pines' protests to the contrary, is it some new brand of feminism. Perhaps the biggest manipulation of all? Promising desperate women your book will help them get married.