By William Thomas

Boy oh boy, talk about men becoming redundant and therefore dying off as a species.  Women are replacing men in the workplace, they are outnumbering them at colleges and universities and they are now the primary income earners of the North American household.  Just when you thought the male role in society could not be further diminished, along comes a new phenomenon – “self-marriage.”

In a recent marriage ceremony in Las Vegas complete with family and friends, flowers and long gowns, 36-year-old Nadine Schweigert of Fargo, North Dakota married … herself.

At first the presiding minister was a bit confused:  “Do you Nadine take yourself seriously, no, sorry do you Nadine take you Nadine as your lawful, wedded … what are we calling this again?”

Nadine, who wore a long, satin, peacock-blue dress and carried a cluster of white roses said she felt “empowered, very happy, very joyous” after the civil ceremony in which she became lawfully married to herself.  In the event of a marital split, Nadine will likely require an exorcist instead of a lawyer.

During the marriage ceremony – and I am not making any of this up – Nadine exchanged rings with her “inner groom.”  I’m not sure just how firmly Nadine’s feet are planted on the ground of harsh reality, but if she can get her “inner groom” to cut the lawn and take out the garbage … David Copperfield is looking for a partner.

When the minister came to the end of the ceremony with the standard line:  “You may kiss the bride,” Nadine found herself one man short of a two-person lip lock.  So she encouraged her 45 invited guests to “blow kisses to the world.”  Which they did, enthusiastically.  So far, the world has not yet responded in kind.

After suffering through a painful divorce six years ago in which her two kids decided to live with their father, Nadine was sad and desperate for happiness.  A friend asked her why she needed someone to marry in order to be happy.  “Marry yourself,” she suggested.  Nadine claims the self-marriage is a way of taking responsibility for her own happiness and declaring that only she is accountable for her life, good or bad.

I do not want to speculate on what took place on the wedding night, but I understand the woman in the next hotel room, unable to stand the noise called down to the bar and said:  “I’ll have whatever she’s having!”

Nadine also takes herself out on regular dates in order to “invest in the relationship.”  And I’m fine with that until they’re sitting behind me at the cinema and Nadine’s inner groom starts talking inaudibly during the movie then … then I’m calling the imaginary manager.

I know this one-person wedding sounds a little nutso at first, but there are some definite benefits.  First and foremost … no in-laws.  There’s fifty percent of married life’s grief gone right there.  You don’t have to share the remote and you always get the last butter tart in the box.  Plus you never have to enter the bathroom holding a wet cloth to your face.

And, if you really do miss having a man around the house you can rent a guy to nag or phone the local bar and just for the fun of it, yell:  “Tell my fat-ass husband if he isn’t home in fifteen minutes, I’m dumping his dinner in the carburetor and flushing his can of Rogaine down the toilet!”

A woman who is her own spouse could be creating a marriage of inconvenience.  Who’s going to hook up her dress or thread the loop though the other loop on the necklace?  A woman marrying herself can also be a high-risk adventure.  The next time Nadine is looking at her backside in the mirror and asks:  “Do I look fat in these jeans?” – she’s liable to get an honest answer.

And even more dangerous is the idea of elopement.  I mean who’s going to hold the ladder?  Plus you have to pay that single supplement penalty when you go on your honeymoon.  And dancing with yourself on the cruise boat?  Even passengers sleeping on deck and eating onion sandwiches on a Carnival cruise are going to find that rather strange.

Nadine Schweigert’s self-marriage may sound strange until you consider the union of a woman named Erika from San Francisco who five years ago married the Eiffel Tower.  Her full name is – what else? – Erika LaTour Eiffel and they live in a really, really, really tall apartment building on the outskirts of Paris.  Erika’s first beau, sorry, first infatuation was a bow named Lance that helped her become a world-class archer.  Not to make the Eiffel Tower squirm on its foundation but – and yes, I did mention I’m not making this stuff up – Erika says she has a crush on the Berlin Wall.  Let’s hope Erika never passes through Vegreville, Alberta and catches a glimpse at the world’s largest Easter egg.  I mean if she’s thinking of starting a family and tries to hatch that thing, well that could be awkward.

Marriage?  Remember two people standing side by side at a shotgun-optional wedding?  Anybody care to toast the bride, the outer groom and the good ol’ days?

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