• The only thing better than a come-we-stay is one that is done the Arabic way
Talking about trial marriages the other day got me thinking: Why only consider it while I could live it? As I researched the topic, I came across a few interesting facts.
“In the Middle East,” I told Shirley, the only girl who is completely immune to my charms, “the practice is called sigheh (or its Arabic name, ‘nikah mut‘ah’). It’s a marriage that lasts for a predetermined period.”
“Like what,” she said. “Three months? A year?”
“Even thirty minutes.”
“What?” She nearly spilled her drink. “Why would anyone want to be married for half an hour?”
I had invited her over to my place with a proposal in mind.
“Turns out in places like Iran, where prostitution is illegal, a quick marriage is a legal loophole to thwart the authorities.”
“How? What about marriage notices, informing relatives, planning a wedding? All that to be married for less than one hour?”
“That’s the beauty of it. None of those things are necessary. All we need is a verbal contract by reciting an Arabic formula that specifies the value of the dowry and the length of the marriage.”
She shoots to her feet. “Jesus Christ, Tom. That does sound like a contract for prostitution.”
“I’m not proposing we get married for an hour. I want to have a feel for the whole marriage thing. We can do it for however long we want.”
“I guess that means a prenup, right?”
“Again, beauty in purpose. No inheritance rights are acquired or passed. Look, you’re not dating, and I’m tired of dates that lead nowhere.”
“Except your bed, that is.”
“That’s what I’m talking about. There should be more to it than that.”
She shook her head. “You must either be getting too old or too desperate.”
“Maybe both. Who knows? Question is, will you do it with me?”
She sat on the couch besides me, looked me directly in the eyes. “I promise to consider it. On one condition.”
“You tell me your honest body count.”
I wonder how many marriages start with a lie.
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