Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
With 2009 finally behind us, I thought this would be a good time to sit back and reflect on some of the notable events and landmarks of the past year. Now, I know many of you probably assume I’m going to talk about such mundane things as the U.S. inaugurating its first black president, or the passing of such American icons as Ted Kennedy and Michael Jackson, but fear not; I shan’t bore you with such tedious trivia. I have bigger fish to fry.
To me, the most important yet criminally overlooked stories of 2009 involved a couple of Israelis who etched their names in their country’s record book by setting new standards in the realm of matrimony and the disillusion thereof.
The first, a 14-year-old girl, whose name was not disclosed because she’s a minor, became the youngest ex-wife in Israeli history in February when she was granted a divorce from her 17-year-old husband. On the surface, this incident must seem terrifying to anyone who has hopes of keeping their own marriage alive, because if a 17-year-old and a 14-year-old – who have obviously thought long and hard before deciding to tie the knot – can’t make it work, what hope do the rest of us have?
A deeper investigation into the affair, however, reveals that it wasn’t for a lack of love that the two teens decided to call it quits. In fact, the girl fought gamely to stay with her betrothed, even defying the wishes of her parents, who insisted on a religious divorce. She was only persuaded to dissolve the marriage, apparently, after her husband’s family offered to pay her the equivalent of about $2,600, proving that no matter where you go in the world, love conquers all, except money.
Even more impressive, though, was a story that made the news earlier this week about a 50-year-old Israeli man who added to his own national record for dissolved weddings. The man, whose name was not disclosed so he can dupe unsuspecting women in the future, was granted his 11th divorce, far surpassing the former Israeli record of seven.
It’s been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result, and certainly this man’s situation would seem to qualify, as anyone who would choose to get married 11 times must have a number of screws loose, but the actual facts in this case paint a different picture. You see, the man in question isn’t insane; he’s just broke and lazy, and surprisingly enough, he might be on to something.
Appearing before a Rabbinical court, the man testified that he usually divorces his wives every two years and immediately begins looking for a new bride. Presumably, this is done as a matter of survival, as the man’s newest ex-wife told the court that in their time together the man didn’t work and lived off her income, amassing sizable debts. It was also noted that the man has a son from a previous marriage but has yet to pay so much as a dime of child support to the mother of his child.
One might guess, given these circumstances, that the court would have punished or at least admonished the serial divorcee, but such was not the case. In announcing their decision to grant divorce No. 11, the presiding rabbis praised the man for going through the correct religious procedures and had this to say about him: “Despite his 50 years, he has no gray hair, and despite his much experience in marriage, he plans to marry again.”
So, let’s see. No gray hair, no job, no child support and no problems with the law or the church. I told you he might be on to something. Sure, 11 marriages might not be everyone’s piece of cake, but that guy seems to be making it work for him.
With this being the case, it stands to reason that the man will likely be looking to get married again in the near future, something he claims he’s had no problem doing in the past. “I send out a hook in all directions, and the fish come on their own,” he said in explaining his unlikely success.
Let’s face it, though. We’re talking about a 50-year-old, unemployed, 11-time loser and father of an estranged son. I mean, what woman in her right mind wouldn’t want a fellow like that?
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When I think what global warming might do to Aspen, I think of skiing — the end of it, mostly. It could happen. We have not seen normal winters lately.