When I was a bookworm of a kid I loved to read books from the Choose Your Own Adventure series. The books were unique in that at the end of each chapter you were confronted with 2 choices. The alternatives would be things like, “to attack the dragon turn to page 10” or “to challenge the dragon to a dance-off turn to page 15”. You’d pick an option, then read the results of that selection before facing another pair of choices. Depending on the writer, if you chose the dance-off, you and the dragon might end up as Solid Gold dancers, or you’d be a crispy noodle in Chinese dragon stir-fry.
When I’d reached the end of the book, or the end of the sequences I’d chosen, I would go back and read the book again, picking the other alternatives (fainting goats/epileptic sheep). Sometimes I would peek ahead all along. Often a different result was better. Occasionally worse. Sometimes the alternative was just different.
In every election season, there’s a tough vetting process for the candidates. Sometimes it’s accidental vetting, but occasionally the candidates are forthcoming with their quirks. We want someone who fits us. I know many of you guys are dragging your feet on dating or committing because, well, you’re just unsure whether that girl you like has what’s needed to complement your own quirks. In other words, you’re not sure how much like your mom she really is. This fixes that. Just hand her this questionnaire and sit back while she fills in the magic. You’ll know soon enough whether your girl is the perfect cross between Giada, Megan Fox, Natalie Wood, and your mom. Also, don’t be surprised if she high-tails it out of there, slaps you, or turns the tables and hands you a questionnaire of her own.
In my generous effort to help my fellow helpless men who inexplicably find themselves in situations where they’re receiving ‘love’ applications and/or resumes for a certain position, I’ve made this excellent questionnaire. Start vetting your ‘love candidates’. You are welcome. Read the rest of this entry »
I spent a fun 4th of July with my brother Chris and his family picnicking and watching fireworks. In their backyard at lunch, my adorable 8 year-old niece sat next to me at the picnic table and asked matter-of-factly, “So, Uncle Jonathan, how old are you now?”
I paused a long moment, then mumbled into my veggieburger, “Thirty-ish.” Fully expecting her to be agog at my ancientness (and near falsehood), I was a bit surprised when she calmly continued her line of questioning.
“Thirty-ish.” She pondered my answer. “And are you dating anyone?” Read the rest of this entry »
We’ve reached that time of year where I shamelessly exploit my family Christmas traditions by noting that I’ve written a book called The Gentle Art of Starting A Cult: A Do-It-Yourself Guide, wherein I compare certain family Christmas traditions to cult rituals. It’s really all very harmless. Ah, what fond memories. <
by Jonathan B Perry
I have good news and I have bad news. First, the bad news: Guys of 2020, there will be a surplus of competitive males as there never has been before at any time in history. 30 million extra men to be approximate. In just 10 years there’s going to be such a glut of guys of marriageable age it’ll seem like one endless frat party where there are maybe 2 women in the back. Granted, these extra men are in China where the population is about 1.5 billion (and where 30 million is relatively small, though not really), but still they’re not all going to stay in China and there will likely be some domino effect flopping around the globe, so you’ll need to work extra hard to trick women into hanging out excessively. Drat.
Now the good news: Ladies of 2020, there will be a surplus of competitive males of marriageable age, so the dude options will be greater and more desperate than ever before. The scarcity of women makes each of you even more valuable (think higher pedestals) and you can be choosier and make guys grovel more. Many of you look forward to this. If you hold out just a little longer, say 10 years, some of you current bachelorettes might have better luck snagging younger, awesomer studs.
Of course this imbalance all stems from China’s one child per household policy that often saw families choosing to have boys as their only child and to abort the female fetuses as a practice of population control which retained males who would theoretically provide better for their families. It’s been called gendercide. Now aware of its severe gender imbalance, the Chinese government is making a strong push to the public to look more favorably on girls, hoping to stem the tide of aborted females. So far it’s only been slightly effective (there are banners saying stuff like “Girls are swell”), and it will still take generations for things to even out.
This sort of situation hasn’t really been an issue in previous civilizations. You could draw some similarities with the imbalances after the world wars, when there was a surplus of women when many Johnnys didn’t come marching home again. It’s believed the feminist movement even gained traction from the higher number of single professional women of the 1920s and 1930s. I just thought I’d point that out.
Concerns have been voiced that this excess of single men, unable to mate, may create many more societal issues in the years to come: wars to cull the surplus males, a rise in crime (particularly rape), an increase in prostitution, a rise in homosexuality, and many more sloppy apartments.
Since it will take many decades to correct the situation in China, what other solutions might there be to help the problem? I’ve come up with a few ideas and only one of them uses bachelors as human batteries a la The Matrix.
Chinese Bachelor Solution #1: Promote religions, like Buddhism or Catholicism, where bachelors become monks or priests. You might have to lure them in with church bingo at first, but do whatever works. This would require a moderate change in the government’s stance toward religion (I’m not pushing either religion. Baptist or Methodist monasteries could be developed, just to mess with things.).
Solution # 2: Chinese mail order grooms- When one thinks of arranging spouses to order, mail order brides from places like Eastern Europe spring to mind. Now with many young Chinese men potentially unable to find mates nearby, they’ll need to cast wider worldwide nets and this may include making themselves available for marriage by mail order. Bigger boxes. More air holes.
Solution # 3: Human batteries a la The Matrix– In the movie The Matrix people lived in watery pods and existed in a dream state, while powering the evil machines. Never mind that you could put caviar on iv and call it a spa weekend. Forget that Beijing and Shanghai could be powered cleanly and cheaply from now until Chinese New Year. No, I suppose it’s not an option (or even a good human rights thing), unless you just do Gilligan-style power-maker with the coconut bicycle making electricity (come to think of it, gyms around the world could do this bit and harness the power to run their tv’s). I’m sure there’d be some way to do it, though it doesn’t really fix the mating thing, does it? Hmm. Forget this one.
Solution # 4: Men dating outside their age groups- I realize guys throughout history have been dating outside their own age group, but it’s usually been scary old rich guys dating younger helpless and/or money-grubbing women (the dudes have more cows for dowries). The Future Army of Chinese Bachelors (cool band name!) may need to consider the limited options and be more open to dating older women, widows and retirees even. And if China can find way to pump out extra females (without aborting males), say through in vitro fertilization or some genetic magic, then the extra dudes could date younger without skewing things too much for the younger guys.
Solution # 5: Cryonics? I’m just putting it out there.
Solution # 6: Find female alien life. I think there have been B-movies about this.
Solution # 7: Import women- Let’s face it, China may do well to find incentives to import women to China. It might be useful to pay women to move to China and marry Chinese men. I can see it now, in 10 years time there will be specials on 20/20 and Oprah about how China has an army of bachelors just waiting for all available women to come for marriage and money. Perhaps special women-only schools could be set up to draw female students from around the world. Maybe it could be something like marketing the acrobat schools to Bollywood dancers (that’s the group I’d aim for).
So, China has a big problem, but there are often viable solutions to difficult problems. Hopefully something can be done to improve the potential for millions of Chinese, while avoiding a catastrophic future involving millions of filthy bachelor pads.
When I re-edit, I’ll find a way to sneak in Bowie’s song “China Doll”.
The secret word is imbalance.
Vaguely Related Reading:
Not Really Related, but Nifty Reads:
Bachelor Step #1: THE BACHELOR PAD
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I love being an uncle. I really enjoy my niece and nephews and being the only bachelor uncle has positioned me well for being the favorite uncle, which rocks. I don’t come with my own kids at this point, so I won’t have them to favor and I can drop by on holidays or on weekend visits and shower the little monkeys with an inordinate amount of attention, then duck back out in time for the disciplining or whatever unpleasant parenting is required.
I can play trains with Nathaniel on one trip, then put on a puppet show with Blake and Raya on the next. Maybe read them a book before bed. I’m free to spoil them and teach them bad habits like burp-talking and they love me all the more for it. I even got my two year-old nephew Nathaniel to say “Have mercy upon us, oh great Uncle Jonathan!” I was pretty proud of that one. I mean, he did give me a suspicious look, but ultimately was compliant. Your will is mine!
I remember how much fun I had with my own bachelor uncles and I want things to be like that: little excursions to the park or museum; ballgames or trips to the zoo. The San Francisco Mint. I helped two of them make their first snowmen in my backyard this winter. Time spent with them is a great reward. I live to hear “I love you Uncle Jonathan.” or “I’ve missed you Uncle Jonathan.” That’s awesome!
Then, of course, there are those hugs. Little kid hugs. Living away from family I might go weeks or months without hugging anyone, which is kind of lousy, but once I see those sweet children, I know I can stock up on the best hugs to carry me through the long lonely months. I can’t get enough of it.
Ok, well, I’ve depressed myself a little, now. Hmm. I need to go plan a few trips.
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