LC's Take: Bigamy

Posted Wednesday, March 7, 2012 in Features

LC's Take: Bigamy

by LC Van Savage

Tell me: Why would any person possessing even just a couple of working fragments of his or her brain want to be a bigamist?

Marriage between just two people, whatever their sexes may be, can ever so occasionally be onerous, right? So then why, since many of us must once in a while ride those complex marital roller coasters, would any of us want to do that all over again with a simultaneous new marriage? Just for the sake of having a newbie? Several newbies?  I simply don't get it.

I've often wondered if the translation of "bigamy" meant only a man who's married to more than one woman concurrently. Couldn't "bigamy" also mean a woman having more than one husband at a time?     

Sure can. I looked it up. Bigamy is not gender-specific. Even a woman can be a bigamist. So if that's the case, how come we never hear about women having multiple husbands?

I'll tell you why. Because no woman who hasn't had her brain sucked out by aliens would ever want more than one husband at a time. One is enough already. One is a Work in Progress. One is On the Job Training. One is a Challenge to be Met, an Ample Sufficiency. So what would ever possess her to desire a second spouse, while the first one is still alive and hitched to her? Nothing, unless maybe the dude she fancies is a Tom Selleck clone who can sing like Mel Torme. But since no man anywhere even comes close to that heavenly coupling, it'll never happen.

So what's with these guys who marry some unsuspecting blusher while he's already got a broken-in specimen in another location? Or two? Maybe three? I don't know. I do  apologize for the sexism here, but it really is mostly guys we hear about doing this.

Let’s discuss these men who keep a few spare wives; they're "faithful" to them in their way, occasionally coming home to them, supporting a lot of kids, a couple of dogs and mortgages. They even do repairs around the home and attend a few of their kids’ events. But just how do they do that anyway?  One would think that only wealthy men could manage this, but it seems to be not only the affluent who normally become bigamists. They're usually just average Joes with very strongly developed gifts of organization, enormous talents for telling a pack of intricate, detailed lies, remembering and keeping them in order forever, and never, ever writing them down. These men are very, very creative with their finances, never accidentally speak the names of #2 or #3 wives even in their sleep, they’re  men who really really really really love sex with lots and lots and lots of women (there’s another kind?) and who are remarkably accomplished at covering their arses. I frankly don't think these guys are at all appreciated for the geniuses they are, and these dudes are astonishingly talented. They probably should have ditched the bigamy thing and just become spies for the CIA.  

But I do wonder about their psyches. After all, they can't ever brag about their achievements, so what fun can it be to accomplish these enormous feats of spouse juggling and not crow about them to the guys?

Perhaps part of the rush of becoming a bigamist (and remember here that we’re not speaking of a religious group, we’re just talking about run-of-the-mill sneaky, average, hidden-in-the-shadows bigamists ... or do I mean polygamists? Whatever.) is knowing a used wife is stashed somewhere who's totally oblivious to the fact that her dreamboat hubby has just gotten rejoined in holy wedlock to a newer, younger and probably hipper outta-stater. I honestly don’t understand how they get away with it so much. I mean aren’t there still some sort of check-points a couple must go through before they get themselves betrothed again? With today’s computers, no one can get away with anything secretly. Ever.  How is it these folks do this then?

And as to those men who marry women and then clean out their bank accounts and vanish, leaving them destitute, those bozos deserve the flogging post, won’t you agree?   

But how do triple etc. married chaps explain away their frequent absences during special occasions? And what's with their wives who don't occasionally make a couple of phone calls to the "convention" where their trustworthy spouses are supposedly convening? And how come these women are never the slightest bit curious as to why these business conferences are so often held on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, Easter Sunday, Mother’s and Father’s Days and their husband’s birthdays? They don’t smell just a little something?

I looked up some of the American states in which bigamy is grounds for divorce; there are only seven: Delaware, Illinois, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. Those same states also claim adultery as grounds for divorce, which makes sense, considering the two endeavors are pretty much connected, right? Ask a lawyer.

The whole bigamy/polygamy thing seems just too exhausting. After all, it takes years to whip and hammer and mold a spouse into decent shape, so who's got the energy to take on a new one while the old one still needs work? And the old ones always need work. Lots.  

And there's another thing which today really has to be considered in all of this, apart from the illegality: What husband could possibly want to face on a live TV talk show his many wrathful wives who've recently made the disturbing discovery that their beloved has been willingly divisible? Further, why on earth do these guys so often let themselves be entrapped on a TV talk show with all those blood-in-their-eyes wives and a pompous host? They gotta know they’re gonna lose. Is it the lure of being on national TV they find irresistible?    

Bigamy is the only law on the books where two rites make a wrong, so my advice is, if you're hankering after simultaneous marriages, forget it. If you get caught, and you will, you'll find yourself buried under heaps of simultaneous litigation, one per spousal unit, you can kiss your finances farewell, and you’d better begin searching for real estate under a bridge somewhere, because paying spousal support in the quadruples or more is about all that’ll be left to you. One legal partner per union seems like a lot easier on all involved, y’think?

lcvansavage@newmainetimes.org 

blog comments powered by Disqus