Over the years I have had the pleasure of watching several fine young men grow into adulthood. Inevitably, they become serious about a woman and consider marriage. On more than one occasion I have been asked what they should be looking for in a woman, e.g., a potentially good mother, cook, sex partner, or whatever. I flippantly advise them to "check her teeth," which is an expression I picked up from a horse trainer years ago. Now, please, I do not mean any disrespect to women by this remark. In fact, I recommend the same thing to young women considering a husband, "check his teeth."
I was advised by the trainer that you should, of course, review the animal's papers, check it with your hands, study how it walks and rides, see how it responds to the human voice, and inspect its hooves, but checking the teeth says a lot about the health and treatment of the horse. In other words, carefully study the animal before you buy it. We should do anything of substance likewise, be it an automobile, a boat, or a major appliance or piece of equipment. Too often people become enamored with the advertising sizzle and overlook the actual state of the object and end up with something they regret later on.
The same is true in marriage. Too often people overlook deficiencies in the other person and becoming preoccupied with the other person's sexual prowess or money. Only later do they realize they should have done some more checking on the other person and some soul-searching. The divorce courts are littered with millions of couples who didn't do their homework properly and paid dearly for it.
Over in the Middle East, Saudi men can still practice polygamy, whereby they can have as many as five wives; one as his principal or senior wife, one to do the cooking, one to do the cleaning or to teach, one to raise the children, and one for sexual pleasures. The wives don't always get along with each other which is why the man may have to pay for multiple houses for his different wives to live in, which sounds like a pretty high price to pay for a man not being able to make up his mind.
In this country, we practice monogamous relationships, at least we're supposed to in marriage. In most marriage vows, we promise to love, honor and obey until death do us part, which implies marriage is for a long time. Unfortunately, there seems to be fewer people these days who take this obligation seriously and change partners like they change clothes. Then again, I guess this stimulates the economy as it keeps a lot of attorneys, judges and law clerks gainfully employed.
We would have a lot fewer divorces in this country if we just took the time to study some teeth. Maybe the expression "look before you leap" would be more appropriate, but I have found "check his/her teeth" makes a more indelible impression on the young person.
Such is my Pet Peeve of the Week.
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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