Writer Gives Up Monogamy

Forget chocolate or champagne: I gave up monogamy for Lent. I live in the perfect country for this Quasi Religious Experience as Japan specializes in such transmogrifications. I fully expect to start a nationwide trend. Japan nimbly reworked Buddhism, adapted Christianity to suit Shinto sensibility, and even morphed Christmas into a couples holiday featuring strawberry poundcake and Kentucky Fried Chicken – undoubtedly, monogamy and Lent will suit Japanese sensibility to a T.

Heaven knows, my Japanese husband and I need some way to adhere to Japanese sensibility. Japanese value group dynamics, but my husband and I stand sadly outside the group of Sexless Marriage, the group of Convenience Couples, and the group of Deviant Japanese Sexual Practices – my husband nor I neither collect used underwear nor frequent hostess bars. We’ve exhausted all avenues, trying to fit in as a typical Japanese couple.

At the same time, I’m recalculating the benefits of monogamy. What price can I put on faithfulness, devotion, endurance, fortitude? Immeasurable, to be sure, and that’s where I run into trouble. Today’s society knows the value and the price of everything. Even intangibles must be carefully accounted for, and when I measure up monogamy against, say, a romantic motorbike trundle to the countryside with my daughter’s Handsome Piano Sensei, how can monogamy with my husband of 11 years compute? Although I have not yet negotiated the specifics of this proposed merger with Handsome Piano Sensei, I am sure he will recognize the advantages of this transitory Foreign acquisition. Japanese seem consistently eager to engage in some transaction with a Western Foreigner.

Transactions rule the day in modern society, and as a species, an abundance of evidence supports diversity of transactions, from evolutionary to biological to anecdotal to emotional – spending a lifetime with one, single person presents measureless hardship. Facing your own growth with the handicap of another’s sometimes discordant growth, hurdling ennui, grappling the demons of time and age – nearly impossible alone, but with someone else, reminding you along the way of what you once were and what you can no longer be— it’s enough to make anyone convert completely to Catholicism, instead of taking the sections most expedient and profitable, like most of us.

To ensure no one misunderstands my calculations, let me declare my intent to practice Limited Monogamy on more than one partner. How fiscally unsound to trade one exclusive merger for another. I am currently considering, in addition to said Handsome Piano Sensei, my Package Delivery Man or Stranger on the Train. I admit a preference towards Stranger; there are all sorts of potential risks involved with someone who knows my address. Better to find a willing Stranger, as the investment becomes nearly risk-free, provided we protect our expenditures, and is sure to reap maximum transitory benefits on both sides.

Advisors, be assured: my Limited Monogamy is only for Lent. It is not emotionally nor financially viable to trade in my mostly happy life to start over with another partner. Three children have been added to the equation of matrimony, and even if I accepted the Rationality that my husband and I could raise them just as efficiently while maintaining separate households, the amount of energy required to enact this situation is surely greater than the energy required to continue as is, in mostly content domesticity. No, the answer surely lies with an irresponsible but meaningless fling, a statement to myself and the world that I do recognize the fundamentally value-less and priceless choice of monogamy.

In this day and age, monogamy equates with social standing; the wealthy or famous can and mostly do choose to invest their time and passion in multiple ventures. Show me a wealthy or famous couple still together after years of monogamy and I give you the last indicator of true wealth on the planet – a person who invests in honest affection. Such persons are rare indeed, but surely fail to recognize the considerable value of their own holdings. My own foray into Limited Monogamy neatly represents my efforts to diversify my portfolio, assert my social savvy, and navigate the aging process with a bit of insurance. With so many choosing to forsake monogamy, the risk to myself, if I practice alone, rises exponentially.

All in all, Limited Monogamy, especially when practiced in accordance to accepted, religious pretensions of sacrifice, can only elevate my personal stock. With a keen eye towards our Futures investment, my husband will surely welcome any such appreciation in my value.


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