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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Marriage List Debuts! For only $.99!!!

Can happily ever after start with a list? Grey Andrews thinks so. After ten years of working, saving and investing, Grey finally achieved a level of wealth that allows him to do what he wants with his life. He needs a woman to share it with, but not any woman, the perfect woman. A woman who has the three essential qualities on his marriage list. But after three years of searching he isn’t any closer to finding her than he was when he started out.
 Carrie Tucker, an aspiring mystery writer and divorcĂ©e struggling to make it in the world of advertising, turned her focus from men to her career after dating too many creeps and losers. She’s finally earned her big break, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become the first female creative director in a hot New York ad agency. So what if it means working nights and weekends? It’s not like she has a social life anyway.
Is the marriage list a failure or will a chance meeting at a fiction-writing conference prove the list to be the key to Grey’s happiness after all? 


Envy burned in Grey’s chest as he walked through the door at
Blondie’s, the sports bar on West 79th Street. His three best buddies had it all, great jobs and great wives, while at 30 years old, Grey was still working night and day, saving every penny and sleeping alone…most nights. Tonight he faced the challenge of listening to them brag without letting the smile slip off his face.
The bar was beginning to get noisy with baseball games on three
TVs and rowdy laughter. Grey wondered when it’d be his turn for
happiness. He got a table and downed a drink before his friends arrived, brushing a careless hand through his sandy hair.
His hazel eyes swept the room for eligible women. There were a
couple at the bar, talking to each other, looking pretty hot. Later, he’d try to drum up some action. One looked over at him, her gaze moving over his body slowly and her broadening smile indicated she approved of what she saw. . Her blonde hair and ample chest made it hard for him to turn his gaze back to the door, where Will was entering, followed by Spence.

Grey raised his hand in greeting to his buddies as they made their
way to his table. This was their quarterly get-together for a couple of beers and dinner. Though they were eight years out of college, when they were together it was like old times hanging at the fraternity. Practically inseparable in college, they called themselves  the “Four Horsemen”.

When Bobby arrived, they motioned to the waitress for another pitcher of beer. After placing their food orders, the Horsemen settled back in their chairs. Grey opened the conversation.
“So how’s married life treating you guys?”
“Thinking about tying the knot, Grey?” Bobby asked.
“That would be news,” Will put in, before taking a swig of beer.
“Yeah, yeah, ‘Grey Andrews, tired of screwing different women
every night sets the date’” Spence said, making quotation marks in the air with his hands.
“I’ll drink to that,” Will said, raising his mug in a mock toast.
“You’ll drink to anything!” Bobby piped up.
“So who is she?” Spence asked, narrowing his eyes and gazing at
“No one. There’s no one,” Grey said, his shirt collar feeling
suddenly tight. He reached up and unbuttoned his shirt then took a deep breath.
“Sure, sure. You don’t have to tell us, but we’ll find out
eventually,” Will said.
“Come on, guys, I’m serious,” Grey continued.
“So you’ve stopped working sixty hour weeks and sleeping with
whatever you could pick up at a bar?” Bobby asked.
“Gonna kick out your roommate and squeeze a wife into that
overloaded place you live?” Will asked.
“I’m looking.”
“So the nest egg is fat enough now, got enough cash and you’re
ready for the next step? Grey, you plan like a girl,” Spence chuckled and the other two laughed with him.
“So marriage isn’t so great for you guys, huh? Is that what I’m
hearing?” Grey said, smirking.
Grey, the only unmarried one, wanted to hear how married life was
treating his friends. Although he wasn’t in love or even dating one woman exclusively, he was thinking about taking the plunge himself…time to start looking for Ms. Right. Spence was right, Grey was a planner.

Will took a gulp of his beer before he turned to Grey.
“Your crazy job giving you time off to get married?”
Grey had spent the past eight years working sixty hour weeks to
achieve success; his job at an investment firm kept him busy watching his clients’ money and his own. He lived on practically nothing, took girls on inexpensive dates, shared an apartment, all to save up for freedom and marriage, the way he wanted it.
“Still the master of the cheap date, Grey?” Spence asked him,
putting down his empty beer glass.
So what if he was inventive enough to master the art of the cheap
date: picnics in Central Park, free concerts, trips to the Bronx Zoo on free entry days, long walks. The women he escorted didn’t mind that dates with him were unusual instead of costly. Grey wooed his women on as few dollars as possible, saving every cent and it was paying off as he watched his money grow, multiplying at a rapid rate.
“I’m still careful with my money, Spence. How’s your marriage,
by the way?” Grey asked, lounging back in his chair.
Grey was on a mission, gathering data, information, formulating
his plan for wedded bliss. After two pitchers, tongues started to loosen up.
“My wife is a pain in the ass with her decorator and her cook. The
living room is white, can’t wear shoes there. Can’t put my feet up on the coffee table. And food! Tiny portions, salads. Give a good meatloaf any day, I eat like a rabbit,” Will complained, refilling his glass.
The table was silent for a moment.
“Bobby, how’s that sexy lady you married?” Spence asked, his
eyes glittering with either desire or envy, Grey couldn’t tell which.
“Watch it, Spence. Just because she has big boobs…”
“Man, she must be hot,” Spence continued.
“I said watch it!” Bobby got halfway out of his chair before Grey
put a hand on his arm to stop him.
“What’s the matter, Spence, not getting any?” Bobby teased.
“Susan’s a great talker. She loves to talk. Very smart. Intellectual,
in and out of bed. But the action I want in bed doesn’t involve talking,”
Spence said, gazing down at his beer.
“I wish Tiffany would talk a little more. She says lawyer stuff is
boring. I tell her ‘yeah that lawyer stuff is what pays for your wardrobe, honey’ but she doesn’t get it,” Bobby said, signaling the waitress for another pitcher.

Grey didn’t hear anything like what he’d expected. He had steeled
himself to hear enough bragging to make a strong stomach retch, but it never materialized. Instead his friends continued to complain about their wives, what their seemingly perfect wives lacked and what the Horsemen were missing. His frustrated pals killed his taste for the women at the bar and the discovery of their dissatisfaction caused Grey to wonder if married life was a good idea for him after all. 

Grey's townhouse on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.


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