Marriage as a Restaurant


I really enjoyed a discussion that cropped up in the manosphere yesterday starting with the inimitable Dalrock, and slowly expanded by one of his anonymous readers, and then by Hawaiian Libertarian.

It started with Dalrock’s development of a metaphor of marriage as a dining experience:

I don’t have time to really do this justice, but I’ll take a quick shot at it. I share your view in wanting marriage for both men and women. This is why I write on the topics I write about. Marriage is too essential to turn our backs on, even though it has suffered great violence from the culture, the state, and a treacherous church. The analogy I’ll offer isn’t perfect but hopefully gets the basic idea across.

Those of us who are happily married are sitting in a fine restaurant, enjoying our meals. Outside are a crowd of would be patrons, but the restaurant is full and they won’t be seated. However, the crowd outside decides to make the best of it. They set up a grill and hold an impromptu cookout. Some number of them comment that they wouldn’t trade sitting in our boring stuffy restaurant for the experience of cooking and eating in the outdoors with the company of the rest of the crowd.

While I think the restaurant is better, I’m not going to call out to them, to try to convince them that they really should regret that they didn’t get a table. Instead I’m going to focus what influence I have on making that option available to more diners. I’ll try to get the restaurant down the street to start following the health codes so they don’t poison people. But to do that first I have to take on the corrupt health inspector (the church), etc.

Besides, who am I to tell the people making the best of the cookout that they don’t really enjoy being there more than they would enjoy being in the restaurant? Not all of us have the same tastes. Given the lack of options, I truly hope that the cookout is what makes them happy. If someone wants to know how they can get a table I’ll offer the best advice I have on finding one, including advice on avoiding restaurants like the one down the street.

The lack of open tables at the restaurant is visible in the data I’ve shown here, both in delayed marriage trends by women and in the kicking of fathers out of the home. Not everyone gets this “food poisoning”, but those who do can suffer immensely.

Which was then expanded by an Anonymous reader:

Dalrock, although your analogy is interesting, it is incomplete. You need to include the whole picture.

And that is, some number of couples in the restaurant suddenly leave; the woman stands up, shrieks to the management that her escort is simply beastly, and a couple of pug-ugly bouncers come, rough him up, take his wallet, beat the snot out of him, and throw him out the back door into the alley. She stays for a while, paying for the meal out of his wallet, and then slowly walks out the front door, to cruise around the barbecue grills for a while.

And everyone pretends nothing just happened, although some murmur of “what did HE do?” floats ’round the room. For some odd reason, there are more and more empty tables in this restaurant. Fewer customers are coming in the front door. Business is down.

The restaurant manager worries out loud that his business isn’t going well. But his bouncers continue to beat, rob, and eject men any time a woman demands it. Those men at the barbecue grills? More than a few of them used to eat in the restaurant. But after getting beaten up, robbed, beaten up some more and thrown away in to the alley, they don’t much care for restaurant food any more. They regard it as too expensive, one way or another.

There is another group circulating around the barbecue grills, and out into the street. These are women who alternate between snacking at the barbecue grills, and importuning men to take them into the restaurant. They insist they only want good restaurant food, as they wipe the grease from the barbeque off of their fingers.

Some of these women used to eat in the restaurant, but decided to have their escorts beaten and robbed. For some reason they find it a bit more difficult to get an escort back into the restaurant than previously was the case.

There’s also a shadowy crowd out beyond the barbecue grills that most diners in the restaurant can’t see. This crowd is almost entirely men. Many of them are young, but some are middle-aged or even old. No way they get into the restaurant. Although some of them used to eat there, before they got beaten up, robbed, and thrown into the alley. And nobody wants them too close to the barbecue grills, either. The women who eat at the grills and want into the restaurant scorn them. These men exist in the shadows, chewing on a dried out piece of jerky.

Every once in a while, some fat guy from the restaurant management strolls outside, and hollers at all the men in the street: “HEY ! Why don’t you Man UP and find a nice lady to escort into this restaurant? The food is great! And if you get beaten, robbed and thrown in the alley it’s all your fault! C’mon in! Be a man!” Most of the women stand with him, and echo his “Man UP!” call, ululating in chorus. The barbecue crowd jeers at him. The men in the shadows gnaw on their dried out jerky and stare at him in utter silence. He goes back into the failing restaurant and tells everyone inside how great the service is. As he speaks, another male patron is beaten, robbed, and as he’s being ejected out the back door he grabs a knife in the kitchen, then stabs himself in the heart and dies in the alley. No one in the restaurant one says a word, everyone looks away and pretends nothing just happened.

I believe this fills out the scenario a bit. How one views the restaurant depends on where one stands. Sitting in a cozy booth in the back, with family all around, the restaurant is a great place. Standing outside by the barbecue grills, the restaurant may look too expensive, the dress code too stuffy. From across the street in the shadows the restaurant looks good, but seeing man after man being beaten, robbed, and thrown away into a dumpster-strewn alley leads to a different perspective on the restaurant than one might get in the cozy back booth.

The view from the backside of the restaurant, the alley? Standing outside, with empty pockets, black eyes, and a broken nose & fingers, the restaurant is a crooked deal, run by thieves, cheats, and liars.

Perspective makes a difference.

While bleak, I thought that this was a pretty good commentary on the state of man/woman relationships, and especially marriage, which I will expand on later, but first I wanted to also share some of Hawaiian Libertarian’s thoughts, as well, because they are incredibly poignant:

There are a few of us restaurant patrons, sitting in our cozy booths enjoying our meals with our families…but we are also noting the way the management and the bouncers are mistreating their male patrons…we, the married manosphere denizens like Dalrock, Ulysses, Rollo, Alkibiades, Athol – we’re not just sitting in the restaurant enjoying our meals, we’re trying to warn other patrons about the dangers of the management, as well as telling the men outside the establishment that while the possibility of a great meal can be had inside, there is a lot of risks you run in coming to the table.

Everyman on the outside, whether you are eating at the barbecue grills or standing out in the shadows eating your dried jerky, has contemplated the possibilities of making a reservation and entering the establishment.

No man should ever make that reservation, unless he first consults the dining guide and makes an honest assessment of his potential dinner companion before entering the establishment.

Once you’re in, do your best to enjoy your meal…but keep a wary eye out for the bouncers and choose your food with care to avoid food poisoning. A family meal in one of those booths can be a very rewarding and enjoyable experience…but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way to eat.

The only reason any man should ever get married in this day and age, is to have children…it’s pointless to enter the restaurant to get a table only for two and stay there until your done eating. The only point you should ever eat at the restaurant is to get to one of those cozy booths. Even then, any man contemplating taking that route, MUST come to terms with the reality of how the Restaurant really operates before they decide if they really do want to make a reservation for a table. Otherwise you’d be better off sticking to the barbecue grills outside and avoid the management and their dastardly bouncers.

Oh, and by the way, this restaurant has a name. It’s called “Brave New World Order,” and it advertises a menu titled “Marriage 1.0.” But here is the real menu, the ones the cooks actually use to make the food in the back.

Order your meal with great care, or stick to barbecuing or eating jerky.

The truth is this:

Most men go into marriage blind.

They honestly don’t understand the consequences of a failed marriage, or how hard it is to keep one alive in the post-feminist world.  In the past 40 years or so marriage has changed so much that it is unidentifiable from the time of our gandparents.  We simply cannot have what our parents had, and we definitely will not have what our grandparents had.

When I was in highschool I was very negative about marriage.  Had I not met my wife, I probably would have been in the same mental space as the AR by now.

My parents had a great marriage; some of my aunts and uncles have great marriages, too.  The rest have passable, if imperfect ones.  I did not grow up surrounded by divorce and negative examples.  But I also knew that I came from two exceptional families, because shit was coming down around the ears of almost everyone else I knew.  I wasn’t convinced that the risk outweighed the benefits, and I definitely didn’t give a damn about “tradition”.

See there’s the trick… all those guys outside the restaurant, even a lot of the ones who have been tossed out on the street, aren’t comfortable with the BBQ pit, think theyought to be in the restaurant, because traditionally that is where you go to get a decent meal.  they aren’t at all satisfied with barbecue, and they know that the dudes with the beef jerk aren’t getting a healthy meal.

They have seen guys robbed by the staff, but like a lot of guys, they figure it can’t happen to them, because they don’t believe that the woman they are with would dare cross him that way, because stuff like that doesn’t happen to him, or if she did, he could take the bouncers.

Given a chance they will go into the restaurant, because they think that that is where a person goes to get the best food.  They believe that the stories have to be exaggerations or that there is something wrong with the guys at the pit, because he has great memories of restaurants from back when he was a kid… and he doesn’t understand that the dining experience he saw as a kid is gone – the crooked manager owns every restaurant in town, and he pays his bouncers very, very well.

When I met my wife, it took a couple of years before I changed my mind about that – and frankly it didn’t bother her that I wasn’t sure about marriage.  My wife and I both belong to faiths you have to choose to belong to, and so they have to mean something to you to get past the first few years as a member… and ones that teach that your integrity and your word are your soul.

After years of being together without commitment, and with a level of respect and honesty that was way above anything I’d had in a relationship before, I was willing to make a commitment that could lead to a family.  I had to be damn sure that I could trust her to be the mother of my children.

Even then, it took us a decade to actually get married – when we did it, we did it to bring our families together in a celebration, because there had been way too many funerals and way too much sadness going on.  It was not about giving her a special day, it was doing something together to bring our families together.  The relationship was a mature one built on trust.

Because marriage should never be about you, or her, but about a team.

Going back to the restaurant metaphor:  you can’t afford to take just anyone into the restaurant, like Hawaiian Libertarian said.  You have to be sure that they are there because they want more than a meal.  And in this day and age, you’d better have eaten in together a few times first, because a woman who wants to go to the restaurant badly, is probably not the one who will make a good dining companion.

You have to be aware that the bouncers are there, and that you can and will have them sicced on you if you do not navigate the dinner table, and your partner exceptionally well.

For those of us lucky enough to have found an exceptional woman, the experience is well worth the risks involved.  But we didn’t go into it blind, or even with a good view of marriage.  We were aware that marriage takes work, and involves deliberately developing wife-keeping skills.  No everyone has the right stuff to make the modern marriage work.  For them they need to find something else that does.

Barbecue seems to be as good a start as any.

As a final note,  I want to expand on another point Dalrock made which got glossed over.  Changes need to be made.  The restaurants up and down the street need to be pushed into making a better show, the managers need to be run out of town. Or we need to build whole new kinds of eatery to replace the restaurants once they are finally abandoned for good.

We eventually will need to reform marriage – and gender narratives – as a whole, because the experience in the booth worth it, and everybody deserves to have the chance to enjoy it.  We are a sick society when we are leaving so many people out in the cold.  We can’t live on barbecue and jerky alone.

4 thoughts on “Marriage as a Restaurant

    1. Dalrock,you have been one of my big inspirations since I started this business over a year ago. I hope you keep dosing people with reality for many more to come.

Comments are closed.