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Jewish Journal

Change of Heart

by Seth Menachem

May 5, 2005 | 8:00 pm

It was only last October when I penned the column, "No Rush," for this paper, arguing against marriage.

Now, eight months later, I take it all back. Well, most of it.

As I wrote, I still do believe that other people often try to convince you to get married in order to convince themselves. It's the same reason your friend convinces you that girls love his new mullet -- and you have to get one, too -- "You know what they say: Business in the front, party in the back."

So what's changed?

I no longer believe one has to be settled in one's career in order to "settle down." I'm an actor, so I need to accept that stability is pretty rare. And I have. After making a living as an actor for the past couple of years, this year has had me back to showing up at friends' houses just as they're eating dinner. Despite the free meals, I feel much better when I'm buying my own food. So I gave in to "the man" and took a side job to help me when I'm not making money as an actor.

My mom told me that when she got married there were 15 friends and family squeezed into the rabbi's study. That was it. That was all they could afford. And they had a great marriage. My dad became a successful partner at Ernst & Young, they had four children and they loved each other very much. My dad was a sweet, funny and charismatic guy. But then he died, which is not great for a marriage. Who would take out the garbage? Besides, I really miss the guy. The point is, though, that my dad didn't wait until he had a career -- he just married the only woman he ever loved, and they struggled and succeeded together. Time, I've learned, is limited.

So, as I've mentioned before, I love my girlfriend, Carrie. She's sensitive and, even though she says I tend to hold in my feelings, we do share a good cry whenever we watch "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (you had me at, "Move that bus!").

She's also beautiful, even if I don't always say it (if I say it too much she might realize she can do better). She also thinks I'm funny, even if it's the fifth time that day I've said, "Pull my finger." (What's more amazing is not that she laughs, but she actually pulls it.)

Carrie has opinions about things but is willing to listen to others. Me, I already know what's right, so what's the point? She's patient, whereas I'm so ADD that I've already forgotten what it is I'm writing about. (Wait one second while I scroll back to the top to remember my thesis statement ... and ... got it!) What I'm trying to say is I'm lucky to have found Carrie.

Being single was fun at times but it always felt empty. I couldn't wait until I found the right girl. I'll admit it -- it scared me a little when I found her. Life-changing events can be scary. But, lately, all I can think about is how great it will be to spend the rest of my life with her. There's comfort in knowing you've found the one person you want to be with forever.

I found the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with, and I think she feels the same way. We both want kids, even if we have to squeeze a handful of them into a tiny apartment --but I'm going to work very hard to make sure we have room. When I'm away from her I think about how good it would feel to wrap my arms around her. When I'm with her, I feel so content that I need to remind myself not to take that contentment for granted. I will work hard to make sure we have room for our kids. I will also make sure that I won't let a day go by where Carrie doesn't get kissed. If I can't do it, I'll find someone who can...and he better be a good kisser because my girl deserves the best.

I love Carrie so much, and can't wait to start our own family and be a great father. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. First, I should get married.

So, Carrie ... how about it? Will you marry me?

Seth Menachem is an actor and writer who lives in Los Angeles.

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