Since You Asked…

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Dear Caroline,

I have been living with a man for the past two years. We are both 33. I want to get married, but when I bring it up, he tells me a marriage license is “just a piece of paper.” When he says it, he’s very convincing, but it still doesn’t sit right with me.

How can I get him to see my point of view?

…Standing on Ceremony

Dear Standing,

My solution is a bit theatrical, but then, in addition to being an advice columnist, I’m also an actress.

People who say things like, “A flag is just a piece of cloth,” or “A marriage license is just a piece of paper” deserve a rude awakening.

Next time they go to the bank or ATM, or simply open their wallet, have a cigarette lighter handy. 

Ask them for $50 or $500 pesos.

When they hand you the money, set it on fire right then and there. If you want to add to the theatrics, use the flaming bill to light a candle, stove or fireplace. 

When they react — and believe me, they will — say: “Why are you getting upset? It’s just a piece of paper?”

That object lesson ought to be enough to drive home your point. In a civilized society, not all objects are created equal.

Standing with you,


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