July 18th, 2002


The Wedding Bet

Paul’s back in SoCal. The dude was part of the “Old LA Gang” back in the day before moving to San Fran, then Northwestern for b-school, then back to San Fran. After McKinsey laid off a shitload of people, Paul found a job down in OC last month as a hedge fund manager (For those who’re wondering, a hedge fund has nothing to do with shrubbery).

The Old LA Gang was what T, Geney Boy and I called the small, tight group of boys and girls who used to spend way too much time together around the mid-Nineties. Kinda like “Friends,” but not as attractive or wealthy.

One night, as all small, tight groups of friends tend to do, we had a chat about who’d most likely get married first, who’d probably get married second, who’d obviously get married last, etc. Well there was much disagreement over the marriage order, so in the end we decided to put money on our predictions. The winner would be the one who most accurately predicted the order of our marriages. The prize? Each of the losers would have to fork over $500, which added up to three G’s. It was large enough to be meaningful, but not so large that people would be delaying their weddings to win the bet …

GIRL: Honey, how about we get married this October?

GUY (checking Palm Pilot): No way in hell. We do that and that fucker wins the pot.

GIRL: So when do you want the wedding?

GUY: According to my calculations, he and his girlfriend should be tying the knot around next February-ish. If not, we can always drug them and make them elope in Vegas before either of them regains consciousness. Then the money is ours, baby!

GIRL: Then we can buy our dream home.

GUY: Dream home? Daddy wants a Bentley.

Most of us forgot about the Wedding Bet the next day. But Paul was the kinda guy who took this type of random shit seriously, God bless him. He went and put all our marriage predictions down on an Excel document and created a Wedding Bet contract that we all signed. We each got a copy...

The contract even came with specific rules. Reading them now below, it occurs to me how much free time Paul had…

Like I said, this took place many years ago, about the time you college kiddies were starting to sprout pubes. But last week Paul brought it up during T’s fake farewell dinner at Chandara. Such a sentimental bastard, that guy.

The next day, he emailed a scanned copy of the Wedding Bet to each of the Old LA Gang, which was now scattered throughout the world from Chicago to Singapore. The first thing I looked at was the scoreboard …

As you can see, my average predicted marriage rank put me second-to-last. Only two people were smart enough to place me last, with one of the smart people being myself, and the other being someone who knew me too well.

But notice how the scoreboard is empty. That’s because none of us are married yet. Some came pretty damn close, several times. But as of today only three of us are in serious relationships. It occurred to some that perhaps this Wedding Bet is a curse (Although some may correctly argue that the bigger curse is getting married.)

Of the remaining single people, Geney Boy won’t even think about dating ‘til his movie gets made, and T will be too busy trying to have sex with every woman in the continent of Asia. Paul’s a nice decent guy, and maybe I’ll try to hook his ass up with a kind, gentle girl who won’t abuse the fact that he’s a nice decent guy. But I think there’s about five of those in the Greater Los Angeles Area.