My friend Mary is getting married in December. She told me recently she felt a bit guilty about going ring shopping with her fiance.
"I don't know," she fretted, "It just felt weird. I mean, not only does he marry me, but he has to buy a RING, too? What do I get him?!?"
"Mary," I said, "He gets YOU. Isn't that enough?"
I was relaying this conversation to my HMF over the weekend, when he brought up the dowry system.
"She's right," he said, "Traditionally it's the woman's family gives the man land or money to take their daughter off their hands, or to replace the work she would've done for them."
"Uh-uh," I countered, "It works the other way around, I'm sure of it. It's the MAN who has got to pay."
"How do you figure that?"
"Look, the woman brings an invaluable commodity into the marriage, allowing man to live on in perpetuity. The dowry is simply just a downpayment on the uterus. A non-refundable user fee."
"Oh? And what if they are unable to produce?"
"Too bad, sucker. You break it, you bought it."
And that was how I won my first argument with a lawyer.