Winner must answer a skill-testing question

Another Indian would-be groom has bitten the dust.

Last time, the bride walked away because of an undeclared seizure disorder – this time, subpar arithmetic was to blame:

An Indian bride walked out of her wedding ceremony after the groom failed to solve a simple math problem, police said Friday.

The bride tested the groom on his math skills and when he got the sum wrong, she walked out.

The question she asked: How much is 15 plus six?

His reply: 17.

In the would-be-groom’s defense, “carry the one” can be tricky. Plus, it’s supposed to be a wedding, not a grade-school oral exam.

But at the same time, I admire the yeah-maybe-no-bride’s willingness to kick his mental tires. It’s not something that’s commonly done here in North America, or at least not in so dramatic a form.

Instead, we wait to see if they can figure out our birth year – remember: this will be based on whatever age you provided, not whatever age you actually are – and watch closely to see if they can calculate a decent tip without having to break out their smartphone.

Or, if we’re really smart about it, we recognize that arithmetic proficiency is just one thing we need to look for in our partners. There’s also empathy, humour and physical attractiveness. And basic survival skills. You can be smart, kind, funny and handsome but 15+6 is not going to get a fire started, unless we’re talking about 15 squirts of lighter fluid and six matches.

I’m not opposed to asking prospective partners questions – I just think they should be contextually appropriate (ie: asked sometime before the ceremony’s officiant shows up) and culturally relevant (ie: pertaining to the life you are about to undertake together).

That’s why my own questions would be more like:

    • Does this yogurt smell funny?
      (Dual-purpose query: 1) saves you from eating yogurt that is really, truly past its best-before date; 2) reveals her/his willingness to smell random things, a critical parenting skill.)
    • Do you know the name of your MP? MPP?
      (This question was originally conceived to test a person’s degree of political awareness, but note that it may generate a false positive among those fond of making official complaints about ER wait times and complicated tax forms.)
    • Do you know what day is garbage pick-up?
      (Bonus points if they know if this week is trash or recycling.)
    • Do you know how to get Netflix on the big TV?
      (More than technical proficiency, this hints at a potential spouse’s ability to locate the remote control, an essential component of productive cohabitation.)

So ask those questions, people. Be bold and brave. You need to know if that beard is playoff-based or a permanent facial fixture. Best know now if her devotion to that boy band is ironic, nostalgic or a precursor to a protection order.

Because if you don’t ask these questions, you may find that it’s too late.

Garbage pick-up was yesterday.

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