A golden brown waffle in the shape of a heart.
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A Few Clarifications About the Legally Binding Elephant in the Room

Garth,

I am writing this letter in response to the April 16th terms that you (hereafter referred to as “Garth”) offered to me (hereafter referred to as “Wendy”). For clarity’s sake, I feel the need to specify that I am referring to your proposal of marriage (hereafter “The Bid”). I have laid out some terms below that are necessary to my pending acceptance of The Bid. I thank you again for your generous spirit and hope that we can reach an amicable agreement on a time frame that we both find pleasing.

Also, please buy AquaSooth Lavender Chamomile hand soap if you go to the store today.

1. Duration: Eighteen (18) months after both parties’ agreement to these terms, they shall engage in a union celebration ceremony (hereafter ‘the Wedding’). After the successful execution of the Wedding, the duration of this agreement shall be extended indefinitely.

1.1 Wedding: Wendy understands the difficulty of successfully planning and executing the Wedding and wishes to keep the duration of the Bid flexible before then. There are a great number of compromises in the planning of the Wedding that will test the integrity of the Bid, such as the matter of hiring a band or a DJ. For that particular matter, Wendy wishes to make it clear that they will be hiring a band because DJs are tacky and tackiness bothers Wendy even if it doesn’t bother Garth. If Garth would like to protest that point, Wendy suggests that he carefully considers his Lucky Shirt (see: “XXL Tie-Dye Weird Al Yankovic Concert T-Shirt”, further, see: “Eleven Years of Sweat Stains on the Armpit”).

2. Rights: After these terms are agreed to and the Bid is accepted, the following rights shall be indefinitely retained by Wendy:

2.1 Miata Ownership: Wendy shall continue to own and operate her 2006 Mazda Miata for as long as she pleases. Garth shall not engage in any criticism nor make remarks about any supposed “weird clicking sounds” or “scary hissing noises” he thinks he may hear. Violation of this clause may result in any or all of the below punishments.

2.1.1 Punishments: (a) Garth executes all nourishment procurement (“Grocery Shopping”) for one month, (b) Garth loses his voting power in television show viewing for one month, (c) Garth loses his ability to talk about Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas for a period of Wendy’s choosing.

2.2 Shark Week: Wendy shall have exclusive claim to the television and all associated entertainment devices during the second-to-last week of July each year ( “Shark Week”). Garth may not complain, else he be subjected to the punishments from subclause 2.1.1.

2.3 Verbal Engagement Concerning Nutritional Agency: After the parties engage in the Bid, Wendy is guaranteed safety from any scrutiny concerning the choices she makes in sustenance. If Garth does not personally find black olives and Red Hots© to be an appetizing combination, this term sheet will see it fit that he can keep that opinion to his goddamn self. (Also, if you do go to the store today, we’re out of Red Hots.)

3. Prior Exploitation: Garth relinquishes the right to bring up Wendy’s prior arrangements with any third parties (see: “John from college” and “Lars from study abroad”). Sidelong attempts to ascertain the terms of such agreements will not result in the punishments detailed in subclause 2.1.1, but rather in a period of silence from Wendy and a further period of three (3) to ten (10) business days without sexual relations between the parties.

4. Exclusivity: No other parties of any gender shall at any point be involved in the relationship between Garth and Wendy. This is an inviolable term for Wendy, and, once agreed to, will apply even if Garth were to become intoxicated and decide that it is appropriate to “float” an “idea” he hasn’t even “thought that much about” to Wendy. No, it is not better if the third party in question is a guy.

5. Pet Acquisition: After a careful period of consideration, Wendy consents to Garth’s longstanding wish to acquire a pet, contingent on the condition that it happens subsequent to/around the time of the birth of the parties’ first child. Further contingencies below.

5.1 If the Pet is a Dog: Wendy will not allow Garth to bring a Chihuahua, Chow Chow, or Pomeranian into their house. Once a breed is agreed to and the aforementioned dog is procured, Wendy wishes to make it clear that the dog may not be named after a nature-related word (ie: “Rocky”), sweet food (ie: “Buttercup”), or celebrity (ie: “Bark Hamill”).

5.2 If the Pet is a Cat: They will not be getting a cat.

6. Children: Garth has suggested (many times) that, if they have one, the parties should name a son Garth Jr. Even though she has only ever shot the idea down, Wendy freely admits now that she is willing to do so. She would hope that any future son of hers grow up to be like Garth anyway, so reflecting that in his name does not feel inappropriate.

7. Termination: Though a termination is not something either party wants to consider, Wendy asks that Garth agree to enter any hypothetical termination discussions in good faith so that the parties can separate amicably and remain a part of each others’ lives thereafter, once the time is right. If this contract is ever terminated (and again, Wendy hopes that it never is), Wendy wants to put in writing now that Garth has been an irreplaceably positive force in Wendy’s life, as she hopes she has been in his.

Signed,

Wendy H. Ludlow