The Ex Factor


bz panel 06-07-13Bizarro is brought to you by The Next Cake.

At my ripe old age, after several decades as an adult and two divorces, I’m pretty cynical about marriage. For years, when I have (reluctantly) attended the wedding of people in their 20s, I cannot help but think to myself, The first marriage is often the most important. I try to keep these thoughts to myself in the reception line, however, and just offer them my congratulations.

These days, when I (very reluctantly) find myself in a bar full of young single people looking for love, I see a roomful of future ex-spouses. It is profoundly sad that two people who see each other as “soul mates” can find themselves bitter enemies a few years down the road. Although I never intend to marry again, or even live under the same roof with a significant other, I do still believe that it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. (You may quote me.) I have come to the conclusion that the best you can do is take relationships a day at a time, not promise a lifetime of commitment, then treat them well, with respect and loyalty (no cheating), until it just doesn’t work anymore. Statistically, that day is likely to come before either of you dies so I think it is best to accept that and go in with your eyes open. If you get lucky and have many decades of happiness with the same person, good for you. You beat the odds.

Sorry to be a downer today, but sometimes cartoons are more poignant than funny. Still, since there is no way to avoid emotional pain in life, it’s good to be able to chuckle at it in strip 06-07-13


18 thoughts on “The Ex Factor

  1. This dovetails with the statistic I just saw that showed marriage rates continuing to plummet. You aren’t the only person who decided marriage is no longer a good proposition.

  2. Hey Dan, I’ve been a fan for years. I just had the judge sign papers yesterday so number one is in the books, but my best most beautiful lady and I have been battling it out and wondering the same as you, like, what’s up? Why can’t we do this nicely? Well, since some discoveries it seems to us that a brilliant researcher in Seattle has it down to the science because he’s been studying married couples for years and has isolated numerous symptoms that can predict in ten minutes whether or not a twosome will make it. As you are with an open mind, allow John Gottman’s delightful findings to impress your forehead with the heel of a hand, as well.

  3. If you do all your work digitally, with the computer & Wacom thing, then what do you get if you purchase the “original art”? What is the meaning of original art if the original art is digital? Just curious …

    • For the first 26 years of my career, I drew cartoons on paper so the original art I sell is from that era. I stopped drawing on paper in December of ’11.

      • ah, ok. I guess one of the possible downsides of the digital age is that buying “original artwork” is no longer really a possibility. Ah, well.

  4. Statistically, one-half of all marriages end in divorce. Therefore, statistically, one-half of all marriages DO NOT end in divorce. No one gets to beat the odds. Life just is.

  5. Oh, I see. You (accidentally?) posted the strip version of this one 2 days previous, under “Identity Thieves”, instead of the strip version of that one.

  6. I’m in a similar place with you on not wanting another significant other. From ’80 to ’86 I was very close to a young woman who was about five feet tall. She was the one who got away. Several years later I got very close to a woman who was just shy of 6’3″. That relationship didn’t last either and I decided such relationships just weren’t for me. So I’m speaking from experience when I say I believe it is better to have loved a short woman than to never have loved a tall.

  7. Why are they facing in opposite directions between the panel and the strip? Is it because of the recent revelations about the NSA? I bet it is. If you can’t talk, just cough.

  8. The gag in this comic is similar to Dr. Ian Malcolm’s views in the first Jurassic Park where he says that he’s “always on the look-out for a future ex-Mrs. Malcolm”, except that when he said it in the movie it was to demonstrate his playboy attitude, and here it’s said with bitterness and resentment.

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