Life Sentence: The Guy's Survival Guide to Getting Engaged and Married



Up till now, preparing for marriage was a lot like preparing for death: You didn't know what was ahead and there was nothing you could do about it anyway! LIFE SENTENCE changes all that with honest, guy-to-guy advice and counsel. Think of it this way: It's like getting your grubby hands on the other team's playbook before the big game. Which is why it's the one book they — girlfriends, ...

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Life Sentence: The Guy's Survival Guide to Getting Engaged and Married

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Up till now, preparing for marriage was a lot like preparing for death: You didn't know what was ahead and there was nothing you could do about it anyway! LIFE SENTENCE changes all that with honest, guy-to-guy advice and counsel. Think of it this way: It's like getting your grubby hands on the other team's playbook before the big game. Which is why it's the one book they — girlfriends, fiancees, and divorce lawyers — don't want you to read. You'll gain valuable insights into:

BEING ENGAGED: It's the romantic equivalent of being in cyberspace. The ring is like signing a lease with an option to buy.

FIDELITY: If you think that fidelity is a raw deal, remember that she made the same deal. With you. You're the last guy she gets.

GOLF: Never, ever play with her.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Women beware! You'll read Life Sentence and want to return your fiancé as if he were a bad wedding present. You'll want a new and improved man. However, take the book for what it is worth — a survival guide for men who have just gotten engaged and might be a little bit nervous about the implications of that.

J. D. Smith, 100 percent guy's guy and author of this tongue-in-cheek book, married a woman he deemed to be perfect. During his engagement period, he thought about what marriage, per se, really means: what it's like to have in-laws, to be faithful to one woman for the rest of your life, and to forget about relaxation. Needless to say, these thoughts really frightened Smith. And in Life Sentence, he writes about how he felt on all of these issues.

Why on earth would you buy such a book for your fiancé, you ask yourself? Because behind Life Sentence's mini-chapters, with titles like Blow Jobs, Her Plumbing, The Deal, Cigars, and Meet Your Wife, is some handholding advice that may assuage any butterflies that come with the notion of living "happily ever after."

Smith writes with the premise that there are many expectations placed on the married man and that inevitably, he will fail. By the end of this book, your fiancé will think, "This writer is a creep, and I can do much better as a husband than this chump."

And when your fiancé comes to this conclusion, you'll know Life Sentence has succeeded. Your fiancé is ready to commit to the marriage and to you.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446674300
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/26/2007
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 1,169,951
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Life Sentence

By J. D. Smith

Warner Books

Copyright © 1999 J.D. Smith
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-67430-3

Chapter One

The Book They Don't Want You to Read

"Marriage is the triumph of hope over experience." -Samuel Johnson

I was sitting on a chairlift one day last winter with a married friend and another guy from the singles line. My friend started telling me one of those "You'll never believe what my wife did" kind of stories about married life. When he was done, the other guy, a total stranger, jumped in and said, "Not you, too? I thought I was the only one!" They started talking across me, really getting into it, trying to top each other's last offer. "I'll see your wife and raise you one."

They couldn't believe how remarkably similar, how universally true their experiences were. Each story resonated. They were equally surprised that no one had taken them aside and explained all of this-any of this-to them before they took that long walk down the aisle to say the two little words that would change their lives forever. That's when the other guy said, "Somebody should write a book about all this shit."

It seems hard to imagine that there isn't more readily accessible advice for grooms-to-be. This may be the only topic under the sun with no dedicated Web site. Nobody told the betrothed that this was the deal. Just hearing that there was no "Son, you're old enough now to know this..." speech was like an alarm going off in my head. I want to know this stuff before I tie the knot. My friends are intelligent people, so seeing them flying blind into probably the biggest decision of their life was like seeing a good actor in a bad straight-to-video movie-did they read the script before they signed the contract?

This book begins after a lot has already happened. We open after Boy Meets Girl; after Boy Gets Girl; Boy Loses Girl; Girl Tortures Boy; Boy Begs Girl; and Boy Gets Girl Back. We will skip past most of the first act and some of the second, which in most cases means Boy Sleeps with Girl, and we will jump off at the point where Boy Wants to Marry Girl.

You, Boy, already know a lot about her, Girl. You know-and presumably like-her sense of humor, values, the way she kisses and does a lot of other things. You certainly have had your share of disagreements, even a handful of knock-down, drag-out, call-in-the-cavalry fights. You may have even been to couples counseling to deal with any of a long list of problems that she has with you, Boy. Nevertheless, here you stand, ready to end it all and get married.

This book is for any man who is getting, thinking about getting, knows someone who is getting, or is recently married. You are my friends, comrades, brothers in arms. I will undertake this mission to give you a chance to see what you have to look forward to-for better and worse, till death do you part. A few myths will be debunked, a few truths laid bare, some lamentable facts explained. If you read carefully, you may be able to see the warning signs. Guys who have been married eight years or more don't need this book. They know it backwards and forwards. It's yesterday's news. They've lived every word of it. They've been through the wars. They've won a few and lost a few, but they're still standing.

A few women might buy this book although they are expressly not invited. Typical. I refer you to Eve and Pandora. They just can't leave well enough alone. Didn't we let you have your own section of the bookstore, no questions asked? Curiosity killed the cat, you know. (Yes, but satisfaction brought her back, I can hear you purring.) I strongly suspect that women will not like this book, will strongly disagree with parts of it, and will not think it is one bit funny. Here's a joke: Why do women fake orgasms? Because they think we care. Who cares if you hate this book? Who asked you? Get your own damn book. Maybe you think you've got the perfect woman. You think you don't need this book and its relentlessly sarcastic tone. You think she's going to act like your adoring girlfriend for the next hundred years. The wedding will not be a stressful experience. The transition to husband and wife will be seamless. Your sex life is going to continue pretty much the same as ever. Children won't stress you out. There won't be any money issues to deal with. Life will be one long dreamy experience. In which case you are dismissed. You're free to go now and live happily ever after. Go on, get out. Don't come crawling back to me in a year or five or ten, crying about how you should've just read the goddamn book and everything would have been different. How you were blindsided by your perfect angel when she asked for a divorce on the grounds of "incompatibility" (see "Compatibility"). Skip ahead to the chapter titled "Your Second Wife," and work your way backwards, hotshot.

You will look back in hindsight and realize that nobody gave you any good advice about getting married or what to expect afterwards. Maybe there is no such thing as good advice because one must intimately know the psychotic mess you're dealing with. Marriage is one long tap dance. You're going to have to wing it. Jump into the deep end of the pool and swim as fast as you can. You'll wake up ten years later and say, "What the fuck was that all about?"

My friend Charlie called to say that this is the most subversive book since The Anarchist Cookbook. Men have fought and killed and died to attain this information. If women get ahold of it and our few precious little secrets are out there laid bare before the world, we are finished as a race, or sex, or whatever we are.

What's at stake here is nothing less than the future of civilization itself. Listen, you big dummy: Women are gunning for you. The fair sex has declared you fair game. They've got a plan: Rope you in with their feminine wiles, then make you fall in love. Then, only after you're on the hook, they let you have it. It's like an emotional pyramid scheme.

We, in contrast, don't have a clue. Did you ever take a class in high school, maybe a foreign language, where you just didn't "get it"? At the time you might have thought you were the only one, but if you actually asked anyone else in the class they would have told you that they didn't "get it" either. Such is life. It was ever thus.

The reason we are clueless is the result of a conspiracy to suppress the information contained in this book. A conspiracy on a par with the Illuminati or the Trilateral Commission. It makes the Kennedy assassination look like a kid's game. The Freedom of Information Act is useless. We get a sex ed class in high school that explains how an erection works and then nothing. Until now. My information has been secreted out from behind the lines by actual married men, just like the microfilm in The Dirty Dozen. This is the book they-your girlfriends, fiances, or wives-don't want you to read. It tells the unvarnished truth from start to finish. This isn't necessarily how you feel about things, it's how I've seen them with my own eyes. As the Eagles once sang: "I could be wrong, but I'm not."


Excerpted from Life Sentence by J. D. Smith Copyright © 1999 by J.D. Smith. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

The Book They Don't Want You to Read
Preparing for the Inevitable
Living Together
Buying the Ring
Popping the Question
The Bachelor Party
Your Wild Oats
The Bridal Shower
Planning the Wedding
The Main Event
The Wedding Night
The Honeymoon
Reality Sets In
Meet Your Wife
Fighting with Your Wife
Your In-laws
Your Friends
Around the House
Things that You Used to Do
The Deal
Blow Jobs
Getting Pregnant
Her Plumbing
Becoming Your Parents
Keeping Score
Single Again
Your Second Wife
Why Me?
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Interviews & Essays

From the Author
Hilarious! Hysterical! Uproarious! This is the third funniest book ever written. I ought to know, I wrote it. I have, modestly, uncovered the universal human truths underlying all human relationships. It wasn't that hard to do, actually, because I did not rely on facts alone. That's weak. This collection of hilarious anecdotes, an advice book with scant, dubious advice, will make you laugh out loud on every page, or your money back!
— J.D. Smith (, the Author
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