Thoroughly Modern Mrs.

The institution of marriage has undergone extensive transformations in the last few decades.  No longer is it easy to describe the typical blushing bride.  She may be a different race from her spouse or perhaps she is the same sex.  For the time being, a bride is human.  But that may change if a former Tennessee lawyer, Chris Servier, has his way and receives legal recognition of his claimed right to marry a machine–his laptop.

The 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia paved the way for interracial marriages to proceed. More recently, thanks to the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, same sex marriage rights are recognized. Chris Servier has been the plaintiff in several lawsuits seeking recognition to marry the literal object of his desire–a Mac laptop.

While the idea of a courtship with one’s computer might appear outlandish, it is not unheard of. This type of a man and machine relationship served as the basis for the 2013 Scarlett Johanssen film “Her.” The male and machine couple in that film did NOT live happily ever after, but the film about their romance was commercially successful and critically acclaimed.

A laptop as “the little woman” does have its advantages. A computer will never hog the covers, suffer from PMS or bust the budget buying a new wardrobe. No contraception is ever needed since a computer will not be able to get in the “family way.” Monogamy is guaranteed since no one can access the laptop without the correct password which even the husband will be prone to forget. Hubby can be as touchy feely as he wants because the laptop really responds to having his fingers stroking her keyboard. And there are no in-laws with whom to butt heads.

There are, of course, downsides to having a laptop as a spouse. She has plenty of recipes, but she can’t cook. She has a library of household cleaning tips at her disposal, but she can’t lift a finger to dust or make beds. The laptop will never surprise her husband by greeting him at the door in a negligee. Her husband may eventually tire of her constant demands that he turn her on. The laptop will never just pack up and walk out the door–or walk anywhere for that matter. While it may be a good sign if a human wife is “hot,” a laptop being hot may cause the husband to be concerned with system failure.

Maybe I am just a romantic, but marriage implies some type of romantic relationship. A computer is not going to be able to give you that look that makes your heart flutter and your knees weak while putting a spring in your step and a sparkle in your eyes. Would Harry Nilsson sing “I can’t live if living is without you” to a computer? Well, maybe he would, but it wouldn’t be with much true feeling.

The bottom line in all this is that a computer is the essence of science. There is nothing scientific about love. A formula does not exist to explain why you love someone or to determine when you will be felled by the love bug. Let’s keep science, and laptops, out of marriage. Frank Sinatra explained it best when he sang, “Love and marriage, love and marriage. Go together like a horse and carriage.” And as Col. Potter in “MASH” would say, “horse hockey” to marrying a laptop. That’s making a Mrs. just way too modern.


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