Marital advice courtesy of a Moth StorySLAM victory

A friend and I attended The Moth’s StorySLAM at the Bitter End last night. He’s about 15 years younger than me, and while we waited in line outside the club, we talked about his recent experiences with dating in New York. I advised him that above all else, he should avoid getting married before the age of 30.

“It’s the best advice I can give you when it comes to getting married,” I said. “If I look at the people who I know who got married before 30 and the people who got married after 30, the after-30 crowd tends to be much happier in their relationships.”


Later on in the night, I was fortunate enough to have my name was drawn from the tote bag. I took the stage and I told my story, and I was fortunate enough to win.

It’s my fifth StorySLAM victory in a row, which is an incredibly lucky streak. While my performances have all been solid, many other factors come into play when competing in a Moth StorySLAM, including the order that your name is chosen from the bag, the storytellers whose names are not drawn that night and the demographics of the judging teams.

I’m not attempting to be humble in any way by saying that winning five in a row requires an enormous amount of good fortune.

Still, my performances had to be good, too.

After leaving The Bitter End, I texted the good news to my wife, and she texted three words back to me:

You are unbeatable.

I turned to my friend. “Forget my over-30 advice. It still applies, but I have something better. Find a girl who you want to spend the rest of your life trying to impress.”

I turned the phone to him so he could see my wife’s text.

“Find a girl who can say something like this to you and make you forget everything that anyone else has ever said to you. Find someone whose words mean more to you than anyone else. When the happens, you’ll know you’ve found the right girl.”

Winning five StorySLAMs in a row has been a wild ride that will surely never be repeated, but those three words that my wife texted to me last night means more than all my victories.

Ten years after we started dating and seven years into our marriage, and I’m still trying like hell every day of my life to impress the girl who became my wife.

That is the key to a successful marriage.