Setting the rules of love

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 February, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 February, 1996, 12:00am

LOVE, American style, is the weirdest thing around, especially when it concerns the pre-nup, or pre-wedding contract which has become as essential as the traditional gold ring. As eight-time loser Elizabeth Taylor dusts off her pre-nup, Harper's Magazine has uncovered the pre-nup from hell, which blushing bride Teresa Garpstas and her betrothed, Robert 'Rex' LeGalley, signed just before they launched into connubial bliss. Here is their perfect marriage prescription, edited for brevity.

Sex and Child Care: We will engage in healthy sex three to five times a week. Teresa will stay on birth control for two years after we are married and then will try to get pregnant. When both of us are working, Teresa can have only one child. When one parent is free, Teresa can have another child. When both of us are free, Teresa can have one more child. After the third pregnancy, we will both get sterilised.

Personal Conduct: Family leadership and decision-making is Rex's responsibility. Teresa will make decisions in emergencies and when Rex is not available. We will both make ourselves available for discussion 15 to 30 minutes a day. We won't raise our voices with each other. If we get angry, we will count to 10 first. We are both willing never to badger each other. We will not use tobacco products and will practise moderate alcohol consumption. On weekdays, we will turn out the lights by 11.30pm and wake up at 6.30am.

Finances: We will both live within a budget. We will pay off all credit card debts before making any major purchases. We will each receive an allowance of US$70 (HK$541) a week to cover haircuts, eating out, gifts for friends and spending money.

How sweet. How tender. How romantic. Happy Valentine's Day.