As we all know, Cathy spent most of the strip's run as a single woman bouncing from one loser boyfriend to another. This led to conflict with her mother who was and is obsessed by the need for Cathy to conform to her values; just as she spends the current era with the book "30,000 Names for Baby" in her purse at the ready for that glorious day when she can barge in and undercut her daughter's attempts to raise her child, she used to carry around bridal magazines and pester her with the question "How long are you going to keep breaking my heart by staying single"? Since, as I will demonstrate, Cathy was raised wrong, her standards were somewhat skewed which meant that the males that she encountered seemed to be pretty low on the food chain. The leader of the pack, if one might call him that, is fat, childish, cloddish dolt Irving. All this changed a few years ago when Guisewite married them off for one reason. That 'reason' is so she could stage a B-grade domcom wherein two passive, entitled idiots battled it out to see who could be the most twee, stupid and useless; Irving stands around like a wooden Jesus in a country graveyard preaching things that Cathy cannot stand: linear logic and the need to solve problems instead of futilely sitting on one's ass and whining about how bad life is. Cathy has thus resolved to 'save' him by transforming him into one of the sort of empty-headed, materialistic, passive whiners that populate chick lit. To get back to my "she's screwed up because her mother is insane, selfish and evil" premise, her idea of the Perfect Man would be to stick Carrie Bradshaw's tiny brain in Big's body. Good thing that they have something in common that keeps them together: the need to consume conspicuously without regard to the consequences.