The two most irrational behaviors

I've heard Jeff Bezos say this before. The two most irrational human behaviors are how little research they do before buying a stock or choosing a doctor. People buy stocks based on hearing self-proclaimed experts on CNBC touting the ticker symbol, or based on magazine articles, or tips from their relatives. I'm not even sure they even do nearly that much research when selecting a doctor.
By the way, I'm guilty of both, and I've paid dearly for those mistakes. The first doctor who diagnosed my knee surgery thought it was a sprain. Turns out I had torn my ACL, MCL, and some cartilage. Oops. You bet I switched to another doctor for my ACL reconstruction, and I chose him after careful reference checks. Thankfully, with the stock market battered and beaten this past year, I don't have to listen to too many stock tips anymore.
I would add one other puzzling behavior to this list. I'm surprised by how little research people do before jumping into marriage or parenthood. You can sell a bad stock or switch doctors if he or she fails to provide decent care (don't try it with a brain surgeon). But pick the wrong spouse and you've gone through the huge ordeal of marriage (and forced most of your friends and family to go through it, too), sworn devotion for life in front of God and dozens of witnesses, and tied your lives and futures together. If you go a step further and decide to have kids without thinking it through, you've compounded the error by screwing up their lives as well.
That's not to say I don't admire the courage it takes to commit to a marriage. Perhaps people recognize that their spouses are likely to change but they're going to stick it out and work through those inevitable changes no matter what. But something tells me many people don't, since one in two marriages ends in divorce.
It's the modern day, and there are ways around this. Every couple, before deciding to get married, should travel abroad together. Or they should live together for a short while. Both will draw out all those little annoying habits or personality quirks in your prospective mate which might just drive you nuts if drawn out over a lifetime.
You should check your spouse out playing some competitive sport. People's true personalities come out on the playing field. That, for better or worse, is the person you're marrying. It may not come out when you're out at some nice restaurant sipping on Cabernet and sucking on opposite ends of a strand of spaghetti while an Italian water sings Ave Maria by your table side.
Before anyone has kids, they should practice babysitting for a niece or nephew for a summer or something like that. Or they should do an in-depth examination of some child they know who has grown up in front of their eyes, studying their interactions with their parents. I'm convinced that kids will never love their parents as much as their parents love them. Parent child relationships are more asymmetrical in responsibility than that between husband and wife. If you plan to let a nanny or babysitter raise your kid, don't have one.
Of course, all this is coming from a guy who hasn't had to deal with either marriage or parenting. So disregard everything you've just read. I have no idea what I'm talking about.
How did I get started on this whole thread anyway? Oh yeah. Don't take stock picks from strangers. Damn. I had an interesting point to make, but it's not coming through. The thought is there, but it's just out of reach. Not one of my more eloquent days. This insomnia is death to clear thinking.