Wednesday, November 01, 2006


For the first time in what feels like forever, I've had a little bit of down-time at work today. My student is just now starting to get the hang of things and we actually got some work done today. We finished early, so I sent her home and have been catching up on a little web-reading with my spare hours. I just hopped on over to , where I stumbled upon this article: "A History of Single Life: the Truth About the Liberal 'War on Marriage'."

I've been reading this series for months now and always find myself nodding and even agreeing out-loud with what the author (Ken Mondschein) has to say. But today's article really got me thinking, because the older I get, the more I ponder the Marriage Question(s): Do I really want to get married? When? To whom?

Apparently, I'm not the only one asking this question. Mondschein says, "If you were to go to any town in America in 1940, pick a house at random and knock on the door (perhaps you were selling subscriptions to Grit magazine), there'd be a ninety-percent chance you'd find a married couple living there. Thirty years later, despite the new sexual freedom supposedly discovered by the Baby Boomers, the chance was still eight in ten. But then something funny happened: between 1998 and today — a mere eight years — the number of homes containing a married couple fell from six out of seven to one in two. "

That's baffling to me. That in such a short time, the tables have turned so drastically on something that is still (in many people's minds) considered an obligatory institution in this country. And it seems that while gay, bisexual and transgendered couples are fighting tooth and nail for the mere right to marry, heterosexual couples are turning their backs on the "sacred union." Mondschein's argument is an economical one - that the new financial landscape of our society is what's really breaking down the marital system, and I'm inclined to agree. But I also think that attitudes in general are shifting: people are less patient, more demanding, less willing to settle and struggle in quiet desperation.

I don't mean to get up on a soapbox here, but you wouldn't believe some of the reactions that I still get when I mention the ideas of not getting married or of not having children. People say, "Oh, you're just saying that, of course you'll get married/have kids. Everyone does." But they don't. More and more, people are choosing other roads to travel down. The average age for a first marriage keeps rising, and I doubt that there's a reversal in our near future.

What does my own future hold? If only I had a clue how to answer that question.

Lyrics of the Day

"Bells will ring, the sun will shine. Whoa, I'll be his and he'll be mine. We'll love until the end of time and we'll never be lonely anymore." The Crystals Going to the Chapel

1 comment:

juliaj said...

Read Stephanie Coontz' book on marriage: Marriage, A History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage. It will help you decide whether it is right for you.