Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Go tie the knot in Las Vegas? Not us! We came to have fun. Besides, none of us are currently dating anyone. Kind of hard to get married when you're a twenty-something still waiting to be asked out on your first date. I was the only thirty-something in our group of four, but, as the above photo proves, I can still pass myself off with the younger set. We had a blast. I hope other singletons out there have a support network to fall back on so that when the inevitable loneliness rears its ugly head you can fight it by creating fun memories and keeping busy with such constructive, educational activities such as taking a trip to Las Vegas. Don't laugh! A night on the Las Vegas Strip can be very educational!
Actually, my main topic for this post has to do with this fascinating article/report I just read about the twenty-something age set putting childbearing before marriage and the price America is about to pay for these choices. The article is entitled "Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America" Here's the link:
*spoiler alert!* this pdf is exactly 40 pages long but it's worth taking the time to read!
For those who don't have the time, here's my own unique, opinionated review of the report.
One new term I picked up was "The Great Crossover," an important turning point in America's dating and relationship culture from 1989-1993 when the number of women having their first child began occurring at a younger age compared to older twenty-something women who reported tying the knot. For the first time in history more women were putting the baby carriage before the wedding vows. Hello, Murphy Brown!
In my blog I've taken it upon myself to coin a new term that I hope will someday catch on, "The Life Script" and to my delight, this report does talk about a "script" and how our young single adult population is currently drifting away from the traditional Middle-class script: marriage-then-parenthood to increasing cohabitation and the risks the children born in these unstable relationships will have on our society.
On the other hand, the report also praises the Middle-class Single American woman who is choosing to increase her education and delay marriage/parenthood as children born to women with a four-year degree tend to thrive better than their less advantaged peers in single parent homes.
Which brings me to the gripes I have about this report. What about the single men? What about their responsibility to the women and children in their lives? Once again, we must blame the economy and the disappearance of 1960's era blue-collar jobs that don't require a college degree these poor, single, starving young men need before they can pop the question and marry the women they are currently cohabitating with.
No data was given as to the number of hours these young men spend in front of the X-box or other electronic media compared to hours in college classes or working two or three minimum wage jobs. The report never questions why these single young men are content to remain in Neverland, refusing to grow up, while the young women are praised for their increasing financial independence and educational strides. Once-upon-a-time, in the 1960's, it was expected that a young man work hard and prepare himself for that capstone of his adult life: getting married and providing for a family of his own. Why is nobody talking about this? Oh, yeah, the feminist movement.
Oh well, I love reading stuff like this. It validates mine and, I hope, many others out there who are becoming more aware of this growing problem in our society of cohabitation over traditional marriage and questioning the consequences they will have on our country in the future.
"It's my choice!" The cohabitating single woman argues, "It won't hurt anyone but me!" but, as this report points out, all of us will be paying the price both economically and socially.
Which brings me to another gripe that is the subject for another study yet will have the same consequences on America. Gay marriage claims not to hurt anyone but it does. These gay marriage activists are totally drowning out the little voices, like mine, (channeling Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man") the single, never married heterosexual women tugging on their sleeve and crying, "Me too! I want to get married and have a spouse and children of my own too!" Except the gay marriage activists have little to say about how the benefits of one man or woman tying the knot with each other will have on the future children those homosexual couples plan to introduce to the world. For them, cohabitation already exists and they see nothing wrong with it. This is harmful to so many women and children who must suffer in silence while their gay husband and father divorces them in order to tie the knot with their "soul mate". Knot yet!
They can shout me down all they want. Married or single, gay or straight, traditional marriage between one man and one woman is not broken so please stop trying to fix it and, please, let's all encourage each other to tie that knot that's so crucial to our future American population. Chastity rings, anyone?
And, hey, even Jesus is rumored to have tied the knot! One day all of us single women who wish to tie our own knots will have that chance too. Happy Easter!