I went to a wedding yesterday. They really are amazing events when you let yourself think about them; about the magnitude of the event we witness. Thus you can see why my mood was spoiled a little bit when I turned on my computer and found this story from “Marie Claire” magazine which was a lead story on msn.com about how women are seeking starter husbands whom they can divorce easily and then be better aware of what marriage is in order to find a better husband for the long run.
Here’s how the piece starts:
You’d never buy a car without test-driving it first right? So why settle into a lifelong marriage before trying one on for size?
I’m just really not ready to be committed like this.” That’s what Andi said to Tucker, her husband of 11 months, after she came home from a crazy day at work two years ago with an overwhelming urge to quit her marriage. Today. Right now. “This just isn’t for me.”
She spoke stoically — no tears, no histrionics. She had been imagining this moment since she moved out of their condo a few months earlier, but she wanted to ease him into the inevitable — to somehow tiptoe her way through the minefield of Tucker’s emotions. But now, having scored a direct hit with those crushing words, she watched Tucker crumple against the dining-room table. “I don’t understand,” he said, over and over. “We’re married.”
So after a crazy day at work she feels an urge to not be married so she “crumples” a man’s life.
The journalist is attempting to generalize something that can’t be generalized. She calls her “a perfectly modern gal, a gorgeous mess of neuroses and contradictions.” I tend to think of her as a woman who deals cavalierly with other people’s emotions while the journalist is attempting to normalize cruelty.
Andi is only articulating what the one in five women under age 30 who get divorced every year must think.
No. If, in fact, the statistic is true it doesn’t necessarily follow that the women think like Andi. For many, the breakup of a marriage is an emotional, spiritual, and financial disaster.
Here’s the worst paragraph in a really terrible piece.
Within months of promising to love and honor and cherish Tucker forever, she knew she had made a huge mistake. The problem? He was boring. “Wholly uncomplicated,” as she puts it. The kind of guy who reads Tom Clancy books on the couch and watches Adam Sandler movies while dreaming of white-picket fences. Going to depressing French movies, leapfrogging over the less ambitious on the company ladder — those were the things that excited Andi. “The idea of spending my life with someone like that seemed stifling,” she says. “It finally just got to me that he was so . . . sunny.”
I hoist my drink in that you-go-girl kind of way, but I’m struck by her casual disregard for the institution. Marriage used to be a big deal.
Marriage is of course still a really big deal. Whether you acknowledge it or not.
I think marriage is the new dating and having kids is the new marriage,” she proclaims loudly, as yet another woman dining with her partner turns to stare. “It’s true. I wouldn’t have married him if I didn’t think I could get out of it.
I hope all of her future boyfriends read this piece before getting serious. . The journalist then talks to an author who blames the culture, of course.
In our everyday life — one where we’re encouraged to pursue the bigger, better anything (witness the average college grad who now burns through seven jobs before turning 30) — how can you commit to something, or someone, forever? “That’s a huge promise. We live in an incredibly fast-paced consumerist culture,” says Pamela Paul, author of the book The Starter Marriage, who herself was divorced less than a year after taking her vows at age 27. “Ours is an H&M culture, where you go out and buy 10 cheap items for the season, then toss them, rather than investing in one beautiful coat you’ll wear for another 10 seasons. More and more women have that throwaway mentality with their first marriage — the ‘I want it now’ attitude.” Until, of course, you don’t.
Is divorce really becoming a fallback plan. This has completely spoiled my mood.