Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Public Service Announcement

Today, instead of writing a blog post, I ended up getting pulled into the depths of The Atlantic magazine, reading article linked to article linked to article. One, in particular, stood out. In the interest of trying set various friends, and possibly myself, straight, I am going to talk about it.

Lori Gottleib basically confirms what I have been mulling over for quite some time: My (female) friends and I have it really, really, wrong.

The basic theme of the article: there is no perfect man. Choose "Mr Good Enough" now, while he still wants you, because by the time you hit your mid thirties, he is after someone ten years younger. Basically - it's ok to settle; that may in fact make you happy. "We grew up thinking that marriage meant feeling some kind of divine spark, and so we walked away from uninspiring relationships that might have made us happy in the context of a family." WHOaaaa.

I am not encouraging "settling" when it comes to non-negotiables like religious beliefs, moral beliefs, children....etc, and I don't think she is either.

But when it comes right down to it, there are the movies, and there is reality. Here is a clue: life is not a movie. Or, as the author says: "...realize that marriage ultimately isn’t about cosmic connection—it’s about how having a teammate, even if he’s not the love of your life, is better than not having one at all."

I am going to take it a step further. I am not sure, because honestly I am just hypothesizing here (obviously), but I would hazard a guess that if you marry that "teammate," and he is a genuinely good man, and a good father...he will become "the love of your life."


I have had conversations with friends along the lines of:

- "But, seriously, he needs to lose about five pounds."
Does she really think five pounds on a 6' 2'' male frame is going to make THAT much difference?

- From a woman with a rather hawk-like nose herself: "He has a weird lump in his nose."
You want to counteract the effect of your own shnoz, do you?

- "I dunno....he once liked Martha, I heard. That shows abysmal judgement."
Well, you once dated a Business Major who had to take Intro Lit three times and almost got expelled for driving drunk.

- "He's awesome. But he doesn't know what a run-on sentence is."
Oh wait. That one was me.

- From a woman hitting her mid-thirties - "He's 44." Answering my confused look: "That means he is 9 years older than I am. I can't handle that."


As the author says in her video interview: "If he doesn't call you at this time, he is outta there, because you think there are so many other men out there who are going to call you. And the fact is, that as you get older, they're not."

Further along in the video interview, because this made me laugh: "Literary women are a problem. A big problem. " Why? "Grammar and spelling are hugely important to these women." As she points out, he could be a very intelligent, nice person otherwise.



And then, finally, this sums it all up:

"It sounds obvious now, but I didn’t fully appreciate back then that what makes for a good marriage isn’t necessarily what makes for a good romantic relationship. Once you’re married, it’s not about whom you want to go on vacation with; it’s about whom you want to run a household with. "

So, read the article, ladies: you know who you are. Take it to heart and remember, as John Cage from Ally McBeal says "Love is a lot more pragmatic than most people give it credit for."


  1. This is the sign i've been waiting for i think haha. seriously though. thanks for this.

  2. Good God, the quotations you use make love look like a consumer choice.

    I'm still staunchly in favor of a "cosmic connection," but a delicate balance has to be reached in order not to rely on some projected infatuation.

  3. I mean the quotations by your friends who you say need to settle. Losing five pounds or having a lump in his nose? Did those actually happen?

  4. Underground lady - I am not lying.


  5. Great post Mary.
    My advice is to marry your best friend, or someone with the potential to be your best friend. Because when it comes down to it marriage ends up, or should end up being one long conversation about books, friends, jobs, life, the universe and everything.

  6. Awesome post and article. I completely agree!

  7. And oh yeah, your step further was right on:) Where are you today??