Thursday Link: Reasons to Marry Young?

This is an interesting article about why to get married young. It’s interesting because a couple of the reasons she lists for getting married sound like classic reasons for not getting married, and vice versa. Just for example:

On paper, our unmarried peers looked more carefree. But many of them also relied on their parents to supplement their income, drove home for long weekends and holidays, or stayed on their parents’ health insurance and cellphone plans (even though they had decent jobs!). I put David on my health insurance. We bought our own family cellphone plan and Netflix account. When we visited our parents once a year, we paid for the plane tickets and still did our own laundry. We loved our parents and siblings, but marriage made us realize that we were now a separate family unit.

Wait, I could have sworn that people who marry before they have an income rely on their parents for help. I have personally seen friends head off to their parents’ with the sum total of their household laundry. And in-laws are just one more family to make you feel guilty for not visiting–if anything, you now have twice as many demands on your holiday weekends.

The plane ticket mention makes me laugh. I once went out with a guy who said his parents decided against going to Israel for Pesach because they’d have to pay for too many tickets: their own, their unmarried law-school son’s, their two daughters’,  their two sons-in-law’s, not to mention a grandkid or two.

“Oh,” was my reaction, as I struggled to find something to say besides “Don’t any of your siblings pay for their own lives?” Marriage, at least to Orthodox Jews, doesn’t mean becoming a separate family unit.

That said, she does reiterate what they told me in high school (and at work):

Sometimes people delay marriage because they are searching for the perfect soul mate. But that view has it backward. Your spouse becomes your soul mate after you’ve made those vows to each other in front of God and the people who matter to you.

I am not sure that “I married young and love it” is exactly a compelling argument, but that could be because I’m one of those on-paper free siblings who are bribed back to visit my parents with the promise of a free washing machine.

HT Kansasian


Quote of the Week: Marry for…

“…you know, this job is only to keep me busy during the day,” the lab tech said, rummaging around for pipette.

“Really?” I said.

“Yep. My wife is a professional. She earns the bucks.”

“Good for her.”

“That’s why I married her.”

“For her job?”

“Yep. Listen to me, Bad4. You want to be happy, marry for money.”

“Marry for money,” I echoed in disbelief.

“Marry for money. Because even if the person drives you crazy—well, at least you can enjoy yourself, you know?”

“So your wife drives you crazy?”

“Oh, no. I love her, Bad4. Love her to pieces. But I didn’t when we got married. It grew, afterwards. Love can come later. It did, Bad4. We’ve been married fifteen years. Take my advice: marry for money.”

I’ll follow up on this one tomorrow.

Reason to Get Married #9

My father came to visit my apartment. Within the space of a day and a half he bought and banged together a cabinet, hung a full-length mirror on my bedroom door (how did he know exactly what I needed?), washed all the dinner dishes, and took out the garbage several times (my garbage can is, shall we say, well matched in size to my kitchen). He also made suggestions for improvements that he didn’t have time to implement before leaving.

“You’re pretty handy to have around,” I said, admiring my reflection in the mirror.

“This is why people have husbands,” he hinted.

“Oh! Really? Now I get it. So where can I get one?”

Anyone? Because I still need a few more things done before this place is completely homey.

Why I Need to Get Married Fast

My sister has given me a deadline. I have two months to get engaged.

I’ve pointed out that she’s being a tad unreasonable. Two months might be enough time for me, but that assumes I go out tomorrow and don’t lose any time for the yomim tovim. So she grudgingly gave me a bit of an extension: as long as I get engaged before she does I’m okay.

Yep, that’s what this is about. Good4 plans to start dating in two months (and since she’s the youngest, the parents are not protesting) and she wants my dating parsha wrapped up with a satin bow before hers is. Because she plans to marry the first guy she goes out with. (I hope someone lets him know about this beforehand…) And she plans to do it with the minimum amount of time dating. So I have maybe three months.

I’ve told Good4 that I really wouldn’t mind if she got engaged and married first. I’d be very happy for her and wouldn’t dampen my pillow at night in the slightest. We are two very different people, and I’d be a fool to measure my life against hers. She certainly doesn’t measure hers against mine. But she says that’s not what it’s about at all. I’m 24 and that’s really old enough. I ought to be married by now, so would I please get a move on?

I can’t argue with her. I remember being in high school and thinking that a 23-year-old was pitifully old. And I’m a little freaked about being 24 myself. I mean, it’s almost a quarter century since I was born, and what do I have to show for it? Marriage, at least, is a quick fix for the doldrums.

The truth is, though, that I have no trouble believing that Good4 will marry the first guy she decides to marry (and he won’t know what hit him), and that does leave us in a tight race – but not the race she’s thinking. You see, it isn’t that the person who gets married first is the winner so much as that the person who’s left at home is the loser. It’s like this:

Right now there are a definite amount of chores that need doing and two of us at home to do them. When one person leaves, the quantity of chores that need doing does not reduce (though the amount of each may decrease); only the hands available to do them does.

Whoever gets married first takes on an entire household of chores, so that’s not exactly winning. (But those chores are tempered by the excitement of keeping one’s own home, so it’s not exactly losing either.)

Whoever gets left behind is going to get stuck with double the chores to do in boring old home. That’s twice the table setting and clearing, twice the dishwashing, twice the garbage-taking-outting… Seriously – can you think of a worse fate?

Now I feel driven to get married!

Bring on the gentlemen callers!

Wrong Reason to Date?

It’s not that I don’t find myself good company. I spent a long yesterday afternoon on my back in the grass contemplating trees, grass, life (purpose thereof), past, future, and clouds. I still think it’s pretty incredible that clouds are made of the same stuff that fills the bathroom after I shower, and even smells the same (Rain Fresh tm), and when it swirls it’s probably God blowing into the fog like I sometimes do. Having a whole world to play with is much more fun than having a 60-foot property line, I think. Sim World doesn’t let you blow at your clouds, does it? Ants fascinate me too. I love watching them bustle about in their tiny world, unaware of the big things going on around them. We’re kind of the same way. I could maunder along, but I’d bore you. My point is, I don’t bore myself.

So I’m saying I find myself pleasant company, but still, there are some things that are just better done with someone else – anyone else. Sightseeing is one of them. You can look at flowers, estates, antiquities, and such things on your own, but… it’s a drop lame. Admiring fauna, ostentatious mansions, and edifying antiquities are really only about a third of the experience. The rest is about hearing someone else’s impressions and witty remarks, and bouncing your own off an audience to see if they’re any good. In short,  it’s about sharing the experience with someone you (preferably) like.

So, when completely stranded over the summer surrounded by interesting places to go and things to see and nobody to see them with… maybe it pays to dig up a date?

Getting “Married”

Do I want to get married? What does that mean? Take on someone else’s name? Live in someone’s basement for rent that’s more than I earn a month? Scrounge pennies to buy the supper someone else likes? Pick up someone’s socks? No, not at all.

I like my last name. It’s quite a good one. It’s only downhill from here, actually. My room is a comfortable size and I really don’t look forward to moving into a full apartment with the same dimensions. Besides, I’d need a full-time job just to pay the rent, let alone serve dinner. And let’s not go into the socks.

Before anyone starts howling at me, that doesn’t mean I would never do any of the above. I simply don’t want it for its own sake. When people say, “Do you want to get married” that’s what comes to mind. There’s no “significant other” in the picture. It’s just marriage.

If the question was “would you like to meet and marry a young bochur that you admire so much that you’d be willing to take his last name, live in a basement, scrounge pennies to be able to make the suppers he likes, and pick up his socks?” I would answer, “Sure. Except I’d prefer if he’d pick up his own socks.”