Sunday, March 26, 2006

in which i play amateur psychologist for a day

this morning, as the warm austin sun streamed through the blinds of my little corporate home, i sat at my kitchen table and leisurely cruised through some articles on washingtonpost.com while crunching on my new BFF, special K with red berries. and i came across these three articles: one on how 20-somethings are delaying finding love, another on how uber-feminist author erica jong has settled down at the end of her life, and a third on the status of marriage in the black community.

three separate articles, yet sooo related and interesting in the way they play off of each other. obviously i was most interested by the 20-something article b/c it speaks directly to my demographic and seems to ring true, at least anecdotally, for so many people i know in that age range. but they all take an interesting stance on the issue of marriage and relationships - you have the workaholic 20-somethings who are so pressed to find career glory that all they do is work (and move to random cities like austin), choosing to spend their down time with friends instead of searching for someone to commit to. you have the 60-something author who was THE voice of the feminist sexual revolution, went through four husbands and many affairs (including mr. martha stewart, a side note that i found freakin' hiLARious - i guess i am just a bad person) and now is saying she's all about marriage and monogamy. then you have the black woman observing social patterns in her community and talking about the rapid decline in marriage and how she thinks mainstream society will soon start to imitate those patterns.

what does this say about us? if it's true that wisdom comes with age and you look at the turnaround of someone like erica jong, then you wonder if the rest of us just don't have our shit together. whereas i think that most of the people who fit the profile of that 20-something "i'll marry later" group would argue just the opposite - they are the epitome of having their shit together and a relationship right now would just be a distraction to them. and when you boil it down like that, it just makes us sound like heartless robots - when the reality is that it's not that these people don't WANT relationship, it's just that they're delaying them for a time of their life when they can truly cherish it. or maybe we kids just get defensive.

anyway. maybe this blog is not the place for me to play armchair psychologist (and maybe none of you will read this whole post, haha) but i just had to point out those three articles b/c i just thought it was so interesting that they paint a pretty consistent (and IMHO, rather negative) picture, despite coming at the issue from three rather different angles. i wonder if the editors planned it that way? of all three articles, i think i'd kind of take a separate path - it's not that people aren't in a rush to settle or don't ever want to commit to someone, i think it's more so that people are so used to getting exactly what they want whenever they want it... and when you throw in what seems to be the reality that the perfect partner is hard to find, people just aren't as willing to settle any more. they want what they think is the perfect partner, and until that perfect partner comes strolling along, they'll just focus on other things.

besides, i don't think i'd trust the advice of anyone who slept with a man that married martha stewart. that just ain't right, dude.

2 Comments:

At 11:05 AM, Anonymous lix said...

yo j-kim. interesting post holmes. that first story (the only one i've read so far) reminds me of another piece i read a while back abt how maybe 20-somethings are a little too picky abt their mates. it touches on the point this story makes that our generation has been raised with ridiculously high expectations in all facets of their life: education, job, home, etc. and that maybe ppl are passing on perfectly good mates b/c of the seinfeld sydrome. you know, like, he was a close-talker or she had man-hands. i think this problem/issue is particularly acute in DC since this town is so friggin over-educated and competitive.

 
At 10:20 AM, Anonymous TT said...

i mean, at this point, is it about finding the perfect mate? it would seem the older one gets the less of a possibility that becomes. to me, it comes down to understanding, which goes back to your point of "getting-what-you-want-when-you-want-it" mentality...which, work with me, revolves around being selfish. ya just can't have both...it doesn't work like that. maybe that's what we're looking for, someone that indulges our selfish behaviors, someone that will totally put their dreams, desires and wants on that back-burner for that other person...but, see, one can't admit that (even if it was true), which just adds to the confusion.

 

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