Skip to comments.Looking for Mr. Good Enough
Posted on 02/28/2008 8:28:50 AM PST by Kaslin
Politics and the street fight between Hillary and Barack Obama aren't the only games in town. A bachelor acquaintance of mine, a prosperous man in his 40s, was new in town and wanted to meet the love of his life, to marry, and become a father and citizen (and voter). So, I organized a small cocktail party and invited several attractive women in their late 30s who are still looking for Mr. Right (and might be willing to settle for Mr. Good Enough). They're women with professional careers but want marriage and family, too.
They feel a mild panic that motherhood might pass them by. The single men they meet seem determined to remain bachelors. The men are having too much fun to give up their freedom. This is the dilemma of millions of young women, an "issue" more important to them at the present moment than what to do about health care, tinpots in Tehran or Pyongyang, or the reform of NAFTA. You might hear them mumbling, "No, we can't."
As it turned out, my party was cordial, even mellow, and maybe two or three telephone numbers were exchanged, but it failed. The gentleman didn't meet anyone he wanted to call the next day. Because he had chosen badly in the past he was cautious. "Picky," my grandmother would have called him. Several of the women found him interesting enough, but were not about to make the first move. Some things haven't changed.
My party was ground zero of the phenomenon that worries the demographers (and the more astute polls). Several young women tell me they at first liked the trend toward marrying late, but they never thought it would mean never marrying at all. Now, melancholy has replaced the prospect of marriage and they're terrified they're at the point of no return. A husband and children are still possible for women, even in their 40s, but the fear of fear itself is the more likely prospect. Parents no longer tease them about waiting impatiently for grandchildren. The generations feel the other's pain with the not-so-silent lament: "We're not getting any younger."
Having put careers first while seeking the passionate Mr. Perfect, they've overlooked Mr. Good Enough. This sensibility was captured in a brief encounter on the television show "Sex and the City. " The oh-so-hip Carrie Bradshaw runs into a man she had dumped for the exciting Mr. Perfect, who had subsequently dumped her. The jilted suitor carries his infant son, and the picture is worth a thousand words about the what-ifs.
Lori Gottlieb, a real-life woman of 40, writes in Atlantic magazine about withdrawing the necessary DNA from a sperm bank to give birth without the benefit of a husband. She tells women they should learn from her experience and settle down with Mr. Good Enough instead of going at it alone in a futile search for the man of their fantasies.
This insight comes only a year after she preached in the same pages of Atlantic how it was better to have a baby without a father if a woman couldn't find a man to turn up the heat. Hindsight suggests that the steady glow of a back burner can give simmering satisfaction with a less than perfect husband: "Not only does he contribute financially, help with the dishes, and share in the child care, but as his wife, if you want some companionship or physical intimacy, you don't have to shave your legs, blow-dry your hair apply lipstick. ... "
Of course, such gritty pragmatism isn't exactly a selling point for men. It echoes the depictions of domestic life that Playboy magazine warned bachelors against in the 1950s. The Playboy of today is a beast of a different order, but a bit of a beast nevertheless. He's a young man in his 20s, refusing to grow up, with access to ATMs for instant money to spend on himself. You typically find him in the pages of Maxim magazine with movie heroes such as Ben Stiller, Jim Carey and Will Ferrell, indulging in grossed-out adolescent "Animal House" humor. He's uncultured, uncouth and unkempt, preferring beer to fine wine, skateboards to sports cars and teenage toys to higher status symbols of maturity. Kay Hymowitz calls him the "Child-Man in the Promised Land."
"In 1970, 69 percent of 25-year old and 85 percent of 30-year old white men were married," she writes in City Journal magazine. "In 2000, only 33 percent and 58 percent were [married], respectively." These statistics suggest it will become even more difficult for single young women to find suitable mates in the next decade. That's something Hillary, Barack Obama and John McCain can worry about later as the new demographics affect politics and policies. Never-Never-Land is no longer mere fiction.
The reality of the radical femnist movement.
Empty beds, empty homes, empty hearts, empty wombs.
A gnawing loneliness and despair.
I may be wrong but at least in my circle of friends and acquaintances it seems when career minded women hit their late 30s and begin looking to settle down, the men in their late 30s have decided they’re going to be bachelors. lol
This guy was looking for a green card and the women were too picky?.Maybe he was still moist from swimming the Rio Grande.
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.
A prosperous man in his 40’s doesn’t swim the Rio Grande....
Women who settle for Mr. Good Enough wind up leaving him later on because he simply wasn’t the right one. Certainly the expectations come into play here but when someone decides that they are worth a certain amount they don’t like marrying below the bar.
Ping for another look
AaaaaHH! Spinster remorse.
In 40 years they’ll be chasing any man in the retirement home till he succombs.
Unintended consequences. If any group deserves it, it’s the feminists. I’m shedding tears! NOT!
As I mentioned in another post, women simply don’t want to marry down. As they have achieved more the pool of suitors has shrunken.
MBAs don’t marry blue collar dudes who carry a union card.
“men in their late 30s have decided theyre going to be bachelors”
I resemble that description unless a really, really great woman were to come along that wanted ME, not the man that she thinks that she can changed me into.
Good observation! Maybe a switch on the Russian mail-order bride scenario? Or perhaps an Asian computer engineer on an H1-B visa?
Plenty of room for a potential culture clash, like when his relatives come to visit and your not allowed to ask how long they’re staying ...
The twenty somethings are into the hookup scene and that often times will carry them into their late 20s and early 30s. They learn nothing about how to have a relationship with a man and by the time they hit their early 30’s they wind up with a smaller pool to choose from since the smart gals with something to offer grab the good men. Meanwhile what they have waiting for them are the guys who lived off of hooking up with their ilk and the bitter or damaged men who got screwed over by some broad and they won’t settle down again.
I married at age 25 in 1980 (still married to the same woman, by the way), and that was considered “old” for the time. Now, I look around at the 25 years old “men” around the city (Chicago) and I wonder at the immaturity on display. I refer to the ubiquitous baseball cap, often turned backward; the entitlement attitude; the misogynistic and often outright crude behavior toward women (thanks to Bill Clinton for that); the endless partying; the endless games and sports; and so on. I don’t know how this has come to pass, but it sure is demoralizing to me in that I fear for our future.
Oh yeah. There's a really attractive prospect. Nothing said about being a true wife, supportive of husband and family. Instead, it's all about sucking everything away from the husband.
So no thanks. With an attitude like that these women do not deserve a husband or family. All they have earned is a shriveling up like the old prunes they already are.
They have married their careers and the government. Now they can sleep with it.
You guys sound like bitter, damaged goods. Just because you got dumped when you were in high school doesn’t mean all wimmin are evil. LOL.
Cultural rot continues apace. This is a product of feminism.
‘liberated women’ means irresponsible wont-get-tied-down men.
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