In the annals of embarrassing-mother moments, Susan Patton’s letter to the Princeton paper—exhorting girls (women?) at the school to look around at wonderful guys such as her son (a student there) and consider them a great pool of marriage material the likes of which they may not find again in one place at one time—ranks way up there, not the least because of the huge blogosphere brouhaha it engendered.
Susan Patton is an alum of Princeton, and her advice basically boils down to “strike while the iron is hot.” I could argue with her tone here and there, but her most basic message still rings true, and is pretty much the same one that rang in our ears when I went to college, the wisdom of which we acknowledged at the time and did our level best to actualize.
Let me just say that almost all of my friends met their husbands-to-be in yes, in college. Almost all were married young (actually, very young for some), almost all are still married to that very same person, and almost all have had children and careers and the sorts of lives that most of today’s women profess to want (some of these friends of mine are what you might even call “eminent”). I was a bit of an outlier, having met my husband-to-be the first week of grad school at twenty-one, and getting married at the ripe old age of twenty-six, which did feel oldish at the time but of course was not.
So it has taken me a while to understand that Bookworm, for example, may be correct when she describes some of today’s women as actually passing up a man they think is their “soulmate” merely because the timing isn’t right. And Megan McArdle, who is certainly closer to college age than I am, says that people do meet the right person and break up because it’s not “the right time.”
But I wonder how many people—women or men—are actually doing this.
And at least this group is for the most part still interested in getting married.