June 6, 2006

Odd Odds

I remember when Newsweek came out with their famous article 20 years ago that women over 40 only had a 1 in 5 chance of ever getting married. They actually presented a bunch of odds, sliding down the scale from age 30 onward. Extrapolating their numbers, the odds were greater that the woman would be killed by a terrorist. I love when they compare things like this to shark attacks, lightning strikes, and hurricanes. I've been married. There were days I'd have gladly taken the natural disaster over the matrimonial one.

Now they've backtracked, admitting their data was faulty. At the time, my 22 year old self didn't think the article was all that noteworthy. Afterall, I was perfect and I could have any man I wanted. How could I have known that I should have grabbed George Clooney while he still had a mullet and a role on Facts of Life?

Back then I didn't care if someone over 40 would ever get married or not. Now, alas, I see how irresponsible and gutwrenching that cover must have been for so many. From where I sit now, I think it's fairly easy to get married. It's staying married that takes some doing. I've known women who married badly on purpose, believing it was better to be divorced than single ('at least somebody wanted me!). Yeech. I've also heard one moron I know call divorced men 'used', and why would anyone want one?

I say enough with breaking human emotions down to statistics. Define your own happiness because after all, the numbers might be wrong.


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