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Monday, April 29, 2013

173

Marriage, 2013

Single? Married? Divorced? None/all? This "why do people marry?" opinion piece is interesting, if you're interested in that kind of thing.

Also is that little girl wearing pajamas to her parents' wedding?

Previously, possibly related: "if instead of giant parties with pretty dresses and champagne, weddings were brief, solo walks through a gutter followed by an exchange of mud clumps, there might not be so much divorce. Maybe? I don't know."

And if you really want to go all in this morning, the Times is also running an article on the state of the pelvic exam.

173 Comments / Post A Comment

Biketastrophy

I like the first comment.

"It strikes me as strange that the word love is not mentioned in this essay."

SarahP

@Biketastrophy Wow, good point.

Also all the 1000+ legal benefits that society lets me have for being married but not if I'd "just" been cohabiting with my partner.

Poubelle

@Biketastrophy Yeah, seriously. I was glad that was the very first comment.

iceberg

got married because I believe in it as a gesture of commitment, also because Mr. Iceberg has a very common and easy-to-spell last name, which I did not ;)

the words "pelvic exam" had me doing Fear Kegels™ but then I actually prefer the finger ones to the speculum/scrapey wand combo of pap smears, soooooo.

parallel-lines

@iceberg I guess I sort of realized I was a lot more traditional than I thought myself to be when I married my husband. My parents are long divorced and his parents have been married 40 years and I think part of getting married was wanting the latter for ourselves.

That being said, I did keep my name, mostly for aesthetic reasons (our names did not blend well to an almost comic degree and my married name would have made me sound like a porn star).

Jolie Kerr

@iceberg "gesture of commitment" is such a good way to put it.

iceberg

@Jolie Kerr I mean, I know people are all like "we don't need a piece of paper" (my husband was one of them) but my response to that is, if you can't sign your name to your commitment then how committed are you? (this only applies if one or both want the piece fo paper of course, if neither of you do, then you do you)

fondue with cheddar

@iceberg My maiden name is four letters long, common, and easy to spell. My married name was about as unique as they get, and nearly always misspelled and mispronounced. A common mispronunciation included a four-letter swear, which pissed me off at the time but seems appropriate now. ;)

My current dude has a well-known and easy to spell name also, but I plan on keeping my name the next time I get married.

Poubelle

@iceberg I mean, just about any legal document is "just a piece of paper" but I never hear people make that argument the other ones out there, like, say, mortgage agreements.

bowtiesarecool

@Poubelle Exactly. And given the number of people I've seen this year who lost partners under tragic and unexpected circumstances and had varying degrees of "just a piece of paper" in order, MAN DO I WANT THAT PIECE OF PAPER. Oh my goodness, it seems worth it for the legal peace of mind alone if something were to happen to either of us. I'm getting hitched this year, and one of the things I told Mr. Bowtiesarecool when we were initially discussing marriage was that I refused to embark on parenthood or joint property ownership without the minimum legal entanglement of marriage. Now I think I would want to get married even if we never intended to have kids or buy a place.

I still think the wedding is bloody stupid and I can't wait for it to be over, but legal marriage that is accessible to everyone is still relevant and important in some very tangible ways. Even copious civil partnership documentation isn't always enough in some cases, and that shouldn't matter, but it does for now.

laserbeams

@Poubelle well, I mean, if the bank wants to lend me the money to buy a house without making me sign a bit of paper, I'd be cool with it, but I don't see that happening, so...

ThatWench

@Poubelle I'm firmly of the "just a piece of paper" camp, but I think you and I are making the same point.

The ThatWench take:
A relationship is a complicated set of emotions, interactions and decisions made with the other person in mind. A civil marriage is a property contract, very similar in nature to a mortgage agreement (except significantly easier to get out of). There are lots of societal constructs around how the two are supposed to be one and the same, but I for one embrace the movement to see them as two separate things, since it allows us to see ourselves, communicate with our partners, and critically examine the "supposed to"s of the world more clearly.

fondue with cheddar

@ThatWench Agreed, they are different. Technically, if a man and woman are joined by a judge it's a civil union, but if two women are joined by a clergyperson, it's a marriage.

leonstj

I have no real fondness for the institution itself (though no real animus either) and yet - I do find myself a fan of fancy-dress balls (which, as a son of working-folk, and with no means of access to regatta, country, or ivy league clubs I have no other access to), and as well I do enjoy the occasional dancing of the chicken, or sliding electric.

These pleasures; combined with those of polite discourse as to whom may have let out the dogs and the tossing of cereal grains, blossoms, and hosiery; make me wonder why everyone isn't getting married all of the time.

Jolie Kerr

@leon s TRY PLANNING A WEDDING AND THEN GET BACK TO ME WITH THAT QUESTION.

hallelujah

@Jolie Kerr Right? I think I have PTSD and I'm not even done yet.

leonstj

@hallelujah @jolie - My sister is planning hers now, it seems like a complete nightmare (my future b-i-l is being cool & helpful and both families are pretty sane and very sweet, so I can't even imagine what it can be like when some of the pretty standard complications come into place).

However, she has let me know there will be no chicken dance OR electric slide, and honestly, I don't even know if I feel like going.

parallel-lines

@hallelujah I got married last year and I'm still not over it. There's still parts I can't talk about because it makes me too mad to remember how stressed and shitty it was.

Jolie Kerr

@leon s We're not having a band or DJ because I want a super fuss-free wedding and also because I hate dancing, but I did ask my fiancé if we could request that the accordion player (oh yes, accordion player, you read that right) play the Electric Slide for us.

Related: "Wedding's off!" is our favorite new catchphrase. Alt: "I'm going to divorce you before we're even married."

hallelujah

@leon s I feel this way about the Wobble.

Amphora

@Jolie Kerr Courthouse weddings FTW

smidge

@Jolie Kerr Facebook is still giving me wedding ads a year later and I want to call Mark Z and scream WHY WOULD I GO THROUGH THAT AGAIN. Even considering the wedding was lovely, etc.

bowtiesarecool

@Jolie Kerr *sits in corner, rocking back and forth and singing softly*

We're four months out. I would like someone to wake me up in September, when it is all over and I am no longer "THE BRIIIIIIIDE."

Jolie Kerr

@bowtiesarecool Is this the place where we can discuss the fallacy of "You're the briiiiiiide! It's your daaaaaaaaaay!"? Because WOOF if I never hear those two statements again in my life it will not be a day too soon.

smidge

@Jolie Kerr Good grief, yes. There are several other human beings involved in this day, right?

Jolie Kerr

@smidge YES THERE ARE. And they all have opinions at precisely the time when I would like them to not have opinions and then when I need them to have an opinion it's all, "You're the briiiiiiiide! It's your daaaaaaaaaay!"

Sunny Schomaker@twitter

@leon s Clearly she is not getting married in Wisconsin, for without the Chicken Dance, any marriage would be null and void.

EpWs

@Jolie Kerr Are you borrowing the accordion player from Jane's wedding? Am I even remembering that correctly, or did I hallucinate it?

RELATED: Everyone, but especially male Pinners (married or unmarried): can we talk about guys' roles in wedding planning? Because with five friends getting married this summer, it sure as shit feels like the girls get the bulk of the burden put on them and dudes just have to show up with suits on. #grumble

parallel-lines

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher My husband planned the honeymoon (which I appreciated greatly because I did not one single more thing to think about) and argued with me endlessly about his shirt and tie combination. I totally won that fight and everyone looked awesome because I am always right about everything (this is the best way to enter a marriage btw). Everything else he gave his input on, but in a "that's fine" sort of way, I did the heavy lifting. We fought a lot in those 11 months.

Biketastrophy

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Being a male member of the commentariat I want to remark on this, but my wedding was like 12 people standing around within a 20 minute session. Our planning consisted of "Hey lets get married here, and we'll have our friend officiate"

Best wedding planning ever.

allofthewine

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher yeah, we're one of four couples in our friend group getting married this year and it's pretty much ladies only planning. My fiance found the DJ (and also sprang for a photobooth) and has agreed to most of my decisions, but was morally opposed to a heart appearing on our save the dates. Win some, lose some. Also, once you figure out the major vendors, it goes a lot more easily. Everything past that is gravy, she said six months out.

sophia_h

@parallel-lines Yes, I kinda had a PTSD feeling about my wedding and didn't really enjoy looking back on it after -- it was planned on very short notice while I was working 60 hours a week and living with my mom, and she railroaded me through a bunch of decisions I didn't want so the actual planning was a lot of fighting and then giving in because I didn't have the time/energy. On the actual day I felt under pressure the whole time with a tight schedule and an on site coordinator who kept doing things differently than we'd agreed on, plus it was roasting hot, so I know I had at least one foot-stompy Bridezilla moment but it was just because I felt so out of control throughout. Other people, particularly my mom, have fond memories ten years later and I'm just like "bleahhh, that did not feel like me."

Bebe

@Jolie Kerr I am coming up on my 6th wedding anniversary this year, and this *still* irritates me. I got opinions on our choice of officiant; first dance song; readings; wedding party members; inviting/not inviting children; and everything else we cared deeply about and knew exactly what we wanted. All the stuff I did not care about or was confused by? NADA. Because I was the BRIIIIIIDE!

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher my husband planned at least half of our wedding - which is good because had he left it all up to me we'd still be planning the damn thing.

All that being said, the day ended up being lovely and wonderful, and I wouldn't trade the memory of our wedding for the world.

parallel-lines

@sophia_h I am glad I am not the only one. My take away from the day was that I threw a party that my friends seemed to enjoy but I don't know if the whole thing was "worth it" in terms of how much of my sanity was compromised.

sophia_h

@parallel-lines Part of the problem was that I was married in 2004, right before the trend of DIY weddings really started, so I was still dealing with the leftover traditional "requirements" plus the nagging feeling I should be hand making everything a la Martha Stewart weddings, but nobody was doing state park potlucks with taco trucks so I never really thought I could just break free and do "my" wedding. I was also 22 1/2 and didn't really want more than a courthouse thing with just two of us, but his parents insisted (and mostly paid). Sometimes I think I'd like to do a vow renewal with something more like what I'd do now if I got married, but mostly I'm just tired of how much ownership my mom took of my wedding, all the while reminiscing about how her mother ran hers!

melis

"wedding PTSD"

Bootsandcats

@Jolie Kerr And then they didn't have opinions when you asked, but two months later they FIND opinions, and now they're super important.

I totally went backpacking for the last two weeks before our wedding. In a place with no cell reception. Best decision.

sophia_h

@melis Yeah, I know, way to be dramatic. I was looking for a shorthand way to say "felt icky and bad whenever I looked back on the day and the weeks leading up to it, including guilty and embarrassed about my own behavior, anger at other people's, and like it was about as much fun to remember as that gross, too-sexually-pushy guy I dated for two weeks at the start of college when I was 17."

happy go lucky scamp

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher a friend who's getting married doesn't care much about the wedding, never really wanted a white dress, ambivalent towards the institution. But her fiance wants a traditional ceremony, white dress, veil, the whole she-band but expects her to organise it.
Not my idea of a fun time.

Quinn A@twitter

Well, I'm getting married because it legitimizes my same-sex relationship in a way that just living together doesn't, because it's a great excuse to get all my loved ones in Newfoundland to come visit me in Ontario, because a formalized commitment emphasizes just how much my fiancee and I want this relationship to be permanent, and because I want an excuse to buy a nicer dress than I will ever strictly need for any event ever again.

Three out of four of those are pretty good reasons, I think.

smidge

@Quinn A@twitter I'd give you four out of four

Oh, squiggles

I agree, four out of four.

Also: Congratulations!

hallelujah

Taxes. My return was fucking HUGE this year.

parallel-lines

@hallelujah Dude, seriously this.

Biketastrophy

@parallel-lines Yup right there too, this year was nice.

fondue with cheddar

@hallelujah Mine too, and I was totally excited about it because my boyfriend (who lives with me) is unemployed. Unfortunately, just before I received it my cat decided to have a medical emergency, so I spent all that money and then some. She's lucky that she's such an awesome cat. ;)

bluebears

@hallelujah Really? I always got a bigger return when I was single.

The Lady of Shalott

MARRIAGE IN 2013:

No matter what you're doing, you're doing it wrong. Everyone is getting married! No one is getting married! People are getting married too young! They are waiting too long and are too old! They are getting married for the wrong reasons! They are NOT getting married for the right reasons! Weddings are stupid! Weddings are wonderful! Marriage is a community thing! Marriage is just a signing of papers!

There, I've covered all the discussions, we are done now.

parallel-lines

@The Lady of Shalott You forgot: you have to get a gift! Your presence is gift enough!

iceberg

@parallel-lines something something destination wedding, also bridesmaids buy their own horrible dress.

par_parenthese

@The Lady of Shalott Children are welcome; they remind us of new life! Children are a nuisance; they ruin everything!

TheBelleWitch

@The Lady of Shalott People are having too few children and ruining the economy! And they're having too many children and ruining the environment! They're also having them too early and too late.

PatatasBravas

You are spending too much money hosting your wedding, but also, if you do that DIY and potluck stuff, you are being too cheap!

MASON JARS ARE CHIC/MASON JARS ARE TACKY: THE BATTLELINES ARE DRAWN.

The Lady of Shalott

@PatatasBravas If you don't DIY everything, it's not special and unique! Every part of it must express You as a couple! If you buy stuff it's not homemade and personal!

Whatever, if I see another mason jar I'm going to vomit into it, crochet a doily for the top, hand-calligraphy a label for it, and give it as a favour at my wedding next summer. IT'S INDIVIDUAL AND PERSONAL!

dj pomegranate

This is the best day of your life - splurge! You only get married once! But you should definitely DIY everything because supporting the Wedding Industrial Complex is unethical! Pay attention to all the details of your special day! But don't stress too much or you won't enjoy it!

PatatasBravas

Plan A WEDDING WEEKEND to take care of all of your visiting relatives for several days, allowing them to mingle and your families to intertwine over brunch! vs. omg please no wedding weekends, your guests are already taking time off from work!

whizz_dumb

@The Lady of Shalott It's fun getting drunk while all dressed up, we had such good time. Jesus how does everyone drink so much and then drive home safely? That one person was a train wreck.

EpWs

@whizz_dumb No one will have fun if you don't have booze/it's your day and you don't have to pay for people to get drunk/if you make them pay for it it's tacky!

Jaya

@The Lady of Shalott I am planning a wedding and this thread just made me cry with relief.

fabel

I will never be on board with all of these articles telling women to have LESS pelvic exams. You know, it's not like a mammogram where there are radiation exposure concerns (which I only mention because this is the other women's health screening we've been getting told not to get so often, lately). Besides avoiding slight discomfort (& I know some experience actual pain and psychological discomfort during the procedure, but I'm speaking generally), what is the point of getting checked less? Why is it suddenly unnecessary to keep on top of your gynecological health?

iceberg

@fabel full disclosure I pretty much skimmed the article but it seemed to be saying they're not really effective so what's the point?

TheLetterL

@iceberg Yup. They cost time and money, the invasiveness can discourage women from seeking care, and they can lead to anxiety and unnecessary medical procedures if something (usually benign) is found. If they aren't providing enough benefits to offset those drawbacks, why continue?

redheaded&crazy

@fabel they just changed the funding in ontario from once a year to once every 3 years for pelvic exams. speaking with my doctor about it, one reason is the cost-effectiveness of course, but also that often abnormal results from paps clear up on their own so getting it done too often creates ... false positives, I guess?

fabel

@TheLetterL That's the part that rubs me the wrong way, though...the tone is always "it's too anxiety-inducing, so why bother?" Personally, I'd rather be checked too many times than not enough (& I find it comforting to be told every year that everything looks good)

That's not to say everyone SHOULD do this, or that, it's just that I always side-eye the "you don't have to go every year anymore!" thing. Pre-cancer can turn to cancer in 2 or 3 years, requiring even more invasive procedures than the one you're trying to avoid (that's my line of thinking, anyway)

Lola P.

@fabel yep, @iceberg and @theLetterL got this one. it's not so much that it's unnecessary to keep on top of your gynecological health, it's just that we were SO on top of it that it was leading to unnecessary surgery.

Lola P.

@fabel it takes an average of 15 years for a HPV infection to turn into cancer, and first the infection would have to be one of only 10% that last more than 2 years--hence increasing the interval to 3 years or more. i wrote an article on it here actually: http://thehairpin.com/2012/01/a-scenic-guide-to-your-abnormal-pap-smear

hpv is one lazy-ass virus. it actually makes me feel upset when homies come in to see me like "HERE FOR MY YEARLY!" because i want to s/o those sort of on-top-of-their-shit behaviors, but i earnestly believe medical diligence is better spent elsewhere--one ASCUS pap, which is basically the most boring HPV goo ever, and people are fuckin' freaking out and they shouldn't have to be. or 18 year olds who have gotten pap smears against guidelines from providers with this perspective and stop having sex and think they did something wrong and tell me that they have cervical cancer...and i'm in the position to tell them to forget it ever happened? way more harm than good.

mooseketeer

@fabel I agree with the others. Your health anxieties do not a medical necessity make.

VerityStandingStill

Without routine pelvic exams, I wouldn't have found out about the huge fibroid growing in me. Because I was mostly asymptomatic (as in, my symptoms were so minor I didn't even remember to mention them) I would have just continued thinking I was getting fat. Byt the time it was found it was the size of a 16 week pregnancy, and by the time it was taken out it was the size of a 20+ week pregnancy - and still no significant symptoms! So I think that physical examinations are important to keep up on, and I will probably insist on one every year even if they change the recommendations about it.

PAP smears, on the other hand, I think are reasonable to scale back on.

fondue with cheddar

My grandmother died in her thirties from ovarian cancer. While I understand why they're saying yearly exams are unnecessary, I will go once a year no matter what because they're not unnecessary for people like me. I'll be pretty upset if my health insurance stops covering them yearly based upon this research.

EpWs

@fondue with cheddar Preach. A routine pap smear found the weirdness that was going on in my cervix and meant that I could get it taken care of posthaste. Because of that, I now have to do 'em more often than most people. But I'd much rather deal with a pap smear than any of the other stuff I had to deal with to get my business back in order.

mooseketeer

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I know that these tests worked well for all of you to get treatment that you needed, but there needs to be a better balance. The data says that more people get put into the system for unnecessary treatment than is reasonable or good. I had an abnormal pap that caused me to get a painful bloody biopsy and years of additional pap smears at 6 month intervals for what was likely never a problem to begin with. There are tons of anecdotes on both sides.

If you look at the NY Times article on breast cancer (not the same, I know!) from the magazine this week, they talk about how treatment for breast cancer skyrocketed since mammograms became routine but the number of women who died from breast cancer barely budged. The screenings caused countless women to get treatment that for something that wouldn't be deadly, and didn't help all women who would develop metastasized cancers. Not all pre-cancerous lesions turn into tumors, and not all tumors turn deadly.

EpWs

@mooseketeer This is absolutely true. It's hard to determine how to figure out what a good balance would be, because for every story like mine there's a story like yours.

fondue with cheddar

@mooseketeer I wonder how much of the problem is the fact that doctors tend to overtest for fear of being sued for malpractice? I think there is a time to test and a time not to test, and striking the right balance is key.

My cousin had a mole (or something? I don't know details as we're not close) on her leg and her doctor told her not to worry about it. A year later she discovered it was a melanoma and quite large and deep. No word yet on whether it has metastasized. If it has, and the doctor had erred on the side of caution and had a biopsy, it could have been removed before it spread to her lymph nodes (I'm hoping it hasn't but given the location and size the odds are not good).

adriana

@Lola P. Ah, it's you! We were discussing at the NYC Pinup this weekend just how much we miss you, Ask A Nurse. xoxo PLEASE COME BACK!

This is my new username

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Where I live, the guideline is currently yearly exams for the first 3 years and if you have 3 normal paps, you switch to every 3 years. If you have abnormal results then you there are options that vary from: continuing yearly paps, more frequent paps, colposcopy depending on risk factors and the results from the pap tests. It seems like a decent balance to me (not that I am in any way a medical professional).

Diana

@Lola P.

PLEASE write more columns for the Hairpin!!

parallel-lines

HOW ELSE ARE YOU GONNA COMPLETE YOUR LE CREUSET COLLECTION?!

Jolie Kerr

@parallel-lines (I literally was registering for LC this morning over a cup of coffee *hangs head*)

TheLetterL

@parallel-lines Is this about the weddings or the Paps? o.O

parallel-lines

@Jolie Kerr I made out pretty well on the LC front but that stuff is like crack. They're taking my color (fennel) out of production and it has set me into a Pokemon like tailspin--I gotta get the oval dutch oven! Why has everyone forsaken me?!

Le Creuset is totally part of the Wedding Industrial Complex and I don't care because I love everything I have and use it every day.

Jolie Kerr

@parallel-lines That's my color too. Was at Sur La Table yesterday and had to hold myself back from buying all the close-out stuff (Matt did treat me to a mortar & pestle set though, which was very sweet). So yeah, I feel you. Take advantage, but also that color will be back. In the 10 or so years I've been collecting LC it's been through at least four iterations, name-wise, but is always the same color.

PatatasBravas

Imma let you finish, but Calphalon is my favorite kitchenware line of all time!

PatatasBravas

(I do have two LC braising dishes that I love and cherish, though they aren't matching colors)

EpWs

@PatatasBravas 1. I adore my bright red Calphalon dutch oven, PREACH.
2. IF WE'RE TALKING COOKWARE WE GOTTA TALK ABOUT ALL-CLAD oh god I bought one saucepan on sale and now I'm hooked help me guys

meetapossum

@parallel-lines My roommate gets his LC from movie sets. He's in the props department, so he just orders whatever colors he wants and takes them home after the movie's finished. (LC will give you their products for free for movies and won't take them back after they've been used.)

EpWs

@meetapossum O.O
brb making a movie

garli

@parallel-lines I went the route of getting court house married with no one there, but living near an LC outlet. Also none of my LC schwag matches.

Biketastrophy

@the le creuset party What I don't get is how they stay so clean! You can cook the crap out of something in there and get the edges all crispy and slightly burnt on and it flakes right off of it.

We need way more le creuset, I love it.

allofthewine

@Biketastrophy MAYBE A CLEAN PERSON CAN TELL US HOW TO KEEP OUR LC PRISTINE
#notsorryforthecaps #wemissyoucleanie

PatatasBravas

@garli The upside of it not matching is that you can kind of wave your arm around and be like "Hey, someone hand me the orange one? I need to start the second braise soon" while you're adding white wine to the red one to deglaze it.

parallel-lines

@garli I don't know why but I feel VERY! STRONGLY! that my lc match because it's so nice and I will probably never have enough money to buy it all and replace it so I just want to have it look nice from the get go. I also have very weird kitchen tendencies like collecting china patterns and tea towels from every state I visit. I honestly have no idea where these came from because my mother cannot cook anything well and we grew up eating off paper plates.

Fennel is my color. There are many like it, but this one is mine. Do not try sneaking some marseille or caribbean in this kitchen!

Jolie Kerr

@allofthewine AHEM. (And that was Jane's Q so go yell about her leaving you (no do not actually do that) and stop making me feel like I've abandoned my children in a rural Wal*Mart.)

allofthewine

@Jolie Kerr I'm sorry. :( I miss you both and wish you the best forever and ever.

space opera

@parallel-lines @Jolie Kerr Boo are they really discontinuing the fennel? Google is revealing very little useful info. I am just starting to register and that is the nicest color :C

garli

@parallel-lines I think we all have our in home OCD tendencies that only make sense in our heads. There's no shame in that.

garli

@allofthewine Yeah I let the old grandmotherly ladies tell me how to clean it (and they have so many awesome cooking tips. I love them and maybe when I'm retired I want to work there except it's not close to drive and I have to work for another 30+ years before I can retire)

ThatWench

@PatatasBravas I love having mismatching everything in my kitchen, but I love having lots of bright colors all over my apartment. I blame the mandatory white walls of a renter's life.

Diana

@parallel-lines

I have only one answer to the "do you ever see yourself getting married" question that seems to pop up every 6 months whether I'm in a long term relationship or blatantly single: "There's no way I'm going to buy my own KitchenAid mixer, and there's no way I'm going my whole life without one."

Diana

@parallel-lines

I have only one answer to the "do you ever see yourself getting married" question that seems to pop up every 6 months whether I'm in a long term relationship or blatantly single: "There's no way I'm going to buy my own KitchenAid mixer, and there's no way I'm going my whole life without one."

EpWs

@Diana I bought myself one when they went on sale around the holidays and I have not regretted it even for a second. Of course, the thought of people buying me the attachments is keeping me from running off forever, so.

MoxyCrimeFighter

Ugh, I hate how all these articles reporting birth statistics phrase it like this: "47 percent of American women who give birth in their 20s are unmarried at the time."

It's always "women who gave birth," never "men who had a child." I get that "women who gave birth" are easier to track than "men who may or may not have fathered a child"; and yes, it's possible that some of those fathers were married to women other than the women giving birth, but chances are, those fathers are unmarried, too. I hate that the phrasing reinforces the stigma of of being an "unwed mother" and ignores that some - I would bet a significant percentage - of those births are to people in committed-if-not-legally-recognized-as-marriage relationships. I always feel there's a silent "dumb sluts who got knocked up" vibe from the way that statistic is always written.

MmeLibrarian

@MoxyCrimeFighter Well, it's also hard to track paternity with any real certainty when one is gathering data like this. So.

MoxyCrimeFighter

@MmeLibrarian Right, I get that, and I'm glad the article acknowledges my other point:

"Nearly all of the increase in childbearing outside of marriage in the last two decades is from births to cohabiting couples, most without college degrees, rather than to single mothers."

But I still think the phrasing is a little misleading and judgey - "unmarried" is not the same thing as "single," and maybe it's splitting hairs, but I think with the way family situations have been changing, it's not really accurate to include women who have had children in committed-but-not-married relationships in with women who are single mothers. I think it's okay in this instance, as the point is about marriage, not birth rates, but it's a distinction that isn't made enough in other articles that are mostly concerned with birth rates.

par_parenthese

@MoxyCrimeFighter Agreed. Stats like that aren't helpful if they don't differentiate between single 20-year-old, no access to contraception, accidentally gets pregnant, has no idea who the father is, tries to raise child in unstable and difficult circumstances vs. 29-year-old, partnered for five years, stable, decides with her partner that now is the right time to start a family. It seems absurd to lump the two together.

ThatWench

@MoxyCrimeFighter In places like the NYT, it's always mostly sounded to me like, "This is the only statistic we could find, here's the most clinical, non-normative wording of it we could come up with." But maybe I'm too busy giving NYT the benefit of the doubt.

Poubelle

@Biketastrophy Yeah, seriously. I was glad that was the very first comment.

Poubelle

@Poubelle BAH why is this here

Amphora

Because the US Govt doesn't let you sponsor your boyfriend for a green card.

Poubelle

So this is the most depressing paragraph I've read this morning:
Today, marriage is more discretionary than ever, and also more distinctive. It is something young adults do after they and their live-in partners have good jobs and a nice apartment. It has become the capstone experience of personal life — the last brick put in place after everything else is set. People marry to show their family and friends how well their lives are going, even if deep down they are unsure whether their partnership will last a lifetime.

dj pomegranate

@Poubelle Yes, I definitely got married JUST to show everyone I know that my life is awesome.

harebell

@Poubelle
so blitheringly condescending, too.
uncertainty is part of life. i am sure that uncertainty is a time-honored age-old ingredient of marriages from antiquity to today.
(certainty is no guarantee/great shakes either sometimes).

This is my new username

@dj pomegranate Yes that is totally the reason that people are getting married. Not because of love or anything. And people that wait until they have a job and a place to live to get married are totally doing it to show off, not because maybe that is when they are ready and able to actually get married.

par_parenthese

@Poubelle And I feel like the hidden "therefore" is, "Therefore unmarried people just aren't as mature as married people; they're like the Junior Varsity of human existence." Which obviously I find in no way insulting to my life.

Miss Maszkerádi

@Poubelle I kind of sort of see that attitude a tiny bit in my social circle, though? I know a bunch of people getting married at (what seems to me) quite young ages - early to mid twenties, which i know is actually kind of a normal age to get married but GAH YOU GUYS we're all still just dumb kids - but a lot of times I do get the sort of "Look at us everybody, look at how grown up and established and with-it and happy we are, we're getting MARRIED, and I will now proceed to mention "my husband" or "my wife" in every single Facebook post I make for the next six months!" I don't doubt the sincerity of these people's love for each other, I just kind of notice the "performance" aspect of it all.

Then again I am very very single and cranky about it lately, so.

CubeRootOfPi

@Poubelle Certainly not saying that people don't marry for love, etc. However, I saw what the author was talking about in a lot of couples that got/are getting married recently (generally late 20s/early 30s). With those couples, at least one or both of them had a checklist of when they wanted to accomplish things, e.g. "26-go to grad school, 27 - find s/o, 29- graduate from grad school, get engaged, 30 - get married, 32 - have first child, 35 - become partner." People seemed to put a lot of pressure on themselves to get engaged at or before 30. I actually had someone ask what was wrong with me because I wasn't attached.

And to be fair to the author, many people do grant a certain status in someone's being a husband/wife or father/mother (more for the women than for the men). It fits into someone's comment on another post on how in certain places, one's considered an adult when they have kids vs. how one decides to have kids only when the person is an adult.

olivebee

@Miss Maszkerádi Oh absolutely. I think the author was presumptuous and dismissive of those who marry for love (which, I hope, is most people) and kind of swept all of us young, married people up into a shitty generalization. But I definitely agree with you that it's young people that are WAY showier re: their life milestones (marriage, home purchasing, children) and it often does come off as a status thing. It's the main reason my husband and I (who got married at 23 after 6 years of dating) tread very carefully on social media. We pretty much don't post anything about our marriage or other milestones because we don't want to be those people (and those people are annoying and usually kind of braggy).

Miss Maszkerádi

@olivebee One of my truisms is that the more overt and showy a couple (married or not) is on Facebook, the shakier their relationship actually is. Like I can actually usually predict big, dramatic breakups because about a month before, they start posting "I LUV MY HONEYBUNNY SO SNUGGLY MUCH" every five seconds.

Oh god, I'm the village busybody already.

dj pomegranate

@Miss Maszkerádi This is the truth (in my experience.) Real life examples from my fb feed, I am not making these up:
"OMG sweetums just bought me a new car!!!! I have the best hunnybunny evar!" (Divorced six months later)
"Just wanna give a shout out to my best friend, hunnybunny! I love you so much and you are the best dad ever!" (Separated one week later.)
"I am so proud of my hunnybunny who has gone 40 days without smoking! I LUV YOU HUNNYBUNNY!" (relationship status changed to "single" 3 months later.)

I'll just sit down right next to you in the busybody corner. I'll bring cookies.

PatatasBravas

Wow, you guys know a lot of hunnybunnies. To the best of my knowledge I have not encountered one yet!

fondue with cheddar

@Poubelle If you're getting married for other people, you're doing it wrong.

PatatasBravas

@PatatasBravas I think the closest I can get is when Gaga and Beyonce call each other Honeybee one hundred times in the hour-long Telephone music video.

Miss Maszkerádi

@PatatasBravas I totally just made up the "honeybunny" in my comment out of thin air, I was aiming for the stupidest sounding soppy non-word I could think of and I had no idea that people actually call each other that.

*eats busybody cookies, yells at someone to get off lawn*

ETA: Honeybee is sort of actually adorable. Hunnybunny makes me want to vomit.

dj pomegranate

@Miss Maszkerádi To be fair, in my second example, I replaced a real name with "hunnybunny."

I also feel like this is maybe a regional thing? My friends who use hunnybunny all live in the same area...I don't know! It is a mystery.

*passes around cookies.*

fondue with cheddar

@Miss Maszkerádi BE COOL HONEY BUNNY

Bittersweet

"Faced with this situation, many of them are willing to live in short-term cohabiting relationships but not to make a lifetime commitment to marriage. Young women, for their part, may choose to have children in these short-term unions rather than wait for the uncertain prospect of marriage."

Sooo...marriage is a scary lifetime commitment, but having a kid is just like buying the latest accessory? Not that I think you need to be married to have kids, but the idea that marriage is somehow more "binding" than sharing offspring just makes my head explode. In a bad way.

par_parenthese

@Bittersweet THIS FOREVER. I mean, it's just utter irrationality to be terrified beyond terrified of marriage and have a kid instead. (N.B. Humans are irrational, it's fine, it's fun, I just wish people would acknowledge how irrational that particular quirk is.)

EpWs

@par_parenthese WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER

sunflowernut

@Bittersweet I took that section to mean that women are happy to have children when they are ready to have children, rather than wait until after they find someone they are willing to marry since that opportunity may never come along.

EpWs

@sunflowernut That's fair. I think most of the worries in Bittersweet's comment (as well as my own) are about who women are having children with--if they're doing it completely on their own that's one thing, but having a kid with someone that you don't especially want to make a marriage-type commitment with is a commitment in and of itself, for life.

Bittersweet

@sunflowernut I interpreted that section that way, too. My issue was more with inference in that paragraph that marriage is somehow more of a commitment than having kids together. Which, I guess, it can be, if the father doesn't stick around.

I get the idea that women may choose to have children when they want to, with whatever guy they're with at the time, but it would seem to be hard on the kids...and let the father rather too easily off the hook when/if the relationship ends.

ETA: This comment seems harsh toward the women in these situations, and it's not meant to be. The article didn't go into detail on the economic uncertainties for people without college degrees, but I wonder if those issues end up influencing a lot of this kind of behavior. (I'm not trying to shame anyone, really.)

EpWs

@Bittersweet Ditto. I am paranoid that my comment is coming across as shamey and judgey, and I really mean it to be neither. I get what you're saying.

discombobulated

"if instead of giant parties with pretty dresses and champagne, weddings were brief, solo walks through a gutter followed by an exchange of mud clumps, there might not be so much divorce. Maybe? I don't know."

Wow, I think the super-expensive wedding is actually an impediment to me getting married. If my boyfriend and I came from families where weddings were City Hall ceremonies with no rings, no dress, no extended families, no food or drinks, no dancing, and no photos, we would have gotten married years ago. But as it is, it's hard for us to get married without disappointing people, spending too much money, and stressing ourselves out.

smidge

@discombobulated And then when you do have "enough" money to get married someone will shake their heads over how much you spent, so.

Amphora

@discombobulated You don't have to have a giant expensive wedding!
Hell, my wedding was 15 minutes at the courthouse on a Monday morning, then brunch. The only extravagance was flying my best friend in for the day to be our witness. We're planning a vow renewal ceremony for our 5th anniversary in place of a wedding - takes the pressure off and gives the family time to plan their trips.

fondue with cheddar

@discombobulated Friends of mine got married at the courthouse, and their reception was a small, casual, catered (though it wouldn't have to be) barbecue in the bride's parents' yard. It was one of the most pleasant wedding receptions I've ever been to.

EpWs

@fondue with cheddar Best wedding I've ever been to (or one of them)--in the backyard, handful of people, short and heartfelt ceremony, lots of food cooked by the groom for the reception (he catered in his college days). SO GOOD.

allofthewine

@Amphora I totally get your point, but as @discombobulated was saying what families expect matters to some people. Like, my only sibling is my disabled sister. My mom wants to see me walk down an aisle and marry of my dreams. Both of my parents are giving us money to help pay for the wedding, so who am I to say no to that request? Courthouse weddings aren't the solution to all wedding woes. Glad it worked for you, though.

ugh, rereading my comment I come across as a little defensive and judgey-- sorry.

Amphora

@allofthewine Well if you have family chipping in to pay they DO expect some things - especially if they're religious. What I'm trying to say is it's possible to separate the legal wedding from the big family event, which can help minimize the pressure of both.

NotBlairWaldorf

Oh! Hello! This is vaguely relevant and I am having a romance crisis that cannot wait till Friday Open Thread. (Actually it probably can but I always miss them for some reason...anyhow my many apologies.) I just returned home from a semester abroad program, dated someone there, things were kept casual due to me leaving but we both knew we were falling head over heels. He wrote me a love letter to read on the plane and it was lots of *feelings* and magic. Now I'm home and I'm wondering, what is a reasonable amount of communication I should keep? Do I just acknowledge it as a fling and move on? Keep it up consistently until we decided to visit? (Like that'll happen.) I just really don't know what to do. And the Hairpin is so wise. Oh. Hallpppp.

PatatasBravas

@NotBlairWaldorf Define "head over heels" more?

NotBlairWaldorf

@PatatasBravas Hmmm, I would say puppy love. We just had the best time together, were so happy to be around each other, lots of shared interests, amazing sex and there wasnt a language barrier because we were in an English speaking country. Something that I would bet would have turned into a really long term relationship if he were a college student with me in the states.

iceberg

@NotBlairWaldorf Well, how did you leave it officially? I'm assuming you had a conversation saying goodbye or whatever. And did he say anything in the letter to indicate whether he was interested in continuing or not?

NotBlairWaldorf

@iceberg No, we both decided not to consider ourselves in a relationship because the question mark of when we'd see each other next was just too big. So it was a very practical decision but that doesn't mean we aren't both still feeling strongly about each other. In a situation like that, I just don't know if its smarter to close the book and move on or try to keep in some sort of contact until...something happens? I'm looking at masters programs in Ireland so I could be back there but that wouldn't be for ages and ages.

par_parenthese

@NotBlairWaldorf Man, I go either way with this one. Leave it perfect! Or keep it going!

I guess either way, my advice is to write him a love letter back.

NotBlairWaldorf

@par_parenthese Right!? I don't want to ruin what could be a lovely memory of a lovely time but...what if... Etc etc

NotBlairWaldorf

@NotBlairWaldorf oh it's like that song "Too young to hold on and too old to just break free and run" thank you Jeff Buckley, obviously you have a song for this.

Biketastrophy

@NotBlairWaldorf But if you don't are you the type that will dwell on the "What if?" forever? Seems like you're really interested in continuing if you're already looking at masters programs over there.

I Want To Go To There

@NotBlairWaldorf I had to dust the old hairpin username off to log in and write to you on this one- as someone who has maintained a healthy LDR/R after meeting said person on a study abroad year, you should keep going. "The what if" will sting if you don't. We were apart for ~ 10 months and are now living together in the same city, your situation might be (probably?) longer than that, but in all honesty, if you communicate with a nice e-mail a day, with skype thrown in, it's possible to continue to keep learning about each other, and keep falling in love.
I wouldn't say to just write it off because of distance.

NotBlairWaldorf

@Biketastrophy oh I was definitely looking at masters there beforehand! I want to work with socially excluded youth in Northern Ireland. (There goes my private online identity to my friends who read this.) @iceberg you're from Australia right? Did you ever deal with transatlantic romance? (If you don't mind me asking.)

NotBlairWaldorf

@I Want To Go To There Ahhhhhh thanks for taking the time! That's fantastic congrats. I think I would want to roach the subject until I was actually hearing from masters programs and the like. Did you guys make the move based on each other or outside variables?

TheBourneApproximation

@NotBlairWaldorf I started doing the same exact thing ~6-7 years ago, spent five years apart from the guy, and am now in my second year of marriage with him. Not all these relationships work out well, and many end in heartbreak, but there's certainly a precedent for them working out. If you want to continue the relationship, I recommend chatting over Skype (text, video, whatever), and seeing if that works okay and is giving you what you need in a relationship. Knowing that you're going to see each other at some point in person was really important for me too, either for a vacation or because you're moving long-term for work/education (which you're possibly doing!). Skype is fine for casual LDRs, but knowing that you have a plan to actually physically meet is vital for a "serious" LDR.

I Want To Go To There

@NotBlairWaldorf actually the move was to me, as I was two years from finishing, he came because he was able to finish his thesis here, (and it is actually cheaper to live here than where his uni is) and he does have some family here as well. But I cannot stress enough, how awesome skype and e-mail are. Even playing words with friends on our phones, little things like that to make you feel closer.
Keep looking into the masters, that's a fantastic opportunity, and keep e-mailing. Even if it doesn't work out, your good memories of your time abroad won't have changed.
ETA: if you are still in school look for academic reasons to make a trip to see him too- like submitting some work to a conference. then it's half business.. half pleasure (WIN WIN???)

iceberg

@NotBlairWaldorf yes I am, no i did not (was married before we moved to the US)! sorry I have no wisdom to impart on that score.

NotBlairWaldorf

@I Want To Go To There Hahaha thanks you guys, I appreciate this so much. I don't want to keep dragging this out with my friends at home who are like, great yes hot Irish man fantastic lovely. Bah sorry for completely thread jacking this. Just The Hairpin commentariat has a crazy wide range of experiences, this was some solid advice.

NotBlairWaldorf

@NotBlairWaldorf Lord now I just feel like the made for TV movie version of PS I Love You

iceberg

@NotBlairWaldorf Oh he's Irish? with an accent & everything? then you MUST.

NotBlairWaldorf

@iceberg Oh a laid back, charming, Irish musician. On our last night I made him listen to Robyn and he said it was "proper shite" but other than that he's pretty damn awesome haha.

Sea Ermine

@NotBlairWaldorf Sooooo I've been in that situation and what I did is just kept chatting online as friends (I assumed I'd never see him again and decided to just go on with my life and do my thing). And then he ended up in the same town as my and we started dating and then I left to move to New York and we were in an LDR for 6 months (which I loathed) and now he lives in New York with me and it's pretty awesome so far. However! He was a US citizen who was also on study abroad in the same city so there were no visa issues to deal with. But also I am pretty young, and was 22 when I met him so that's also why I just sort of did my own thing and let him follow along, because I didn't want to let my plans change for a guy (ex. the move to NYC was planned well before I met him and I think I would have regretted it had I given up that plan).

dontannoyme

@fabel I think because it simply is over-medicalising. More medicalising does not equal more health. It does, however, equal more cost.

RNL
RNL

When my mom was interviewing for med school in the 70s she told her panel that no man should ever be allowed to perform a pelvic exam on a woman. And she got in! Oh mom.

She also decided to go to med school while high on mescaline. Oh mom, indeed.

anachronistique

@RNL That is way better than my mom having her oral comps while stoned.

Annie Mouse

I got married because I wanted to make sure my family couldn't screw my partner over if I died during a business trip, pretty much. We had been together for ages by then, when circumstances made it blazingly obvious how difficult things would be in the vent of a catastrophe. Marrying for romance is one of th edumbest reasons on earth to wed - I don't enter legal contractual obligations because I get a case of hot thighs.

kristenpdx

@Annie Mouse
First, I don't think you should equate "romance" with "a case of hot thighs". (The latter, BTW, sounds like something you'd order at the hot deli counter.)

Second, wasn't romance a major reason for you becoming partnered in the first place?

ThatWench

@Annie Mouse Per my comment above, I think one of the things I dislike the most about modern marriage is that it takes romance and a legal contract and tries to make them one and the same thing. I don't have any particular objection to one or the other (and I do recognize the value in planning to do both with the same person), but they really are two very different things and personally, I'd be doing them for two very different reasons.

Jaya

Maybe someone needs to tell the Times that different people do things for different reasons?

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