Women have a shelf life? Yea right!

I recently read an article by Susan Patton, a Princeton alum and mother, who told female students to find husbands at school before they graduate. You can read it here.http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/01/pf/princeton-mom-women/?sr=fb040113princetonmom8p. Wow this article is a load of bullshit. I use the word bullshit not because I can’t think of a better word but because it firmly describes what I think of this woman’s point of view. “Find a man before you graduate because women have a shelf life,” ? What? I’m sorry, I spent my entire college career focused on three things:

1)   Getting an education/graduating

2)   Making some of the best friends of my life

3)   Experiencing said life to its absolute fullest and not regretting any of it.

Sure some parts of numbers two and three resulted in some not-so-wise decisions, but I also used them as stepping stones and growing pains, to be cliché, to come out a better person on the other side. Relationships, husbands in particular, were really not part of my vernacular. While I DID have a new crush every semester it seemed, the last thing I ever thought about was getting married.

I’m sorry Ms. Princetonian, but there is more to life, and college for that matter, than finding your potential mate. And a shelf life? Wow, for someone who is supposed to be very smart you sure make dumb comments. Why not send us back 70 years and tell us we can’t sit next to African-Americans or be anything but secretaries and teachers.

I can understand her argument that perhaps if you meet someone younger you have a longer time to play house and raise a family and then be traveling retirees at 59.5 years old. But we’re also not really all that mature at 22 and chances are, we are going to be different people in our 30s and perhaps, not think the same of our spouse as we did at 21. Women of my generation are rarely getting married that young. And for those of you who did, I think it’s great. I have nothing against young marriage if it’s meant to be, but i have very few friends who married right out of college and are still together. And i don’t know ANY of my friends who went to college solely to seek out a husband.

Like MANY of my friends, I am a successful, professional, woman. I am a mother who is happy in love and loving life. Yes, Ms Princeton-lady, I DO have it all. I have a job I love, have worked hard for and married my best friend. And if I’d met him while in college, surely I would have passed him by. Because the person I was at 21 is not the woman I was at 26 or especially 30, when we married. My priorities were completely different than what they are today. I was not mature. I was not ready to be a wife. I wasn’t ready to understand what it meant to compromise, sacrifice and make hard decisions. Most days my hardest decision was did I want to go to class or stay up pondering “The Big Lebowski” for another hour and skip my 8 a.m.

Today 8 a.m. is a luxury hour of which I rarely sleep past, but I wouldn’t trade it. I have to disagree with Ms. Patton in every regard. Women are older nowadays when they get married because we want to be self-sufficient, intelligent, mature and able to handle what life throws at us. Sure we like chivalry, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make our own money or know how to pump our own gas. We can still cook our family dinner and do all the traditional feminine roles, but we’re going to be doing it while checking email, paying bills and meeting a friend for lunch.

I’m no women’s lib fanatic but when reading this article I immediately felt a need to respond. The irony to me of course is that this woman is divorced because she felt that it was horrible to be married to someone not as smart as her. Maybe her husband felt it was just horrible to be married to someone with ridiculous ideas. Clearly she is not happy, so who is she to preach on the way someone should live her life?

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