Re: Sexist!

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Lead researcher James McNulty says "The fuck did I do?"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 10:33 AM
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Ha.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 10:40 AM
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Lead researcher James McNulty says "The fuck did I do?"

Haw!

But really, game theory aside, isn't it obvious that the quality of the singles pool declines with age? Single at 30? Probably there's a reason.

(now that's trolling. But also true, right?)


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 10:41 AM
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So, I personally conclude from that first study that either I was just not pretty enough, or the UNG was too short with an inadequate salary...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 10:42 AM
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Single at 30? Probably there's a reason.

Change that to 35 and I agree.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 10:43 AM
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And the claim isn't that the quality of the pool declines with age, but that the decline is more precipitous in the pool of men.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 10:44 AM
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In my current mood, my disposition is to hate this sort of stuff even more than usual. Let us go forth, my friends, and use the tools of argument to Naturalize the Social as much as possible.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 10:45 AM
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Single at 30? Probably there's a reason.

Went to grad school? Got divorced? Lived overseas? Went to sea?

There's a million reasons, a tiny proportion of which have to do with attractiveness or marriageability.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 10:47 AM
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If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life,
Never make a pretty woman your wife.
So from my personal point of view,
Get an ugly girl to marry you.


A pretty woman makes her husband look small,
And very often causes his downfall.
As soon as he marries her, then she starts,
To do the things that will break his heart.

But if you make an ugly woman your wife,
You'll be happy for the rest of your life.
An ugly woman cooks meals all the time,
She'll always give you peace of mind.


Don't let your friends say you have no taste,
Go ahead and marry anyway.
Her face is ugly, her eyes don't match.
Take it from me, she's a better catch.


Posted by: Harry Belafonte | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 10:48 AM
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Has anyone sent you this yet>?

Re. single at 30: maybe the reason is that the single at 30/35 person is just way, way too hot and having way too much fun to want to be monogamous.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 10:48 AM
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that the decline is more precipitous in the pool of men

I haven't read the linked studies, but surely this is due in part to the fact that men are more likely to, er, let themselves go as they age. So it seems to me, anyway.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 10:49 AM
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the decline is more precipitous in the pool of men.

Well, men aren't trained from birth to make "being an attractive partner" a top priority in their lives. So older men aren't great partners. What do they care?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 10:50 AM
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Screw that, baa. I refuse to believe it. I'm 32.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 10:51 AM
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10.1: wow. Always impressive when somebody can do something that genuinely controversial. Thumbs up!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 10:51 AM
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I married my better-looking husband at the age of 23, but we're pretty damn happy. Maybe it's only because he knew he was likely to lose his hair.

The great thing about the first study is that the "rating attractiveness by trained experts" part actually seems like a better measure than rating the marriage based on a videotaped 10 minute conversation. I say it's a plot by unattractive male "scientists" to convince hotties to marry them.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 10:53 AM
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Ok, make it 35. Although I bet it's pretty linear in decline through the 30s.

There are two questions about the dating pool. Question one is "is there a scarcity of unmarried 35 year old men you could invite to a dinner party." This is assumed without evidence by the Slate author. It doesn't ring true to me. The question is whether there is a scarcity of nice, attractive unmarried 35 year old men you would want to set up with your nice, attractive 35 year old female friend. Here, I'd tend to agree.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 10:54 AM
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#8: Went to grad school? Got divorced? Lived overseas? Went to sea?

There's a million reasons, a tiny proportion of which, listed above, have to do with attractiveness or marriageability.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 10:57 AM
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There's a million reasons, a tiny proportion of which, listed above, have to do with attractiveness or marriageability.

I was aware of you going to grad school + living overseas, but I didn't know you also went to sea, dsquared.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:00 AM
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There's a million reasons, a tiny proportion of which have to do with attractiveness or marriageability.

Sure, there are a million reasons. Just like there are a million reasons why the peak of any particular baseball player won't occur when he's 27. But you run the stats, and trends emerge.

This is not to suggest that any single unfogged commentators single at age X are personally defective for this reason. (as opposed to being personally defective because you comment on unfogged, on which, really, QED).


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:00 AM
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17: I didn't say "joined the circus" now, did I?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:00 AM
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I feel old. Old and unloveable.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:00 AM
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21: as recently as a year ago this thread would have made me very depressed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:02 AM
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In other "cool link" news, apparently Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a blog. *And* he's a feminist.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:04 AM
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22: Who should be more depressed, men or women? Apparently, I'm going to have to settle for a schlub. Older guys can celebrate the fact that there are attractive women out there.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:08 AM
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I'm a huge fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories, as well as hard-boiled writers like Chester Himes, Raymond Chandler, and Dashiell Hammett. Desperate criminals chased down mean streets by world-weary detectives, now that's entertainment.

Kareem rules. As much as it pains me to admit it as a Celtics fan.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:09 AM
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Wow that story's asinine. Clearly everyone tries for the hottest partner they can land, and men who are better at being supportive manage to land women further out of their league.


Posted by: Tom | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:09 AM
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Apparently, I'm going to have to settle for a schlub.

But a devoted, caring schlub!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:10 AM
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Who should be more depressed, men or women?

Well, single men seem to be more sociopathic, so although they should, objectively be more depressed (it is objectively depressing to be a sociopath), they are less likely to experience the phenomenology of depression.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:10 AM
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The point made in 11, 12 and 24 is valid.

To put it in a less female>>>>>>>male way, we could also say that the commonly held notion of a "desirable single man" corresponds less to reality than does the corresponding notion of a "desirable single woman".


Posted by: Auto-banned | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:12 AM
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26: Clearly women spend more time on their looks than men do, what with social pressure and all, so a given woman is more likely to seem to be "in a different league" than a given man. Women diet and wear makeup more than men do. Quel surprise.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:13 AM
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Off-topic but necessary link.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:14 AM
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Clearly everyone tries for the hottest partner they can land, and men who are better at being supportive manage to land women further out of their league.

Plausible. But, to the extent that the empirical findings of the study are valid at all (and I'd be reluctant to take them at face value), I wonder what happens when you control for income. One of the biggest sources of friction in marriage is money. And a lot of guys who end up with babes hotter than themselves do so, at least in part, because they have a lot of money. Devoted and caring is all well and good, but having a bit of disposable income left over at the end of the month does a lot to smooth over the rough edges in any relationship.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:15 AM
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31: 27! Higher than I would have personally estimated, but not by much.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:17 AM
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actually seems like a better measure than rating the marriage based on a videotaped 10 minute conversation.

Excellent point! Anyone who's been married knows that the conversations you have while you know you are being observed are very different from the conversations that go on when no one's looking


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:17 AM
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30: I dunno; surely our sense of "leagues" is established largely by the people we see around us. IOW, when matching men to women, we intuitively set what's a suitable match based on the pool of people we see, which incorporates the additional grooming done by (most) women.

Obviously there are media images to deal with, but I'm not sure that I buy that there's some Platonic set of leagues in which everyone is ranked, but, due to superior grooming, women sneak into higher leagues.

Or, more briefly: the difference between Christie Brinkley and Billy Joel was grooming?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:20 AM
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No controls for empathy, which I claim ex recto to anticorrelate with beauty and wealth among the American middle classes. Why so much interest in the body and so little in the mind (and I don't mean the fascinating IQ thread)? A cheap shot for funding from a lazy program officer, or currying favor from a press-hungry dean, I say.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:21 AM
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31: 19. I'd have thought ten, but I guess I have inner reserves.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:22 AM
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Change that to 35 and I agree.

But only because you beat the cutoff by, what, 6 months?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:23 AM
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32: Maybe, but it seems to lean awfully heavily on stereotypes. Is the wealthy schlub/hottie marriage really statistically significant?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:23 AM
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Off-topic but necessary link.,/i>

Been posted and discussed before. The national conversation has moved on.


Posted by: concerned 5 year old | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:23 AM
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31: 22 !


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:24 AM
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But only because you beat the cutoff by, what, 6 months?

I'm already 35, hater.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:24 AM
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23: Kareem having a blog isn't news around here.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:25 AM
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Oh, 9 to 36.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:25 AM
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The question is whether there is a scarcity of nice, attractive unmarried 35 year old men you would want to set up with your nice, attractive 35 year old female friend. Here, I'd tend to agree.

Mmm. I think that there is a relative scarcity of nice, attractive marriageable unmarrieds at 35+. I'm not sure it's men alone; mostly because I can't think why it would be men alone.

OTOH, I tend to now believe that broad looks at society for social answers are almost always useless. You have to look at much smaller, well-defined groups that split out by education, income, region, religion, etc. Totally willing to have my ass handed to me by Gonerill, though.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:26 AM
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Is the wealthy schlub/hottie marriage really statistically significant?

It happens at every level: to the cute waitress at the truckstop, the successful aluminum siding salesman represents marrying up.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:26 AM
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Or, more briefly: the difference between Christie Brinkley and Billy Joel was grooming?

Talent/ money/power are all aphrodisiacs.

Hows does one define "desirable single man"? Stable job, hasn't let himself go, can hold a conversation, doesn't scratch in public?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:26 AM
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I could only take 25 five-year-olds? Stupid no-killing-kids morality. Now I feel both older and less loveable.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:27 AM
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I'm already 35, hater.

Yes, but you were single up until October, right?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:27 AM
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Totally willing to have my ass handed to me by Gonerill

Maybe you should refine your pickup lines, you unmarried shlub.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:28 AM
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doesn't scratch in public

That's a pretty low bar, TLL.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:29 AM
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Yes, but you were single up until October, right?

I'm still "single," aren't I? "Dating" doesn't mean "no longer eligible," does it? Or does it?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:29 AM
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Is the wealthy schlub/hottie marriage really statistically significant?

If you mean May-December marriages, the data are surprising.


Posted by: Kieran | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:29 AM
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No controls for empathy, which I claim ex recto to anticorrelate with beauty and wealth among the American middle classes.

Plausible. It would also be interesting to know whether the slope of the regression line is steeper for males than females. Or, put another way, whether really hot guys are more likely to be assholes than really hot girls are to be bitches.

N.B. this is not the same as saying "us nice guys can't get laid because girls prefer assholes".


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:30 AM
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Ogged is a fallen woman?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:30 AM
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"doesn't scratch in public"

That's a pretty low bar, TLL.

Just wait till you hit 35, BG. You'll be amazed at how rapidly the bar drops...


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:30 AM
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56 = me. Obviously...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:31 AM
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Change that to 35 and I agree.

I tend to as well. I think that baa's suggestion of 30 is actually pretty stupid - fewer than half the happy couples I know married that young - but once you get into your mid-30s, you've had an awful lot of opportunities to find someone compatible on adult terms. The excuse "I wasn't looking" isn't really an excuse - neither my wife nor I were interested in starting anything long-term, much less permanent, when we met, but were talking marriage within a couple months. Because we were attuned to ourselves, and capable of grownup emotions.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:31 AM
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Heh. 27 5 year olds. I went back and answered what I thought to be optimal, and got 39. I would certainly use the little brats as missles/ weapons against each other.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:33 AM
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The excuse "I wasn't looking" isn't really an excuse

So people need to have "an excuse" for choosing not to marry now?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:34 AM
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Just wait till you hit 35, BG. You'll be amazed at how rapidly the bar drops...

Cool, seven more years and I have a chance at being considered an OK prospect.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:34 AM
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How does one define "desirable single man"?

I can't remember which one of the advice godesses proffered this definition, but the 4-S model (adapted from the McKinsey "7-S" model?) of "single, sober, solvent, straight" does a lot more work than you might expect.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:36 AM
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61 Why wait? Just start dating older women with fallen standards!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:36 AM
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22: As recently as comment 16, this thread would have made me very depressed. But then I saw the age has been revised up to 35 (- and I'm still not even 30 for, like, another month!).


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:36 AM
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Kieran, if you're reading, in

Socioeconomic position is the best predictor of happiness in marriage,
is that socioeconomic position of each prior to marriage, or socioeconomic position of the couple post-marriage? One would seem to suggest something different than the other.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:37 AM
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So people need to have "an excuse" for choosing not to marry now?

Excellent, thank you. It's interesting how much of a difference "I'm divorced" makes as an explanation for being single in one's 30s or 40s, as opposed to "I'm between relationships, never got married in the previous ones."

I can't seem to ungarble that sentence, but I'm sure you get the idea.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:39 AM
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29: FWIW, my comments were certainly not intended to imply that women are better than men. Rather that men are freer than women.

It only makes sense to see it as a "women better than men" thing if you think that it's "good" to prioritize being "attractive" to potential partners, rather than merely instrumental.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:39 AM
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I would certainly use the little brats as missles/ weapons against each other.

Yeah, it was funny - I couldn't answer that I have no moral compunction (I don't really relish the thought of wailing on some kid), but I know damned well that, in an adrenaline situation, I'd have no problem with doing "what it takes."

Wife reported that a 6-y.o. pushed my 4-y.o. daughter and called her "dummy"* at the playground yesterday. Suffice it to say that the boy would've experienced a physical (nonviolent) response from me had I been there. Scruffs will be grabbed!

* The latter of which bothered her far more - she kept asking at dinner, "Why did he call me dummy?"


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:39 AM
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53: that really is a fantastic post. Thanks!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:41 AM
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seven more years and I have a chance

No-one ever expects that the years to come will be unkind. One of the shittiest things about middle age is that sustained faith in the future requires an active effort.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:42 AM
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It's interesting how much of a difference "I'm divorced" makes as an explanation for being single in one's 30s or 40s, as opposed to "I'm between relationships, never got married in the previous ones."

Divorce may indicate an initial willingness to settle, which may be the critical factor in getting married. (And, as a lot of life is about settling, maybe happiness.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:42 AM
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is that socioeconomic position of each prior to marriage, or socioeconomic position of the couple post-marriage? One would seem to suggest something different than the other.

The article doesn't actually say, but my guess is that, based on how SES is usually constructed, it is a measure of their status going into the marriage: generally, SES is constructed from one's occupation, parents' education, and current income.


Posted by: Kieran | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:48 AM
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So people need to have "an excuse" for choosing not to marry now?

No, no, not what I was saying. Someone who truly doesn't want to marry isn't part of the pool under discussion - we're talking about the pool of "desirable" singles, which I take to exclude the deliberately unattached. Being deliberately unattached isn't what I meant by "not looking." What I meant by "not looking" is "not looking for a marriage partner." When I met my wife, I had every intention of marrying someday, but none of finding that person in the immediate future (I was just free of the Bad, Old GF). If I had spent another 7 years in that condition, it probably would have been a sign that, in baa's words, "there was a reason."

FWIW, most of the deliberately unmarried people I know have had at least one close brush with marriage - they found someone who turned their feelings on the subject, but it didn't work out. But I'm not saying there's anything wrong with those people - just how things worked out.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:49 AM
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66, 71: Really? I mean, I agree there's a difference, but I wouldn't have thought "divorced" was preferable to "never married" in determining a suitable mate. I would have thought divorce was likely to signal things like "poor judge of character" or "unreasonable expectations" or just generically "must be something wrong with that person if they couldn't make it work." Whereas never married might signal "really picky" as easily as "inability to commit." Naturally, this is all colored by my personal hang-ups.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:50 AM
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35: The point is that media images are something that women (as a class) pay a lot of attention to, and work to emulate. So your "obviously there are media images to deal with, but" is kind of glossing the major issue. Look, for instance, at the Ice-T/whateverhiswife'snameis pics that were posted recently. We'd all say they both look awful, but we'd be lying if we didn't acknowledge that she looks "better" than he does. And I think it's intuitively obvious that one reason is that she's made "looking better" her main focus in life, while he hasn't. If he lost the gut and cut his hair and had plastic surgery, he'd look as "good" as she does--so it isn't any difference in the "leagues" they belong to, it's a difference in what they are (or aren't) willing to do to (1) look "better" (2) "maintain" their looks over time.

If anything, as women get older, they spend more time and money on their appearance (up to a cutoff point of maybe 60, I suppose), while men probably spend less. Take two people who both look great at 25; by 40, I think we'd all expect her to be "maintaining her looks" a lot more assiduously than he would be.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:51 AM
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That is a really great post. My one quibble is with the study that reports that may-december marriages are more common among poorer people. That's fine, lower classes often tend to be more traditional, etc., but it would have been helpful to get a sense of the patterns within each class.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:51 AM
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No-one ever expects that the years to come will be unkind. One of the shittiest things about middle age is that sustained faith in the future requires an active effort.

Way to crush my hopes lw.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:54 AM
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I'm single at almost 40, very experienced with the 30s-single dating pool, and I don't think there's a scarcity of attractive/marriageable men relative to women in that age group. I think women just complain more about it, and get more space in pop culture to do it.

I also agree that anyone over their early 30s who has never been married has a reason. But the reasons are complex and not necessarily related to attractiveness. Some people are natural, easy pair-off-and-commit types and some people aren't. The 30s and never married pool is weighted toward the latter. One reason why you might not be a natural committment type is that you're fleeing from the law, or need to nurse your severe personal dysunctions in privacy, but you know, those aren't the only ones.

The most important thing to me is that somebody is aware and thoughtful about whatever their reasons are, and understands that marriage would be a significant personal change and something of a challenge (which it always is, but you can perhaps be more blithely indifferent to that when you're younger).

Basically, when you're older you're more formed as an individual but also wiser. So the question is whether someone has successfully activated their wisdom powers or whether their analysis of their situation is basically egotistical. I'm great! other people suck! so I'm single! -- is a huge red flag. Variants of it are more common than you'd think. Actually, I'm doubtful about anybody over 35 who seriously sees "I just haven't found the right person" as their reason for not being married.

And just to do my bit in driving this thread to 1000, I'm going to agree that men value looks relatively more than women, so a relationship where the woman is more attractive but the male compensates in other strengths is likely to do well.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:54 AM
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Whereas never married might signal "really picky" as easily as "inability to commit."

My question is whether the two might be the same. Imagine a woman who gets married on even years and divorced on odd years, learning a little on the way, and picking slightly better mates each time she marries.* Sooner or later she's going to find a husband that is sufficient for a durable marriage. I'm not sure coming from the other end--dropping standards as you don't marry--works as well. At a minimum, you might not be dropping your standards fast enough, as potential sufficient husbands get pulled out of the single bin and are kept out of it.

Obv., this is all ex recto idle speculation.

* I assuming away the genuinely tragic in which a woman meets up with an abusive man who sends her expectations on a downward spiral.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:56 AM
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(I don't really relish the thought of wailing on some kid), but I know damned well that, in an adrenaline situation, I'd have no problem with doing "what it takes."

I think this is a real problem. Mr. B.'s had to actively work to be gentler with PK b/c his temper takes over and PK ends up getting hurt. (No, he doesn't sock the kid.)

Another argument that physical touch in non-sporty situations is important for boys, imho.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:56 AM
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I'm single at almost 40, very experienced with the 30s-single dating pool, and I don't think there's a scarcity of attractive/marriageable men relative to women in that age group. I

You don't say.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:57 AM
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Whereas never married might signal "really picky" as easily as "inability to commit."

These are basically the same qualities.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:58 AM
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74: Actually, I was going to agree with 66 as well. I think that age range is pretty crucial - already-divorced at 30 signals some sort of youthful foolishness (although there might be some forgiveness for that), but already-divorced at 35+ just signals that, hey, divorces happen. I'm sure there are lots of old-fashioned assholes who would view that person as "damaged goods," but I would expect that anyone decent and mature would be fine with it. Whereas, indeed, never married at 35+ could signal "unmarriable."

That said, I think the cutoffs are probably different. I would guess that never-married 40 is clearly less desirable than once-married 35, but that it's a grey area in between.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:58 AM
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My one quibble is with the study that reports that may-december marriages are more common among poorer people. That's fine, lower classes often tend to be more traditional, etc., but it would have been helpful to get a sense of the patterns within each class.

Here's part of a table from the paper showing age-differences in marriage within income groups, by race. (This paper is quite old, btw ... I haven't looked around for anything newer.)


Posted by: Kieran | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:58 AM
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That is a really great post.

That Kieran really was a great poster at CT, wasn't he? It's a shame that he appears to have died.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 11:59 AM
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Fuck.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:00 PM
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75: I agree with most of what you say, except that I think that single guys tend to be exceptions to the "guys let themselves go" rule. The only times in my life when I've exercised in a way designed to improve my appearance (as opposed to recreationally) have been when I've been single. And those periods came far apart, between relationships.

A 32-y.o. single guy who lets himself go is an idiot. I suppose that doesn't mean that they're not out there, but it also doesn't mean that they just magically get 32-y.o. hotties.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:01 PM
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I'm single at almost 40, very experienced with the 30s-single dating pool, and I don't think there's a scarcity of attractive/marriageable men relative to women in that age group. I think women just complain more about it, and get more space in pop culture to do it.

My anecdata on this matter suggest two other relevant possibilities:

1. To the extent that we are talking about never-married singles, the late 30s woman is past her peak beauty years, while the late 30s man is just entering his peak earnings years. So for whatever weight you ascribe to beauty and money in the desirability of men and women, respectively, you are going to see some shift in the relevant "league" available to any given individual, and the shift goes to the benefit of the men, whereas women will perceive the shift as something to bemoan.

2. To the extent we are talking about divorced singles, men are more likely to experience divorce as liberating (in the sense of family responsibilities), while women are more likely to end up a single custodial parent. There is a recent divorcee in may neighborhood whom any man in his right mind should be happy to marry: early 30s, lovely personality, attractive, slender blonde, Ivy league diplomas, makes probably close to $200K as a lawyer. And she doesn't even have any suitors that I know of, because she spends every free moment taking care of her children.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:03 PM
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It's a shame that he appears to have died gone and had kids.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:03 PM
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,i>A 32-y.o. single guy who lets himself go is an idiot. I suppose that doesn't mean that they're not out there, but it also doesn't mean that they just magically get 32-y.o. hotties.

No, they get 20-something-year-old hotties who are still starstruck by the idea of a guy with a stable income. (A 32-year-old guy who lets himself go and doesn't have a stable income clearly isn't getting hotties in any age group!)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:04 PM
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Am I the only person in the world who tends to assume that divorced men are likelier to be damaged goods than divorced women?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:04 PM
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Am I the only person in the world who tends to assume that divorced men are likelier to be damaged goods than divorced women?

You're forgetting that a divorced woman has had all her daisy petals plucked already.



Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:06 PM
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91: No. (Based on my family experience)


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:06 PM
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91: Well, I assume that, too -- but I also assume that's my own self-serving rationalization...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:07 PM
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I think this is a real problem. Mr. B.'s had to actively work to be gentler with PK b/c his temper takes over and PK ends up getting hurt.

My wife is worried about this as well. At the moment the only physical manifestation of my temper is to pick up my daughter and place her in a chair. A bit roughly, yes, but only a bit, and she's very physical herself (likes to be tossed and flipped in bed, etc).

But anyway, I know my temper is an issue, so I think about it in the moment. But if I were being swarmed by threatening 5-y.o.s, well then, it's them or me.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:07 PM
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Or that Presidential debates would be trickier to manage if women laid eggs and men had to incubate them for a year.

They'd still probably turn out better than last night's debate.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:07 PM
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You don't say.

Don't be bitchy, B. If you thought about it for a second you'd see that the stereotype of a lot of worthy, attractive, single women with no good men around is actually sort of retro and sexist. It's based on the assumption that women all want to marry and have kids but some fail because men are cads.

women are more likely to end up a single custodial parent.

I narrow my dating pool enormously because I don't get involved with single/divorced parents. I dealt with my Mom dating when I was young and it was an enormously complex situation for a man to walk into. I greatly respect people who can do it, but I don't feel like I'm up for it.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:08 PM
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Ice-T/whateverhiswife'snameis

Coco.


Posted by: Coco LeBoobs | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:09 PM
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91: Isn't that the common cultural cliche? Not the patriarchal one, obvs., but the slightly-sassy, media-informed one?

Maybe I just watched too much One Day at a Time.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:10 PM
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I agree with most of what you say, except that I think that single guys tend to be exceptions to the "guys let themselves go" rule.

Fair enough, but wasn't part of the article an assessment comparing couples?

the late 30s woman is past her peak beauty years

Honestly? I don't think this is true. I realize that's low-hanging fruit, but anyone who doesn't think that women in their 30s and 40s are frequently much more beautiful than they were in their teens and 20s is blind. Less "hot," maybe, but that's not the same thing.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:11 PM
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I narrow my dating pool enormously because I don't get involved with single/divorced parents.

This is totally understandable, of course. But awareness of this line of thinking goes a long way to convincing me that I am going to die alone...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:11 PM
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88.2: Ever since I had a kid, I find myself much more likely to find divorced mothers attractive, but that doesn't really do anyone any good, does it?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:12 PM
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I'll suit her, Knecht. What's her number?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:13 PM
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Based on my family experience

I expect experience is crucial. Alternatively, I wonder if the assumption is based on a (mistaken, IIRC) belief that men are the ones opting out--that is, "escaping"--marriage, or a related one that says that marriage most likely fails because the man hasn't made the requisite changes (women having been bred for marriage, etc.).


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:13 PM
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Fair enough, but wasn't part of the article an assessment comparing couples?

And the other part was talking about the singles pool. That's the part I'm thinking about here.

At least I think so.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:14 PM
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I realize that's low-hanging fruit

Yes, that's part of the problem.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:14 PM
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Alternatively, I wonder if the assumption is based on a (mistaken, IIRC) belief that men are the ones opting out--that is, "escaping"--marriage, or a related one that says that marriage most likely fails because the man hasn't made the requisite changes (women having been bred for marriage, etc.).

I think this is right (that it's the assumption, not the case). The man failed the marriage, not the marriage failed.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:16 PM
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I don't think this is true. I realize that's low-hanging fruit, but anyone who doesn't think that women in their 30s and 40s are frequently much more beautiful than they were in their teens and 20s is blind.

The issue may not be beauty but the ability to produce issue. (Again, a guess.) I think that, for a lot of people, the connection between marriage and raising kids is pretty strong.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:17 PM
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Thurber's Middle Aged Man on the Flying Trapeze is a sensitive and funny book about divorce.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:18 PM
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A bit roughly, yes, but only a bit, and she's very physical herself

Right, so's PK. Be careful with that "bit roughly", though--a "bit" for an adult is a lot for a little kid. Plus blah blah it's scary to be overpowered, etc.

Don't be bitchy, B.

Don't be humorless, PGD.

If you thought about it for a second you'd see that the stereotype of a lot of worthy, attractive, single women with no good men around is actually sort of retro and sexist.

No, really? You shock and amaze me.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:19 PM
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I can't help it -- non-feminists are humorless.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:20 PM
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YOU'RE ALL BROKEN!!!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:21 PM
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I wonder if the assumption is based on a (mistaken, IIRC) belief that men are the ones opting out--that is, "escaping"--marriage, or a related one that says that marriage most likely fails because the man hasn't made the requisite changes (women having been bred for marriage, etc.).

In my case, the assumption is based on a belief that women probably file for divorce more often than men do, and that people seldom file for divorce without at least some kind of reason.

To be more specific, I think men are less likely to do housework and possibly more likely to get caught cheating. And that the housework fight is a major issue in a relationship.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:22 PM
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108: I'm willing to go along with that; I was responding specifically to a claim that women of a certain age are less beautiful, though.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:24 PM
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women probably file for divorce more often than men do

I'm pretty sure that's right, though I don't know how much that's skewed by divorces of fifteen to twenty years ago.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:24 PM
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And that the housework fight is a major issue in a relationship.

Be careful generalizing too broadly from your own House of Limitless Filth.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:26 PM
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116: Heh. The reason it's filthy is that I've opted for the marriage over the housework. I'm one of the good ones.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:28 PM
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83: I would guess that never-married 40 is clearly less desirable than once-married 35, but that it's a grey area in between.

Oh, sigh. Never-married could signal "unmarriable"? Well, okay, we do know that a lot of people harbor this view. (I should have married one or the other of the long-term bf's I've had, shouldn't I? I knew it! and I did love them very much. We'd quite possibly have been divorced by now anyway, but that's not the point.)

Sorry, can't get the sarcastic tone out of my voice here, and it's not really intended sharply.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:29 PM
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74: I wouldn't have thought "divorced" was preferable to "never married" in determining a suitable mate.

Just one data point obviously, but that's certainly been my experience, and a big surprise to me. People I've dated with any seriousness since my divorce (at age 34) have all wanted to know why the marriage failed, to assure themselves that it wasn't due to some horrible flaw or transgression of mine. Beyond that, though, the fact of a past marriage seems to be a reassuring sign (not commitment-phobic, "unmarriageable", etc.), rather than a sign of damaged goods. (I make no claims as to the accuracy of such an inference, in my case or in general.)


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:30 PM
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"Once married, twice shied away from it" needs to be a line in someone's personal ad.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:30 PM
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I was responding specifically to a claim that women of a certain age are less beautiful, though.

I should have qualified that claim, because I don't believe it is an eternal truth or anything, just a widely held perception.

Personally, I never found women over the age of 35 attractive until the one I loved passed that milestone, and with each passing year I discover that the ceiling for the age until which beauty persists has increased by another 12 months. Moreover, I have become more attuned to beauty in that age group more generally (thanks, no doubt, to all the yummy-mummies in Fleur's peer group). My mother-in-law, to take another example, is well north of 70 and still objectively beautiful.

Nevertheless, the patriarchy is in general fairly unforgiving w/r/t the depreciation of feminine beauty in the mating market.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:32 PM
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And that the housework fight is a major issue in a relationship.

Or that it is a convenient surrogate for projecting other issues onto. The UNG did more housework than I, at least at certain points. And I provided more. And damned if I was going to feel obligated to share housework equally with the unemployed dude while working my ass off 60 hours a week. And of course we fought about housework -- but it was really, at heart, a fight about latent insecurities derived from societal expectations of gender roles and the inability to reconcile that with the reality of our situation.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:32 PM
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I've opted for the marriage over the housework. I'm one of the good ones.

In other words, divorced women are signaling that they prefer a clean house to love. A bad sign!


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:33 PM
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Divorced women are signalling that the men they dumped preferred watching tv to love.

Or that it is a convenient surrogate for projecting other issues onto.

Indeed.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:35 PM
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People are beautiful at many different ages, but in different ways. The real selfish-pleasure reason to be involved with someone younger is not that older people are ugly, but that you will experience both the young-beauty and old-beauty stage with them.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:35 PM
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Sorry, can't get the sarcastic tone out of my voice here, and it's not really intended sharply.

It's not that you didn't know people harbored these prejudices, but they'll still fucking suck...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:36 PM
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From time to time I wish I had married Ex-Girlfriend No. 1, but I suppose that's just another coat of paint on the way I wish I'd done better for that relationship.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:36 PM
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I've opted for the marriage over the housework. I'm one of the good ones.

I hate to tell you this, but the good ones don't see that as an either/or proposition. Now get your bitch ass in the kitchen and make me a pie.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:38 PM
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In other words, divorced women are signaling that they prefer a clean house to love. A bad sign!

Divorced women are signaling that the men they dumped preferred watching tv to love.

But! But! I have no interest in a clean house. And I LOVE watching tv. Divorced women are signaling that the men they dumped were needy little twits who need to grow up.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:39 PM
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129: who are you, I want to marry you now.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:40 PM
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128: Sorry, ladies, he's taken.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:41 PM
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The real selfish-pleasure reason to be involved with someone younger is not that older people are ugly, but that you will experience both the young-beauty and old-beauty stage with them

The caveat to observe here is that not every young beauty remains beautiful once the youthful beauty fades. Unless you're very good at distinguishing them, you might see the youthful beauty vanish--and old age lasts a lot longer than youth. The advantage of a mature beauty is that you know that she has already survived the steepest period of decline, and that the beauty you perceive is durable.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:42 PM
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who are you, I want to marry you now.

Di, obviously.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:42 PM
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I was on a pie-baking jag not too long ago. This week I'm on a sick child jag. So fucking boring, I'm telling you.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:43 PM
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130: Sorry, custodial parent. I don't swim in your dating pool...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:44 PM
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Conversations about beauty sort of drive me up the wall. I hate that beauty is the social good to end all social goods. It's such an empty rat-race.

(I know that the people here know this, and would not date on a pretty face without personality and intelligence. This has just been rankling me, again, as usual.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:45 PM
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whoops, serves me right for being a picky bastard.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:46 PM
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I hate that beauty is the social good to end all social goods.

Only for chicks. For men, it's money and/or housework. Haven't you been paying attention?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:46 PM
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and would not date on a pretty face for an extended period of time without personality and intelligence.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:47 PM
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132 is about one step away from making John Derbyshire's argument for his asian wife.

136: except Blume. She's a straight-up lookist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:49 PM
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Looks matter a lot. I can't claim to be enlightened.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:50 PM
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The caveat to observe here is that not every young beauty remains beautiful once the youthful beauty fades.

Yeah, and then you'll be sorry you didn't sleep with me!


Posted by: Every sonnetteer ever | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:51 PM
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This week I'm on a sick child jag.

Ugh, that was last weekend for us. Not only Roberta, me, and both of the little ones simultaneously stricken, but also a visiting (immunocompromised, to boot) friend who arrived just before the first symptoms erupted. It looked like this.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:53 PM
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people here know this, and would not date on a pretty face without personality and intelligence

That's not the issue -- it's that people won't date on personality and intelligence behind an ugly face/body.

True of women too, BTW. I have observed this from their responses to other people who are not me.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:54 PM
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that is a tragic yet deeply charming photo, apo.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:54 PM
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132 is about one step away from making John Derbyshire's argument for his asian wife.

To be fair, he wasn't making a novel claim.

Looks matter a lot. I can't claim to be enlightened.

I don't think you have to be enlightened, but I'd be pretty surprised if they mattered as much to you as they did in the past, on the assumption that experience has taught you that looks don't signal anything beyond looks.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:56 PM
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143: Mmm, lovely. No puking here. Just buckets and buckets of snot and piles and piles of dirty kleenex. We're on the FIFTH DAY of it now.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:57 PM
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True of women too, BTW. I have observed this from their responses to other people who are not me.

Anecdata, but I've dated some fairly strange looking dudes based on personality and intelligence. And I can certainly think of some pretty unattractive guys who are happily coupled up.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:58 PM
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I hate that beauty is the social good to end all social goods.

No one here is saying that it is or ought to be. It is, however, indisputably a signficant factor in partner selection and sexual attraction.
And, pragmatically speaking, there is at least as much good to be done by getting people to expand their notion of physical beauty than in getting them to pretend that it is a pointless concern.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 12:59 PM
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No puking here.

The puking was the less bothersome GI manifestation, by far. I came to envy the ones in diapers.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:00 PM
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No one here is saying that it is or ought to be.

Oh, cut it out. My very next line was a caveat about how it didn't really apply here.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:02 PM
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150: Okay! You win!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:02 PM
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150: one(s)? Either the visiting friend was a friend of the children or there's something I really don't understand about your family.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:02 PM
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And I can certainly think of some pretty unattractive guys who are happily coupled up.

raises hand!!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:07 PM
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I spent some time when I was younger trying to deny that looks were important to me and dating women who weren't really physically attractive to me but had great personalities. That didn't do anybody any favors. The looks thing is sort of primal.

As KR says above though, the trick is not to get hung up on stereotypical "hotness", which is more about social status.

I can certainly think of some pretty unattractive guys who are happily coupled up.

Yeah, I think looks are important for both sexes but relatively more for men.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:07 PM
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151: Heebie is right!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:08 PM
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153: I have two kids in diapers. Actually, Noah's almost done potty training (~90% success rate!), but I wasn't about to test his nascent continence against lethargy and explosive diarrhea.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:10 PM
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Is there really a shortage of "desirable" bachelors? Or is it just, in any sample, that the group dynamics of pair bonding means that there are always a few stragglers, and that the group has exhausted its supply of "known" bachelors. The others are out there, outside of your acquaintance.

From personal experience, after my first marriage broke up I had no small number of friend's wives trying to hook me up with their single girlfriends. Crudely, I felt like I had gone from predator to prey.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:11 PM
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BR had bad sickness last weekend. I slept in the spare bedroom and sent her thoughts of wellness from the other room.

The neighbor's baby (hereinafter "vector of disease") infected her parents, BR, and our other neighbors.

I was spared.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:12 PM
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157: oh right, the girl poops, too. Sometimes I forget.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:12 PM
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oh right, the girl poops, too. Sometimes I forget.

Blume really is awesome.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:14 PM
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The rainbows are nice, but it really is unpleasant when unicorns come out of your ass.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:16 PM
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From personal experience, after my first marriage broke up I had no small number of friend's wives trying to hook me up with their single girlfriends. Crudely, I felt like I had gone from predator to prey.

Wasnt it great????


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:17 PM
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Is Blume Sifu's mysterious girlfriend? Dare I ask in a public setting?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:17 PM
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Dumb question: Is KR Knecht Ruprecht or someone who's decided to adopt those initials independently?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:17 PM
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164: Um, it's not mysterious, Mr. Delightful.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:18 PM
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Is Blume Sifu's mysterious girlfriend? Dare I ask in a public setting?

Yes. She has spectacular eyebrows.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:18 PM
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Mysterious eyebrows! Maintained by my research assistants!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:25 PM
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Heebie is right!

Alright, this was fun at first*, but can't someone else be right? I mean, not B, obviously, but maybe Sifu?

*Still making me laugh


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:26 PM
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I don't think you get to heap scorn on PGD when asking that question about KR, BG.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:27 PM
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Wasnt it great????

Frightening, actually. A little too much pressure from some quarters. I think there were egos involved, and my own judgement was obviously faulty, hence the divorce.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:29 PM
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Low information commenters can't be expected to know everyone's positions on the issues, IYKWIM.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:30 PM
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my own judgement was obviously faulty, hence the divorce.

Bite your tongue, TLL!


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:31 PM
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173: No, no Will. You misunderstand. One's judgment in obtaining the divorce is never faulty. (Except for the commenter here --I'm blanking on who -- who got cold feet about the divorce and remarried. But even there, the divorce was probably good for the marriage... )

171: Quit your griping TLL. It's certainly better than, "Hey, maybe we could fix you up with X. He's [got a slight drinking problem/is a neocon/might be gay], but he's a really nice guy..."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:35 PM
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What you meant to say, TLL, was that no one was really at fault, but if anyone was, it may have been her for all of the infidelity.

-Will


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:36 PM
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All the nice things people are saying about Blume are metonymies or synecdoches (or whatever) for her spectacular shoulders. Shoulders are very important in American life, but it's impolite to refer to them directly.

Regarding the importance of looks etc., I think that it's greatly reduced within face-to-face communities when people marry within the group. There's a woman around here who lost a leg at 21 in an accident which killed her husband. A one-legged widow would have a lot of trouble in singles bars, computer dating, etc., but she remarried as soon as she wanted to because people knew her. She'd been a real belle before, it's true.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:37 PM
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no one was really at fault, but if anyone was, it may have been her for all of the infidelity that she drove him to.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:38 PM
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177: Potato, potahto.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:43 PM
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176: Once you've been with a woman with one leg....


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:44 PM
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Oh, not griping, Di. Just a little taken aback at the change. And in fact, I did marry one of the setups, so it's all good.

no one was really at fault, but if anyone was, it may have been her for all of the infidelity that she drove him to.

This was in fact, the ex's reasoning. Turns out she was clinically depressed, which she only found out when the new boyfriend didn't magically make her happy. Oops.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:44 PM
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||

The video for Suzanne Vega's "Solitude Standing" is very funny. Her backing band is dudded up like the ur-80s pop-rock band, all up on risers, emoting on their instruments, while Vega does a fairly modest performance of a quiet song in front of them.

At least, I assume it was supposed to be funny.

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:46 PM
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176: Once you've been with a woman with one leg....

A wife like that, you don't eat all at once.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 1:49 PM
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There used to be a mail-order-bride site that specialized in Russian amputees. So, you know, don't knock until you've tried it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 2:03 PM
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To the extent that we are talking about never-married singles, the late 30s woman is past her peak beauty years, while the late 30s man is just entering his peak earnings years. So for whatever weight you ascribe to beauty and money in the desirability of men and women, respectively, you are going to see some shift in the relevant "league" available to any given individual, and the shift goes to the benefit of the men, whereas women will perceive the shift as something to bemoan.

To the extent this is true this should play out with alot of may/december romances. But it really doesn't according to Keriann's link. Social class is the main determiner of who people marry.

Also, the point about men entering their peak earning years isn't that strong. At age twenty, men have a certain expected earning capacity. Things that correlate to the expected earning capacity like social dominance, height and intelligence tend to be valued by women. By the time men turn 40, some will do better than expected and some will do worse, but this is just a shuffling of which men are better off in the market for mates not a benefit that applies to men in general.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 2:07 PM
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183: Double amputees can't very well knock, Tweety.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 2:12 PM
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185: they still have heads, don't they?

(And don't you get all "assumes facts not in evidence" on me!)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 2:13 PM
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139 gets it so so right. I've thought about this, and I probably would date someone really hot but kind of stupid or with an annoying personality, so long as they were the type where we wouldn't have to talk much.

But yeah... extended period of time? No way.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 2:56 PM
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119 is right and

"must be something wrong with that person if they couldn't make it work"

is wrong. Sorry, Di.

This was confirmed to me many times over in my short single interlude. One friend, looking me up and down, said "oh, yeah. The divorced thing is very attractive. People know you don't fear commitment."

My ex-wife, on the rare occasion that we sat and talked, hinted at the callow quality of someone she had been "hanging out with". "You need to suffer," she said she thought about him; "you should get a divorce," she thought.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:07 PM
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"oh, yeah. The divorced thing is very attractive. People know you don't fear commitment."

People are crazy. Divorced people who don't thereafter fear commitment are people who don't learn from their mistakes...

I suppose I do find divorced people (in theory -- guess I should find some!) attractive on the assumption that (a) they probably have a reasonable understanding of divorce; and (b) increased likelihood that they have or have a declared position with respect to kids.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:15 PM
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Actually, addendum. I speculate that this is a gender specific question. A divorced guy? Oh good, he doesn't fear commitment. Because guys are supposed to fear commitment as the default, so that's reassuring. Women? Well, we're suppose to always be on the prowl to trap a guy into commitment. So divorced? Kids? OMG, she's going to try to make me raise babies with her!

I'm speculating from a tired and loopy state, of course.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 4:18 PM
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I have a neighbor who doesn't fear committment. Three marriages, a disastrous engagement that bankrupted him, and still looking.

The man is just plain nuts. And bad news, but not afraid of committment.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 5:07 PM
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i see more potentially compatible couples here
though i was wrong about Witt and CN, he had a fiancee, alas :)
don't know where and how far from each other you all are, but for example PGD&BG, Di K&Nick S, Witt&AK, JE&MC may want to contact each other
amen


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 5:33 PM
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want is too strong and kinda pushy
s/b would have liked may be


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 5:51 PM
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192: Interestingly, my boss also tried to fix me up on a blind date with a guy named Nick. A few weeks later, the boss mentions, "So I ran into Nick this weekend. You know, he seems to have some fairly unpleasant attitudes about women. I guess maybe you wouldn't have liked him."

Presumably a different Nick, though.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 6:18 PM
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I have a neighbor who doesn't fear committment. Three marriages, a disastrous engagement that bankrupted him, and still looking.

I'm a little surprised this perspective on the matter hadn't come up yet. I know any number of people on their second marriages, or third, or looking for the third, and I sometimes wonder whether they should consider trying people out for a little longer before they commit.

That stuff would tear me up; breaking up 5- or 7-year long joint property living-together arrangements is tough already. I confess I wonder how much commitment is really at hand in a lot of marriages: I tend to think a number of them are provisional, pragmatic arrangements for the sake of raising children. Which is fine. And is not to say that a lot of them aren't (I don't wish to offend anyone here).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 6:39 PM
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194
sure, that's some different Nick, Unfogged's Nick is considerate, sensitive and likes good music
i would like to refer you to his answers on the previous thread
forgot its title, so can't link it here, sorry


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 7:02 PM
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195: Absolutely -- some people could use a little more fear of commitment!

196: You are sweet, read.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 7:47 PM
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I have thought of defining marriages as childraising co-ops or childraising partnerships.

Gary Becker actually has a description of marriage that could be written up legally as a corporation, except there are difficulties in describing the child's role in the corporation. Apparently the primary product of the marital factory is a new unit capable of joining someone else to form a new marital factory. (At my URL).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 8:39 PM
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The funny thing about getting married is that if you like it, you never want to do it again.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 8:43 PM
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198: Just don't sign me up for your no-relationship policy, John.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 8:48 PM
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I'm a universalist, Parsimon, like Napoleon, Jesus, Muhammed, Kant, and the Habsburgs. No everyone knows it, but the no-relationship policy applies to everyone.

At present my powers both of persuasion and enforcement are very weak. But it's always darkest before the dawn.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 8:59 PM
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199: Not in my case.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 9:05 PM
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196: You are sweet, read.

You are, I appreciate the kind words.

I do not live anywhere near Di, however.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 9:57 PM
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But it's always darkest before the dawn.

I love this phrase because it isn't true.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-17-08 9:58 PM
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I'm a universalist, Parsimon, like Napoleon, Jesus, Muhammed, Kant, and the Habsburgs.

The Habsburgs, John? tu felix Austria nube? Your policy is in shreds.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 2:40 AM
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i intended to just make you notice each other
and am not to be held responsible for further courses of action or logistics


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 6:08 AM
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Your policy is in shreds.

To the contrary! The Habsburgs wed not out of romantic (or even courtly) love, but for purely instrumental raisons d'├ętat, not unlike the corporate arrangement Emerson proposes in 198.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 6:15 AM
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should add any
any further for emphasis
when i was young i remember i enjoyed very much a tv drama series about Austro-Hungarian empress with Romy Schneider


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 6:25 AM
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i enjoyed very much a tv drama series about Austro-Hungarian empress with Romy Schneider

Sissi!! Romy Schneider! **Swoon**.

Read, forgive me for telling you this, but those films are not acclaimed for their historical realism.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 6:33 AM
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historical realism, whatever
i just liked Romy Schneider in it
in 2004 i watched a russian tv series, that reminded me Sissi
this one
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRKSF6GIkhc


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 6:41 AM
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I got some interesting data points on marriage (and relationships in general) a number of years ago when the department of several hundred folks that I was in was somewhat unexpectedly transferred halfway across the country. Faced with that decision, a surprising number of marriages blew sky high (maybe 10 to 20 out of the pool that I knew of). And I sometimes wonder how many of those couples would have slogged through to the bitter end absent a precipating event like the move.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 6:49 AM
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I sometimes wonder how many of those couples would have slogged through to the bitter end absent a precipating event like the move.

There really are defining moments in life, things that force you to evaluate what is truly important.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 04-18-08 8:32 AM
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i'm disappointed by luck of interest in the Russian soap opera linked above
that's really a great story, so the two were brought up like a brother and a sister by old comte, when he died they discovered that she is a krepostnaya, slave, the old comte was to free her but did not have time to do that, so first the young comte can't step over his class prejudices, he was left broke and has to fight his neighbours going after his inheritance, so she is threatened to change her owners like over the dispute of their properties, then he gradually falls in love with her, then has to fight over her with his best friend who proposed to her despite her slave status, there are many other stories and personages including the imperial family in that drama, it was very interesting from the beginning
all the costumes, the characters, the period interior, the film producers tried to be historically that, realist
i remember i enjoyed too the Slave Izaura, Maria, Santa Barbara i watched some episodes and one korean serial starring Rain
after that i do not watch soaps anymore
well, off to work


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 7:38 AM
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205: The Habsburgs failed, like all the others. But they recognized no limits to their power.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 04-19-08 8:35 AM
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