Princeton mom: Women have a "shelf life"

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by ilovepaydays, Apr 2, 2013.

  1. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    9,142
    Um, yes? All of my coworkers that I work directly with are married, and none of them have double eyelids...
  2. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Messages:
    19,418
    Smarter in almost every way I can see, but not always that much smarter.

    I can only judge based on my own hierarchy: I think the most important capabilities are 1. Meeting the obligations a person agrees to, unless circumstances, like health, cause them not to be able to 2. Balancing excellence at the key things they do without having it take over their lives 3. Being independent 4. Following through 5. Setting expectations and communicating well 6. Dealing reasonably well under pressure and changing circumstances.

    Almost all of my female friends are more capable in these ways than their husbands, and I don't include the passive-aggressive ways of getting out of housework and other things they feign incompetence at. Some are better at holding jobs, and others are better at their work than their husbands. I'm trying to think of one who is less flexible and adept at change than her husband, and I can't. The last six-seven years of the economy have shown this in many, many ways.

    It's not as if I think my friends are 100% more capable and smarter in every way: I think they are more capable and smarter in ways that matter to me, and, of course, I'm generally not privy to their husbands' point of view. I'm trying to think of a husband that I don't like, and I can't think of one, and some are both friends of mine, usually independently. I've pushed back when I think they're full of it and aren't giving credit to their husbands/partners. They get lots of other things from their spouse.

    Some have had massive frustrations, and one is too cheap to ever divorce her husband, although she feels he played a bait and switch -- I don't think consciously -- but they've been a more consistently happy lot than I've been, in general. They mostly like being married, and I think the ones who occasionally rue that they didn't pick/weren't picked by the citius/altius/fortius guys wouldn't have been happy on a day-to-day basis with them.
  3. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2002
    Messages:
    30,366
    Of course not. The schools are just icing on the cake. These women are extraordinary. In one case, the Ivy League school recruited her, not the other way around. There is no balance of smarts and abilities, especially in one of the cases. The disparity is glaring. And it ended in a divorce which surprised no one.

    In the other case, there are some other qualities that make up for the difference in educational and intellectual level, at least for the woman involved, or so it seems.

    You are going to have to trust me (or not) but I am not giving out any more details as this forum is publicly available.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  4. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    38,307
    And therein lies the rub. Someone else could, looking at the same situation from a different angle, come to completely different conclusions.

    In the end, it only matters how the married couple perceives their differences.

    I was simply asking you why you defined both women by where they went to school, not asking you to prove anything.
  5. Kasey

    Kasey Loving on babies!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Messages:
    11,799
    If I had a shelf-life, I love being expired at this point. Expiration is where life begins! :)
  6. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    11,964
    The chick who sat next to me in 11th grade English spent the entire year asking me for answers about Silas Marner and Julius Caesar and whatever else we had to read in junior year. Meanwhile, I was practically napping at my desk and counting down the days to graduation so I could finally get out of that teenage hellhole and I was like what the hell, this chick is supposed to be so damn smart why does she keep asking me for the answers? She ended up going to Princeton. She was amiable enough but she never struck me as particularly remarkable, she just struck me as a chick who knew how to take a test and how to give the answers that teachers wanted to hear. I, on the other hand, wasn't always so good with that teacher pleasing thing.
  7. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Messages:
    19,418
    Of course. But when friends explicitly list the trade-offs they make -- perhaps unreliable witness testimony -- intelligence and capability aren't things they often list on the pro side in emphatic terms, except for the two who chose exceptional fathers who've been the kids' primary caretakers. (For one this was intended; for another, it happened by circumstance.) "Smart enough" is a common description, or, as one of my male friends says when he tells me has a new girlfriend and I ask what she's like and what she looks like, he'll answer, "She's as cute as anyone needs to be." It's like a minimum level has been met, but there's a lot that wasn't on all of their lists to begin with, especially the ones who partnered young and are still with the same guys 35+ years later. They found mensches, or, in the case of one, did what she described to me as what her mother did: she found a guy who wasn't as smart, capable, or good-looking, but who adored her and thought he had won the lottery when she agreed to marry him. (They've been together for over 50 years.)
  8. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    13,739
    I"ve never been attracted to men who were less smart or capable than I was.
    The few real "prospects" I met had already been discovered by women who were searching for the same thing.

    At my advanced age, I haven't given up hope; but, as the years pass. finding such a person seems less likely.
  9. topaz

    topaz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Messages:
    8,827

    I agree with most of what you say. Two extreme career driven person, when do they have time for their relationships?

    However, I think it's more important to find a person that compliments you emotionally and spirtually.

    Imo opinion, it's better to not be married, live your life than it is to settle and marry. The author of the article does not mention the many educational, career women who "settle" in relationships that don't make them happy. For that matter, the number of women who settle for relationships who don't make them happy because they feel then "need" or "should" be in a relationship. How about we see research about that.

    I swear it seems that some women culturally are right out of 1850.
  10. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,461
    I think in 1850 the odds of finding a mutually fulfilling relationship were much better as people had a lot fewer unrealistic expectations or competing 'life goals.'

    And settling is never good because settling breeds resentment. Better to be single than be someone you eventually hate for not being what you wanted, just what was available.
  11. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    38,307

    Life of women in 1850.

    Not my idea of a good time and not my idea of mutually fulfilling relationship, either.
  12. J-Ro

    J-Ro Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    135
    I do believe that marrying one's intellectual equal is crucial to a good relationship. Let's put it this way: it won't guarantee a good marriage, but if two people are on completely different levels, it's definitely not going to work in the long run. And no, you don't have to find your intellectual equal in college. In my case, I'm about to get a master's degree from, well, an Ivy League university (let's just say it's in the Boston area). My husband is a machinist by trade who never finished college. (We met at a party.) But he has an IQ of 147 and is mechanically and musically gifted. My talents are a bit different but we always have plenty to talk about.
  13. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    15,956
    I think it depends on what you are looking for in a relationship. If you are looking for someone to nurture you, their IQ is probably somewhat irrelevant as long as it reaches a certain level. If you are looking for people to have fascinating conversations with, then it matters more.

    One of my Princeton men had an IQ at least as high as mine, probably higher. Part of what made him freaking annoying was his utter conviction that he was always the smartest one in the room. And it wasn't annoying because it wasn't true either. He frequently was the smartest one in the room. He's also in his late 50s and never married. So I guess I wasn't the only one put off by his attitude.
  14. quartz

    quartz Point of Know Return

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2002
    Messages:
    1,848
    Compatible IQ scores were never part of the discussion when my husband and I were dating. Neither of us even knows what they are, nor do we care!

    We met when he picked me and a friend who was a neighbor of his, up at a bus stop. We hung out for a bit, then the friend had to go home. I stayed with him and we spent almost the entire night sitting on the swings at the local park, talking. If I had judged him then, because he was a high school drop out, I would have missed out on 32 years of love!
  15. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2002
    Messages:
    5,764
    In most of the marriages I see that are rocky, it is precipitated by 1) financial pressures followed by 2) differences in response to those financial pressures. #2 seems to depend on compatibility wrt common sense/practicality versus education/IQ.
  16. Smiley0884

    Smiley0884 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    Messages:
    2,696
    I know a few couple like this, but most of the couples I know are on par with regards to education/salary. I actually know quite a few couples where the man is more than content to live off the woman. A friend of mine is currently working two jobs while finishing her masters at a prestegious university, while her fiance is content to work 15 hours a week at the local corner store :scream: . Of course, he can't work full time because he's going back to the local community college in the fall, to finally scrounge up enough credits to transfer to a state school after 10 years of half-assing it. :shuffle:
  17. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
    Messages:
    10,512
    I still haven't found the right vacuum cleaner. :wuzrobbed: I own about four and none of them meets my needs. I guess that makes me promiscuous as well as unsatisfied on that front.
    Southpaw and (deleted member) like this.
  18. quartz

    quartz Point of Know Return

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2002
    Messages:
    1,848
    :rofl:
  19. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    11,089
    Me neither. I have 3. None work great, but all function.

    My neighbor's laud their Rainbows, but I just can't fathom spending that much on a vacuum.
  20. quartz

    quartz Point of Know Return

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2002
    Messages:
    1,848
    Uh oh.....I have a feeling there are now going to be the potential husband vs vacuum function comparisons happening in 3. 2. 1.........
  21. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    3,106
    The man with the highest IQ in the world, Rick Rosner, worked as a bouncer and stripper before becoming a writer. It's really cool that there are some intelligent people in every profession.
  22. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2002
    Messages:
    2,249
    Hmmm. Bouncer, stripper, AND smart? Seems like a good guy to have around ;)

    O-
  23. madm

    madm Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Messages:
    544
    My husband has a PhD and two Master's degrees, and I have one Master's degree. Since it was easier for me to be employed at a high salary than him, he played the role of "Mr. Mom" when our kids were born. He also taught one class at the local university in the early mornings, which allowed him some intellectual stimulation and adult contact during the day. He is very domestic and did a great job with our girls. I had to laugh at the surprized people who praised him at the grocery store when he had the girls in tow (sometimes in a backpack carrier), because women never got that kind of praise. My point is that there is no one way to be married - we chose for me to be the breadwinner. We've been together for 36 years and our partnership, although unconventional, has worked just fine. Even though he never had much of a career, we still have rousing intellectual conversations at our house and have instilled a strong value for education in our children (one in vet school now and the other applying to grad schools). I guess we've carried on the traditions of our parents re: valuing education. My mother was from a family of 10 children, and due to her father having a near fatal accident when their children were young, her parents told all their girls to get a good education because they may someday have to support themselves (all her mother could do was housework when the accident happened). My mom went on to graduate in home economics in 1932 from Purdue (unusual for a woman to be in college then), and taught middle school after that until she married at age 38. My in-laws also had similar college degree experiences. I don't think it's as important to be intellectual equals in a marraige as it is to have shared values, which might include valuing education.
  24. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    13,739
    I don't think "shared values" happen without similar intellectual capability.
    That doesn't always mean that a couple's educational experiences are the same, at all.
  25. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2006
    Messages:
    9,268
    Loving and cringing at the phrase "shelf life." Because now that I'm in my 40s, my shelf has a bit less life than it did, say, 20 years ago. :p (thank heavens for supportive brassieres!)
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  26. J-Ro

    J-Ro Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    135
    This is exactly it. It's hard to really share any experience fully if both partners aren't on the same intellectual wavelength. If there is much of a discrepancy, the couple will not be able to connect with each other. It's hard to truly develop an emotional connection if the levels of understanding are too far apart.
  27. Kasey

    Kasey Loving on babies!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Messages:
    11,799
    Nah. They both suck ;)
  28. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    38,307
    What does "intellectual wavelength" mean?
  29. quartz

    quartz Point of Know Return

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2002
    Messages:
    1,848
    Ahhh.....you went with the suck factor. I thought perhaps someone might also mention bags. Or nozzles. Or uprights. I'll stop now. Sorry. It has been a silly day on FSU, what with skating dinosaurs and maple snatches.
  30. J-Ro

    J-Ro Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    135
    Ba-dum-DUM! [cymbal crash] Thank you. Thanks for coming out. I'll be here all week. Be sure to tip your bartender.
    Kasey and (deleted member) like this.
  31. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    15,956
    Best post in the thread!

    It means "I love my husband and enjoy talking to him." As far as I can tell. :shuffle:

    So, apparently it's okay if one partner has only a HS diploma and the other a PhD as long as they are "intellectual equals" but it's not okay if the relationship is based on something other than intellect? Eh, I like my marriage. I am intellectual all day at work. The last thing I want to do when I get home is have deep and meaningful discussions. About anything. My husband has other things he brings to the table and that works for me.
  32. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    38,307
    That I can do :lol:.

    I've been racking my brains trying to think of a conversation I've had with my husband lately that would reveal our intellectual wavelength(s). Most of our conversations involve things like the kids, schedules, and assorted household issues, and bickering over stupid stuff that neither of us cares about; we just find bickering entertaining. We talk about work and gossip about family and friends. I can't think of much of anything we talk about that requires a whole lot of brain activity.

    As for shared values--maybe we are all defining "values" differently, but I don't think most values have much to do with the intellect. I do think sharing values is important (in the way that I described way back in this thread), but that only requires intelligence if you value intelligence.
  33. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Messages:
    12,772
    Maybe you get your intellectual stimulation/rewards from your work?

    A lot of intelligent people value intelligence in partners and friends.
  34. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    3,739
    Intelligence need not be equated with education or career choice. The smartest person in my extended family is my Mensa SIL, and she chose to be a dancer, and when it was over, a stage manager.
    As for marriage, I really believe different things work for different people, as trite as it sounds. I feel lucky that my husband is intelligent, but I am with him because of his personal qualities. There are plenty of intelligent men ( and women) I cannot imagine being with for more than 30 seconds if I can help it.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  35. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Messages:
    11,058
    If having intellectual discussions is important to you, yes. :p

    I don't normally have super-deep discussions with Alf. Or my friends. Or even my family. At least on a regular basis. It's kind of heavy. :eek:

    What's most important, IMO, is mutual respect. If one person is intellectual, the other shouldn't put the other person down for being so. Same if one partner is a hardcore sports fan and the other is not.

    I'm part of a comic book "geek" forum, and many guys there lament about not being able to find a comic geek girlfriend. The ones who are married or have girlfriends themselves are all like, "Um, the best you can hope for is someone who at least tolerates it." :lol:
  36. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    38,307
    I'm sure that I do, and so does he.

    But that indicates that intellectual compatibility is not what we were looking for in a mate.

    Yes. And I am sure that neither my husband nor I would have been happy with a mate we considered stupid. I would say that we are compatible in terms of intelligence, but have little in common in terms of intellect, if that makes sense. I would find it extremely irritating to live with someone who struggled to understand everyday things I consider simple. However, I would also find it very irritating to come home from work and have someone ask me what I think about Bachelard. I do know couples who thrive on having conversations like that and live best when they have almost everything in common, but I also know a lot of people who are very smart but want respite at home, and so they don't particularly want an intellectually stimulating spouse or one who shares a lot of the same interests. They want freedom from those things.

    But again, I am not sure that I understand what is meant by "intellectual wavelength."
  37. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Messages:
    19,418
    Yeah.

    At least you know who Bachelard is -- I had to Google him. I think I'd go crazy if I had to Google every other thing a partner referenced. ("Uh, let me get back to you on that.")
  38. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    3,739
    I had to google him as well :D But did you google epistemological obstacle? FSU, my Princeton.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  39. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    3,739
    Miele Hepa. We've been happy together for the last decade or so.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  40. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    38,307
    :lol: First example that popped into my head--someone in a meeting yesterday was yattering on about some fascinating discussion she had had with her husband about Bachelard. I spent most of that time thinking "Who?" until a dim memory from a lit crit class long ago surfaced in my aging brain. Then I spent the rest of the time marveling that the subject of Bachelard would come up in a conversation and that two people would be able to discuss the subject over dinner and would consider this normal behavior.

    I doubt if my husband and I will ever have a discussion about Bachelard. I do not say that with regret.