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Princeton mom: Women have a "shelf life"

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

  1. ilovepaydays

    ilovepaydays Well-Known Member

    Princeton mom: Women have a "shelf life"

    Apparently, the letter this Princeton mom wrote to the school's paper went viral.

    The part of this that bothered me (and I am a 32 year old woman who has never married), is that this woman assumes that after about 30, all single women just gets desperate and "settle for what they can get" for a husband. And they then end up less happy then they could be. I also didn't think it was correct that the only time one would find someone who is also an Ivy Leaguer is while they are in college. There must be plenty of opportunities after graduation.

    BUT - does she have a point (even if her attitude about herself is wrong) in finding someone who "matches" you? Do opposites in education or social status usually lead to incompatibility over the long-term in marriage?r
  2. Oreo

    Oreo Well-Known Member

    Hmm, I don't Michelle Kwan was focused on landing a husband when she was in school.
  3. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    The problem with that is that during college, everyone's still figuring out who they are. And often, the more intelligent folks are more self-conscious about their place in the world. And IMO, one self-conscious person in a relationship is quite enough! :lol:

    It took me 1.5 years to figure out I was completely incompatible with my college boyfriend. :eek: And I can't really think of any other guys who "got away." Everyone I know who graduated around the same time I did are either high-flying entrepreneurs or super-laid back hippie artists. The former would intimidate me immensely, and the latter would make me lazy. :p

    When I did online dating, most of the guys I met were highly intelligent and graduated from great colleges. So if a woman is really concerned about her pool of suitors, it would be better to live in an area where there are a large number of highly-ranked colleges and unis. Los Angeles is definitely teeming with them, so it definitely wasn't an issue of "quality" guys with me.

    The fact that Alf was not a liberal arts college graduate doesn't bother me. He's much more interested in technology than in social issues, but I still have plenty of friends from college to discuss social issues with. He doesn't rest on his laurels and his work ethic definitely inspires me. And most of all, he has neverending support for what I do, and unwavering faith in my abilities.

    I will say, she isn't wrong that a woman needs to marry "right" to reach her full potential. Men too, actually. This translated interview of Ang Lee definitely punctuates that: http://whatshihsaid.com/2013/02/26/ang-lee-a-never-ending-dream/ He went 6 years without a job, and his wife's undying support for him strengthened his resolve. He wouldn't be what he is today without her. Just as a woman's life would be easier with the right partner, a man's life would be easier too.
  4. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    Marriage was probably on her mind. I wouldn't be surprised if her parents or grandparents wondered out loud if and when she was going to get married.
  5. centerstage01

    centerstage01 Well-Known Member

    My mother has a university degree, my father does not. They've been married for almost 40 years and are just as happy today as they were on their wedding day. So this woman's business of two people who must have the same education/social status/financial status in order to have a compatible marriage is crap.

    I feel very sorry for this woman's two sons. Lord help the women that marry them as this lady will be a nightmare of a mother-in-law.
  6. Prancer

    Prancer Strong and stable Staff Member

    I think it matters if it matters to you and doesn't if it doesn't.

    For her:

    After 27 years together, Patton and her ex-husband finalized their divorce last month. "He went to a school of almost no name recognition," she said, declining to name the institution. "Almost no name recognition. A school that nobody has respect for, including him, really."

    But she does wish she'd married a Princetonian. "Yes! Yes. Yes, I wish I married someone who went to Princeton," she replied when I asked. "That way I could have embraced Princeton for the thirty years that I stayed away from it because my ex-husband had no respect for the hoopla, the traditions, the allegiance, the orange and black

    It obviously matters, and so someone like her should definitely not marry anyone other than someone who has the "right" degree and social status. How she must have secretly sneered at her husband all those years for it to still rankle this way. She can decline to speak on the issue all she likes; she clearly does not think he was worthy of her.

    I don't think opposites in most things lead to compatible relationships, but what is important that you share the same critical values OR that you are willing to bend on values critical to your spouse. If you are very politically active, for example, you can be happy with someone who shares your political views and you can be happy with someone who doesn't share them but is perfectly happy for you to go out and :soapbox:, but it's much harder to be happy with someone who is politically active and opposite.

    The older one is married to a nice Princeton girl.
  7. Dr.Siouxs

    Dr.Siouxs Well-Known Member

    Elitist drivel. :rofl:
  8. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the links to the real thing. At least she was forthcoming about the potential controversy - she certainly is smart enough to know what she's doing! :lol: It mostly sounds like she wanted to go rah-rah for Princeton and couldn't do so because her now-ex husband didn't want to. :p Nothing about actually being more compatible with someone more intelligent.

    I still disagree with, "Smart women can’t (shouldn’t) marry men who aren’t at least their intellectual equal." Sheer intelligence isn't going to inspire a woman to reach her full potential. What if he's intelligent AND full of himself, so she has to spend all her energy cleaning up after him anyway?

    Sheryl Sandberg said it best: "Everyone knows that marriage is the biggest personal decision one will make, but it's the biggest career decision you will make..." A woman's potential is stymied if she marries an unsupportive man. I wish that wasn't the case, but it's just reality in this day and age, when women still have to work harder than men to get the same opportunities, and still have expectations to be a mother and homemaker. I see it every day - my coworker is studying for the MCAT and hiding it from her husband, on top of taking care of their kids (and sometimes her other relatives). I mean, what a woman, to achieve all this with NO support whatsoever. But it's a small tragedy, to think of what she COULD achieve, what the world is missing out on, if only she had a real cheerleader in her corner. :(
  9. Yehudi

    Yehudi Snarks about Volchkova with love

    :eek: I know there are some nice Princeton grads around but I also know a lot of people who hate Princeton with a passion and this only fuels their perception of Princeton people being snotty and incredibly full of themselves. For example, my brother hates Princeton because has never gotten over the fact that the Princeton Alumni interviewer told him that Smith College would be a better fit for him...
    flutzilla1 and (deleted member) like this.
  10. UMBS Go Blue


    Princeton mom on CNN.

    Other than Patton's objectionable Joizey/New Yuouk accent, I don't disagree with where both speakers are coming from. College shouldn't necessarily have to be about finding a mate, but if it is for some people, then, sure, whatever floats their boats... :shuffle:
  11. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    Yeah...what? I don't even know what kind of put-down that's supposed to be! :huh:

    The very selective colleges have a certain vibe to them, because they ARE so selective. Where I graduated from, everyone was highly intelligent but also very self-conscious about their own shortcomings. My college bf visited a close friend at Harvard, and many of his friend's classmates no longer wanted to talk to him once they found out he didn't go to Harvard too. :shuffle: So I get the snooty stereotype, although obviously all of them are not like that.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  12. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    After I graduated from college, I ended up living in the Princeton area and dated two men (one after the other, not at the same time though at some point they were roommates) who were attending graduate school at Princeton. I thank my lucky stars all the time that I didn't marry either of them. :lol:

    My husband has no college degree and he's no dummy but he's no intellectual either. We've been married going on 24 years and, if we ever do get divorced, it won't be because of that, but because we grew apart and didn't do the work necessary to avoid that -- you know, the normal stuff that gets basically compatible people who've been together forever once the kids grow up.

    Anyway, I think she's an idiot. First of all, the right person for you isn't necessarily exactly your intellectual equal. In fact, if you have two competitive, driven people with high intellects, that can actually be a bad thing, especially if you are competing all the time. Sometimes it's better to be complementary in skills and attitudes than it is to be the same. A partnership where one person's strengths is another person's weaknesses can lift you both up.
  13. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    I found my best friend in college. We've been best friends far longer than any man in either of our lives. BFF degree FTW.
    LilJen and (deleted member) like this.
  14. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    pml, the article about this I found yesterday focused not on Patton's dissing of women in general, but the fact that she's actively trolling for a wife for her younger son at his school and he must just WANT TO DIE right about now.
  15. J-Ro

    J-Ro Active Member

    Apparently the nutty mother never bothered to consider that through the miracle of modern biological science, women can now freeze their eggs so that their, uh, shelf life can be extended tremendously.
  16. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    This is after all 2013 - thank goodness women don't have to marry at all and don't need a partner to have children. I don't think it's true that all the 'good men are taken' by the time a woman reaches 30.

    And a lot of men and women do meet up and marry during their university years or the first years of their career (25 or so). Some of those marriages work out, but some don't.
  17. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

    Like it or not, certain traits make you more highly prized in the single market and if you don't fall in this cathegory then your choices are more limited. The choices you face become tougher the older you get, and that goes for everyone. But one should consider this, there was an old Newsweek article many moons ago that says some people who have all the right physical qualities are much less likely to be faithfull because they are so pupular with the opposite sex. So perhaps hooking up with a perfect 10 may not be what is best in the long run. :lol: Then there is the way rich Chinese men search for wives...

  18. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    Are you referring to physical traits? Cause from what I've seen, physical traits mean very little when it comes to the success of a relationship. :p For single people looking for a mostly sexual relationship? Sure, but not necessarily for marriage.

    Besides, people find different physical traits attractive. My college bf actually had a type - short and curvy, which is decidedly NOT me. But his wife is both. :lol:

    Bleck, reading that article, I'm glad my grandparents and parents never moved back! :yikes:
  19. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    I always find these kinds of comments really bizarre. Firstly, because I believe we spend our entire lives figuring out who we are (and I don't actually think we ever really know fully), and secondly, just because you have a partner, doesn't mean you can't figure out who you are. It's the relationships we make (romantic and platonic) that help us understand ourselves and each other. I think it's some ridiculous myth that people "find themselves" after college, or a trip away, or anything else. We can be, and IMHO should be, constantly working on who we are, and who we want to be, discovering new ways to do things, trying new things, continuing with old things, learning etc. - it's called life. Very few people reach their potential, very few people ever know their full potential; some people - maybe even most - are very happy just doing what they're doing, without even thinking about whether they're reaching their potential. Because let's face it, there's always more we can do to better ourselves, our lives, and the lives of others (and for some, this means working less, getting married, getting divorced, not going to college, going to college etc).
  20. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    What I mean is that we're trying to articulate who we are and what we want at that age. From my experience in college, I had a really hard time articulating my fears and had yet to be okay with my shortcomings. Many classmates I knew were like this. And we were all highly intelligent and capable. We just didn't see it until we graduated and no longer had to compete with one another, even subconsciously.

    It's not so much figuring out our life path, cause God knows I've changed my mind about my life path several times already. But a good number of us were still developing our self-esteem back then. And judging from how my college relationship went, a relationship where both partners have extremely low self-esteem is not a very happy one. :lol:

    I'm not sure where I/we going to end up, even 6 months from now. But I have the confidence now to say that I/we will figure it out and I will be all right and nobody's going to judge me and I will not be a failure. And that's not what I had at 22.
  21. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

    Eh, she has a point. A lot of women waste their 20s on lousy guys who don't treat them that well, and justify this with the claim, "I'm not looking to get married until my 30s because I'm working on my career!" They think they have time to play with, so they put up with some poor behavior. Then their 30s come, a lot of the good men are taken, and some of the women realize that the time they wasted on dweebs could have been spent on better men. This is by no means an absolute, but it happens far too often.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2013
  22. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Better have gone to Princeton though to get a job that allows you to afford to do that sort of thing! I don't think most people have this option!

    For the record I got married just out of college to someone I met in high school (but didn't date then). We went to rival colleges and had a semi-long distance relationship through college. My last year of college he moved much further away because he graduated before me. I'm glad I married young, we've been very happy together. I'm also glad I got the independence of college without always having a boyfriend around. And the rival college thing sometimes sucks, because I'm forced to not care about my school (since sports aren't THAT important to me) because he gets damn pissy when his school loses, so I can't even have a little bit of happiness for mine. It is seriously the only fight we've ever had in 8 years and it happens about every 3. I'd also say that most of my friends married someone right out of college who they either met at our school or through a connection to another college. So for me, college was very much a time to find your partner in life.
  23. Wiery

    Wiery Well-Known Member

    Any girl who thinking about dating her son should run far, far away, because whoever marries him will get her as a mother-in-law.
    flutzilla1 and (deleted member) like this.
  24. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

    I agree with this and I think her roundabout advice to think about the kind of partner you want to spend your life with is good – and not given enough to young people. Essentially, she is saying be pickier about your men but be smart about how you do it too. It is kind of unfortunate that her message is getting lost in the “MRS” sexist thing when I think it is actually empowering advice.
  25. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    My original post stands, and I can say exactly the same thing to your reply. Firstly, I think people do this at every age. I'm 33 and working out what I want at 33. Secondly, there's nothing to say having a partner prevents you from doing this; a partner may actually help.
  26. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

    This is true but I think what can happen – and what is partly the phenomena that heckles referred to – is that a 22 year old girl may hook up with a 22 year old guy and they hit the bars every night and drink until 2am and have lots of fun. But then said 22 year old girl becomes 29 year old woman who wants to do other things like be ready for that 8 am meeting and maybe go to a play or something. But 29 year old guy is still hitting the bars.

    There is a higher risk when you are two 22 year olds (versus two 32 year olds) that you are not going to change or grow in the same way, or stay compatible. Obviously this is not always true but it happens. (And I know two 32 years olds can change in different ways as well, but IMO the risk is less).

    But that is why I think this is good advice – to think about what you are going to want at 32 while you are still 22, and have more options available.
  27. KCC

    KCC Well-Known Member

    My taste in men dramatically improved with age, so I am glad I waited to my early 30's to marry. I remember a lot of good times earlier, but the guys I was with were heading in a very different direction. The reasons for our splits were not obvious to me then, and some of the splits were painful, but I needed that time to learn more about what I really wanted (and was willing to give) in life.
  28. quartz

    quartz Take off, eh!

    I spent my teen years believing I would never have a boyfriend, and certainly never even dared to dream that a husband and children would be a part of my future. I had no choices, no strategy to determine who would be most suitable or who would be my perfect match; no smorgasbord of men for me. :(
    My husband is a smart, confident, successful and handsome extrovert. I am a fat, ugly and not terribly bright introvert who battles depression and self esteem issues constantly. He picked me up at a bus stop 32 years ago, and we celebrate our 25th anniversary this summer. He is the only guy in the world who ever actually looked into my eyes. I still don't understand how the hell this happened! :lol: I never had a plan or a checklist on determining the right mate for me....sometimes we just need to let life happen and let people into our lives without labeling them as a prospective partner or analyzing every single aspect of their lives for compatability.
    OliviaPug, argarit, Nan and 5 others like this.
  29. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    Proving the quartz is smarter than Princeton mom. ;)

    I think some women waste a lot of time and energy on this stuff and I don't see that it actually gets them anywhere and definitely not closer to their goals. The idea that women are somehow "wasting" their college years because they aren't going after their relationships the way you go after a career implies that relationships can be planned and plotted out like a career and they can't. Well, you can try. But you are just going to frustrate yourself IMO.

    I never put up with shit guys in my 20s because I was thinking "I'm not ready to get married yet so it doesn't matter." I put up with shit guys because I didn't realize they were shit guys or because I was at a place in my life where I didn't think I deserved better. But I learned from those experiences and moved on.

    Also, there may have been more single guys my age when I was younger but the quality wasn't there so there really weren't more choices. There was just the allusion of more choices.