Marriage, Maturity, and Meaningless Babble
My girlfriend's friend from high school is getting married in a few weeks. Apparently, both bride and groom are 23, which strikes me as a particularly young age to get hitched these days. I thought that getting married that young was not only not in vogue anymore but not good in general. Naturally, expressing this opinion to an equally youthful woman sparked some disagreement. It seems that I am prejudical against getting married young.
After frustratedly hitting a wall in attempting to express my views correctly, I started searching the internet for some factoids to back up my assertion. I was first led to a place called divorcemagazine.com. (Why in the hell would someone want to subscribe to a magazine about divorce is beyond me.) Their 2002 Statistics page wasn't all that helpful, except to curiously note that the median duration of first and second marriages for both male and female is about 7 years -- right on time for the 'itch'.
The second place I looked was here, which shows the mediam marriage age over the last 100 years. Of course, this backed up my contention that the median age has skyrocketed (going up an average of 5 years in the last 30 -- prior to that it hadn't changed much at all going back to 1890), but did little to do with validating my contention that this meant getting married young was a bad idea.
Age (ha -- I speak of '33' as if next year I'll be Buddha on the mountaintop) has tempered some of the fierceness and youthful whimsication (I made it up, but it works!) and given me tastes of, dare I say it, wisdom. I'm not the same person I was 10 years ago. Not so much overtly different that you would exclaim, "I don't even know who you are anymore!" (as I'm wont to do), but a little smarter, a little more reserved, a little more refined. I like who I am today, no more and no less than the person I was in college. But, if I were to compare the two and give odds on who would make a marriage last, I'd save us the trouble and shoot that 23-year-old horse (I might shoot the 28-yr-old one too, but my time machine runs on plutonium and it's not as easy to come by as it was in 1985).
Luckily for me, I was blessed with self-awareness, at least enough to desire to nosce te ipsum, as Neo might observe. Though I may not have been marriage material, at least I knew it, and didn't pretend otherwise. (Of course, we will never know if I was right or wrong on this, but call it a hunch.) Unfortunately, dumb-present-tense-me hadn't realized that his opinion on this was, well, just an opinion (like assholes, you know) based mostly on his own experience. Instead of making statements that sound like fact, I shall next time begin by saying, "In my experience..." or "From my perspective..." or even "In the town where I was born, lived a man who sailed the seas...". Aghast at my own culpability, I find that I have breached my own pet-peeve of presenting opinions as facts. Egad.
Of course, this will come up in conversation again only because I can't LET ANYTHING GO. This has not changed one bit since 23. Yay me.