Friday, June 17, 2011

"Popping the Question"

That term bugs me whenever I read or hear it. What is it with young couples these days? Since when did it become de rigueur for the guy to "pop the question" -- a.k.a. asking for someone's hand in matrimony. Frankly, I think I'd prefer the full body . . . I enjoy reading even though it has a definite slant towards young, single people. No problem there. I was once young and single and remember the joys and sorrows of dating. What makes me shudder is the desperation that comes through in so many posts. I thought the women's movement had freed young women and girls from the stigma of singlehood. I was an early victim of this "new thinking." When I went away to college in 1967, I fully expected to graduate, teach school for a couple of years, get married and start a family. That was the well-established formula for all "girls" at the time. The women's movement condemned all that, something that was difficult for many of us to accept. Slowly we came to realize that we COULD have fulfilling careers; we COULD excel in sports and mathematics; we COULD live happily without a husband and/or children; etc., etc. Many men wanted nothing to do with the new woman. They didn't want to accept that women had equal intelligence and didn't like being treated like girls. I used to get so angry during group conversations when I'd ask a question or make a comment only to have someone respond to the nearest male instead of to me! That and being regarded simply as a pair of boobs was beyond insulting. The flip side of the women's lib coin was an increase in sexual freedom which the guys really didn't seem to mind. Thankfully, some men eventually "got the message" and started treating us more or less as equals -- salary inequities aside. Why then do so many of today's young women seem so meek and needy? Granted, we're still not fairly paid, but in nearly every other way, we're competing on a far more level playing field than we had in the 60s and 70s. Why can't a woman phone last evening's date to say she had a good time and enjoyed his company? Why can't a woman and man simply decide to marry each other and do it without investing tens of thousands of dollars in a one-day event which often causes arguments over silly things like color schemes, venues, and other unnecessary accoutrements? Why must there be candles, flowers, an outrageously unaffordable ring in a fancy little box presented from a debased position at a specially chosen location?? I thought this sort of thing went out with powdered wigs! Ladies: I'm here to tell you that you are allowed to act like a human and not just a silly, jabbering goofy-gal. My generation made that possible. AND, you don't need a mate to complete you. I am an example of that. After I broke my third engagement at the age of 28 I started enjoying my independence and the freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted. I bought a car and discovered new places while getting lost (no sense of direction . .. *sigh*). Sure, I dated, but it wasn't something I needed. Four years later, after I'd stopped being concerned about finding a mate, he showed up! After almost two years of co-habitation, spouse and I decided consciously and together to marry each other. There was no bent knee and no"popping" (no pun intended). We had talked about it and just realized that it was time to legalize things. Since then it has been 28 years of love and war* and totally worth it. *Personal evolutions aren't always compatible, but we've accepted them because we love each other. I think an inability to handle that causes many of today's divorces. No one is perfect and the sooner I realized that applies to me, too, the easier it was to accept Spouse's faults and foibles. After all, he accepts mine and is still here!


Mark said...

That whole post makes sooo much sense. E the part about spending thousands for a one day event. Guilty here. It really is ridicules when you think about it.
Anyway, your advice on being happy together, accepting each other WITH differences and all. I may use a bit of that in my speech in just a few weeks, if you dont mind.

Janney said...

You come from such a cool generation (if you dont mind me saying). I have noticed that sexism is almost in fashion again with the teens, because they know nothing about feminism and what women had to do to become equals... they think theyre inventing something new! PS. I know what you mean about no sense of direction... I once passed the same building twice looking for the motorway turnoff!

dcpeg said...

Mark: You are always so supportive. Many thanks! I would be honored if you shared anything of mine. I feel very strongly about acceptance and tolerance.

Janney: You are so sweet!! Getting lost can sometimes result in something useful if it's not too frustrating. As for sexism, we still have a long way to go, but at least we're aware of the problem.