Monday, April 12, 2010
The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough
My aunt sent me the book "Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough" and I'm a few chapters in. The book has created a firestorm of controvery and Ms. Gottlieb has been on several talk shows defending her position. The truth may set you free, but to be honest, it's depressing me. Here's why: It's actually a realistic look at finding a partner after 35 years old... She' not saying to "settle" as we know it, but to accept certain flaws because we too are flawed. To lessen our list of "must haves" and look for a "good husband" rather than "Prince Charming". That all sounds sane and I can agree with all of that.
Here's why it's depressing. The whole first part(and maybe the rest, I haven't gotten to it yet) she writes about the difficulty, near impossibility, of finding a "good enough" husband. Take this excerpt:
"Having a child in the house changes the specifics - you're never alone and in fact, you desperately crave some solitude - but the longing for an adult partner remains. When I decided to have a child, it had nothing to do with staving off loneliness. It had to do with hoping to find The One without the time pressure of a biological clock. If I was aware enough to know that a child would be no cure-all for a lack of male companionship, I truly believed, in an astoundingly naive way, that I could simply do things backward: child first, soul mate later. But as hard as it was to meet The One before I became a parent, I hadn't anticipated that once you have a baby alone, not only do you age about tn years in the first ten months, but if you don't have time to shower, eat, urinate in a timely manner, or even leave the house except for work, where you spend every waking moment that your child is at day care, there's very little chance that a man - much less The One - is going to knock on your door and join that party."
I've join Eharmony and over the past two weekends sent the first communication out to over 40 men, and gotten 2 responses. That's fine. I only need one husband. But the numbers have definitely changed from when I was 20 and there were 200 unsolicited overtures in my mailbox. I think I have also been naive to think a man would want to join my party... My family thinks it's possible, because they know me and think I'm wonderful. (Thanks family!) But a man would have to be partially insane to willingly jump in my boat, I think. I saw this over the weekend when I brought Charlie and 2 dogs out to eat with a friend and her autistic son. It was a circus. The dogs escaped, the autistic son shrieked, Charlie flung tacos on the floor for the dogs to eat, I got wrapped up in leashes.... Several men walked by and chuckled, but didn't stop to chat, even though my friend made several opening remarks that could have been taken as invitations.
Ladies, we're screwed.
I'm not giving up. After all, I've already paid for 3 months and I'm nothing if not frugal. I would never waste that amount of money. But my sunny optimism has seriously clouded over. Gottlieb has burst my "Prince Charming" bubble. Maybe that's a good thing. We'll see.