Tradition; what tradition?

In Uncategorized on May 24, 2010 at 10:00 am

“Despite the statistics, despite the divorce rate, despite what others say about marriage…” and the minister continued, “today is a holiday.” A holiday that family and friends come out to celebrate, but a holiday that despite what the statistics say, “today is a holiday that we all believe in.” These words comprised the minister’s introduction to my closest friend, my sister’s wedding. These words actually comforted me because I was having anxiety about “giving” my friend away–you know the proverbial, “I’m losing a friend,” blah, blah, blah. Yet, as I looked on to the altar, as I panned the audience, we all were smiling, because that day, that beautiful May day was truly a holiday filled with love.

My friend and her now husband (my brother) have begun something special, perhaps on the surface an unlikely pair, but a pair that works. Ok, I will admit it, the odd couple. For all intents and purposes, she’s a nerd, the bookworm who likes to socialize and have fun, of course. He’s into internet games, tattoos, and piercings. She’s a veterinarian; he’s a blue collar man who’s employed at an automotive manufacturing plant. But a pair that works. When they started dating, my friend would say, “I don’t need an academic or someone in the same profession; I need someone who understands, who loves me, and who can make life a little less serious.” She has that in her partnership.

She’s not alone. In January the Pew Research Center released its findings that more men are marrying women with more education and who earn more income. The New York Times’ Sam Roberts reported that “the analysis examines Americans 30 to 44 years old, the first generation in which more women than men have college degrees. Women’s earnings have been increasing faster than men’s since the 1970s.” According to Professor Stephanie Coontz of Evergreen State College and research director of the Council on Contemporary Families, “we’ve known for some time that men need marriage more than women from the standpoint of physical and mental well-being. Now it is becoming increasingly important to their economic well-being as well.”

Furthermore, the Census Bureau also reported in January “that among married couples with children, only the wife worked in 7 percent of the households last year, compared with 5 percent in 2007. The percentage rose to 12 percent from 9 percent for blacks, among whom the education and income gap by gender has typically been even greater.” Moreover, “college-educated wives are less likely to have a husband who is college-educated and in the highest income bracket than they were in 1970, and married women are less likely to have a husband who works.”

As for my friend, she has found someone who understands her, understands the demands of her profession, and who knows what it takes to bring the best out of her. She knows what it takes to bring the best out of her husband, she understands the demands and pressures society places on “the man, the breadwinner.” What matters is that they understand and love each other, agree on a partnership that works well with them; so happen, it flies in the face of tradition. But for some reason, women like my friend are not traditional anyway.

  1. I love it Kesha. Very well said. We love you!

    -your brother

  2. Well said!! Love you!!

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