Sunday, February 21, 2010

Marry Him: The case for settling for Mr. Good Enough

So, this book just came out at the beginning of February. (Not a bad plan Lori Gottlieb, to release your book right before Valentine's Day, when all the single women of the world would be crying their eyes out because no one had bought them a bouquet that would die in two days.)

And the title and much of the book is very scary. But it's not really about settling or Mr. Good Enough, its about approaching dating with the idea of getting married and not the idea of dating. This book is like a chocolate center wrapped in deep-fried broccoli. The outside is kind of weird and off-putting and probably not good for you despite it's somewhat healthy parts but the inside is okay, but could have been presented in a much better way.

Ms. Gottlieb wants to get married, bad. But somewhere down the line she was told she couldn't be a smart professional woman and get married before a certain age, which she doesn't specify but is around 30. So now she's 41 and a single mom to a baby with a frozen father (artificial insemination). She blames the way she was dating in her past for her lack of life-long love now. She was a classic check-list chick. She had a checklist for men she would even allow to go on dates with her.

I'm sure there are a lot of women like her out there, but I can't think of any. I don't think I'm one of them, either. I know a lot of girls (and guys) my age (or younger) who are either married or engaged. Acquaintances change their facebook profile pictures from head shots to close ups of their engagement rings for a month, until it changes to their official engagement pictures and then their wedding pictures.

Maybe it's a generational thing. She is 41 and kind of grew up during the 1970s, the height of the feminist movement. Maybe women in her generation really did think that they couldn't get married young and have a good professional life, but somehow these things would come together if they waited until they were thirty.

Maybe my generation is different. Maybe we realize that your life isn't over once you get married.

Or maybe it's a regional thing. A lot of her stories were about people on the coasts, New York and LA. Maybe it's a midwestern thing to get married before 30, and a coastal thing to wait.

One thing I didn't like about her book was that she assumed we were all getting dates and rejecting great guys for bad reasons. I know that's not the case for me, and it's not the case for some of my friends. Women aren't always the ones doing the rejecting. Men do a lot of rejecting.

But Gottlieb does get a few things right:
  • don't have a list, you never know what you're going to fall in love with
  • love isn't just a noun, but a verb, too
  • don't have a "type" women who have types just date the same guy over and over, he's just got a slightly different set of DNA
  • be open

Okay, great. But I'm glad I got the book from the library, and I'm a little sad I read through the bullshit to get these four points out of a book. Gottlieb's general thesis is great, but it's presented in a way that's made to scare, not teach. There were times when I read this book that I thought, I'm going to be just like her, but I know that's not true, because I'm not going to fall for her scare tactics.

1 comment:

  1. Did you ever see the movie "The Ugly Truth"?

    If not- rent it.... ~Agnes