My Story
Amanda Pendolino
April 03, 2013

Thanks, Slate! I Should Totally Be Married Already


Slate writer Julia Shaw has caused quite a stir with her article “Marry Young: I Got Married at 23. What are the rest of you waiting for?”. She and her husband have struggled through their twenties together, an experience that she considers superior to getting one’s ducks in a row before marriage.

Fellow Slate writer Amanda Marcotte has crafted a practical reply, invoking finances and divorce rates; Huffington Post editors have also sounded off with their opinions.

It certainly does sound appealing to lean on a partner through the difficulties of finding a job, paying off student loans and living in cheap housing. I guess I should have married my college sweetheart, who dumped me after he decided he didn’t want to come to L.A. with me, even though he could pursue his career anywhere and I couldn’t.

Or perhaps I should have married my next serious boyfriend, a lover of Disneyland and beer pong who never understood when I was joking and dumped me after nine months.

And then there was the redhead who railed against “anthemic” songs and dumped me with the vague line, “there’s just something missing.” Surely, marriage would have fixed that!

Also, I hear there are a bunch of gay people who want to get married — what are you guys waiting for, huh?

Ms. Shaw does acknowledge that some of us are still trying to find the right partner — but apparently that’s no excuse.

“Sometimes people delay marriage because they are searching for the perfect soul mate,” she writes. “But that view has it backward. Your spouse becomes your soul mate after you’ve made those vows to each other in front of God and the people who matter to you. You don’t marry someone because he’s your soul mate; he becomes your soul mate because you married him.”

Oh, good! I’ll suggest that to the next dude I meet on Match.com.

Nearly every woman I know wants to get married — but beyond joining dating websites and agreeing to meet with men who pantomime cat murder in wine bars (this actually happened), you can’t will yourself to get engaged. When my father suggested I was “focused on my career,” I explained that I have turned down exactly zero marriage proposals.

I don’t begrudge Ms. Shaw her decision to marry young; I’m glad she’s happy and that it’s working out. (I also doubt she came up with that trolling title herself.) But perhaps there’s not one single path that’s right for all of us.