Few topics generate more excitement for rationalization hamsters than the question of why women don’t (re)marry later in life. Merely bringing this topic up is the equivalent of grabbing a megaphone and shouting:
Hamsters! Start your engines!
If you have followed this blog for any period of time you have no doubt already noticed this from the comments section. Perhaps you were thinking though, maybe this is just here. Maybe it isn’t the same way on other blogs.
It’s that way everywhere.
Blogger extraordinaire Solomon II has another fine post titled Old Maids Over 40 Still Feed Rationalization Hamsters! He discusses a post by unmarried-in-her-late-30s bloggerette Gooseberry Bush titled Anecdotal & Statistical Proof That Women Over Forty Are Not Destined To Be Old Maids.
What’s that I hear? Is that a starting gun?
Yes, it is! Gooseberry Bush has started the rationalization race early, giving herself an unfair advantage! Tires smoking, she lurches from the starting line:
Eighty percent of all women are married by the age of forty. Of those women who remain unmarried, they have at least a 40% statistical probability of eventually marrying, maybe even better! And those statistics are probably not accounting for lesbians or for women who don’t even WANT to get married, for whatever reason.
I’m always on the lookout for actual data on this sort of thing, so I scoured her post for the link to the source of this statistic. While links abound, I never did find the one for this piece of information. What I did find instead was a link to a study saying that only 15% of never married 40 year old women are likely to marry within the next 10 years. The prognosis is slightly better at 20% if the woman has a degree.
So if I’m doing my math right, out of 1,000 never married 40 year old college educated women, 20 can expect to marry in the next year. And the remaining 980 are free to try again next year. Of course, the longer they wait the less likely they will be to marry and the quality of man they can attract decreases.
But no self respecting hamster would let reality get in the way. That is the whole point of a rationalization hamster!
Unfortunately over eager hamsters have a tendency to over-steer and put themselves into a spin:
when a woman is in her teens and twenties she starts to put up many barriers to screen out unwanted suitors. After 40, it might be time to lower the drawbridge. Let down your guard a little. When you were younger and there were many, many unsuitable suitors it made sense to give the men some hurdles to jump. Now, not so much. Men are intimidated by them. They want a woman who’s approachable – another quality that the younger women have in spades because they don’t have the battle scars that come with dating over time. The approachable thing might take some work.
Ouch, my head hurts! Is she saying women are more approachable when they are in their 20s, or that they put up barriers to approachability in their teens and 20s? And as a woman ages she goes from having many, many unsuitable suiters to having very few unsuitable suiters, so stop turning away the unsuitable suiters?
Never mind. This is a hamster race and rational thought has no place! Plus, there is competition on the field now. No time to start thinking logically. Dashing white knight runtobefit comes skidding onto the track out of nowhere:
What I find most interesting is that men, after the death of a wife, will likely marry again. However, women often don’t need to marry again. I believe this is because women are much stronger and independent than men. They are the foundation to which most of us men stand on. Women keep us steady and level headed. Without a woman, whatever age she may be, a man may feel disjointed. A woman makes all the pieces fall into place. A woman is a foundation on her own, capable of so many things. I know I have this view because I had a single mom growing up. I guess it made me realize that a man often needs a woman, but a woman rarely needs a man.
Outstanding move runtobefit! The fact that men have better odds and options to remarry when older must prove that women don’t need men! This puts him squarely in the lead!
But he isn’t the only competition. Running hot (on the wrong track) is Pattie with this mispost on Gooseberry Bush’s about page:
Love this article. How encouraging. I’m divorced and have been for many years. Am still looking to get married “someday”, but right now am enjoying my singleness and independence. We “older” women have a lot of great qualities and experience that those cute young things lack. I agree with you. Get out there ladies and strut your stuff. These guys won’t know what him ‘em!
Thats right. She may be an older model with a bored out big block and a
lot of few miles on her, but her hamster has clearly been rebuilt and sports a new high performance cam. She is here to prove that post marital spinsters can rationalize with the best of them. You go girl!
What do you say esteemed readers; who is the winner of the Hamster 500? Is it the blogging spinster in the pink car? The white knight in the yellow car? Or the post marital spinster making good time but running on the wrong track? Or is it one of the many other competitors on the original blog post which I didn’t mention?
Hamster racing pic from Will 210. Hamster pic from Love hamster. Checkered flag from Ewan ar Born. I combined the last two to create the hamster 500 pick. You are free to use this new picture so long as you are in compliance with the original two image licenses.