I had just returned from watching our 22-year-old son’s intramural basketball game. Wonderful game, by the way. Those kids do things – and do them beautifully – that my buddies and I did not dream of 25 years ago when I was playing seriously.
After the game I chatted for a while with an RM who I knew before his mission and had not seen in perhaps four or five years. He lamented a recent romantic relationship that ended instead of resulting marriage. I told him to be happy about that, and summarized some of the stats re marriage. That is, marriages that occur in the late 20s or early 30s are both more likely to survive long term, and to produce a higher degree of satisfaction for both partners that those that occur in the early 20s. He was intrigued, and one of his friends joined us at that point. He summarized what I had said for his friend (who I infer is over 25) and told him that he should be happy he has not gotten married. He did not seem happy about this.
We also talked a bit about the cultural pressures within Mormonism to marry young, how that is out of step with social reality and causes a lot of problems for young Mormon kids who marry before they are ready to, and then have a miserable time together. One of the boys indicated that Mormon marital practises in this regard would have worked great in 1820, or perhaps today in Africa but do not work now in North America. I agreed, and felt proud that I resisted the temptation to go into a full-on discussion of why Mormonism in general does not work or make sense. I don’t know these kids well enough to want to get into that kid of a discussion with them. I only do that when either invited to do so, or with the ones I love the most and hence for whom I am prepared to do some heavy emotional lifting.
We then talked a bit about careers and money. I assured both boys that a very happy life can be enjoyed without a high powered career and a lot of money. I fact, I indicated that that for many people the need to earn the big bucks and flaunt the life style that often goes with it is a source of depression. They both looked relieved, and interested. After chatting this way for a few minutes, one of the boys said that he wished that I would talk to all of the Mormon girls in Calgary because none of them seem to understand that life can be great without marrying a doctor, dentist or lawyer. “That is all they want”, he said.
When I repeated this conversation to my wife, she said that this is what losers who can’t get a date because they have personalities like doormats tend to say (I am paraphrasing using my words, of course). She also said that if anything, Mormon girls are worse at looking down the road and thinking about the practicalities of life than non-Mormon girls are likely to be, and that if a Mormon guy is really trying to find a girl to marry him and can’t do it, he would have even worse luck in the non-Mormon community. She concluded that money and future career prospects are less important for Mormon girls than non-Mormon girls.
What say ye?
All the best,