Thursday, March 15, 2007

'Working, perhaps, not at all'

Robert has been sick all week with pneumonia, and was out of school last week for some other medical problems. So our lives have been turned upside down.

But, Roger and I were greatly amused by the last section of a NY Times column by Judith Warner last Saturday. The column was on "assortive mating," or the phenomenon of persons with similar backgrounds marrying. This is apparently of some concern because as women become more highly educated and pursue similar careers, there is less and less of the class-mixing phenomenon of the boss marrying the secretary, etc. Thus, this behavior is contributing to a wealth gap among couples.

But the end of the column was truly hysterical--it was an apt description of our own life. After describing her daughters as playing with the "hypertoxic crystal making kit," which we also own, not realizing it contained highly toxic chemicals, Warner has this to say about her family:

"This is all speculation. For our family, though, the message is clear: if Emilie persists in her declared career path of being “a artist,” she isn’t likely to be swept off her feet by an investment banker and to spend her life working within the velvet bondage of having him pay her Bergdorf’s bills. She’s more likely to marry a guy she meets in art school, whose economic prospects will be as dim as her own.

"All that bodes badly for a future in which she was supposed to grow up and take care of her parents, writers who bonded over their mutual dislike of Thomas Wolfe — “O rock, o leaf, o pretzel,” Max wrote to me — and over their shared ambition of reading as many books as possible while living as expensively as possible and working, perhaps, not at all.

"Julia plans to spend her life swimming with dolphins. It just goes to show: if you’re going to marry your soul mate, better beware of the content of your soul."

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